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Blog & Comeback TV

The KISS of Death (for Marketers & Entrepreneurs)


“Divide et empera”
- Latin for “Divide & Conquer”

There’s a scary deadly mistake many entrepreneurs make when starting their business.

And my new friend Jori was about to make that mistake himself.

Jori is a clinical social worker and wants to launch some information products online. His business partner is a marriage and family therapist.

I got on a call with Jori last week to help him brainstorm.

And he was pretty excited and full of ideas. As any entrepreneur should be.

As I do with all my clients we started talking about who his ideal customer is. His “Dream Client”.

We also talked about what would be his Unique Core Difference to separate him from his competitors.

Creating a Dream Client profile and establishing a Unique Core Difference are the two must-haves in any marketing strategy from the get go.

And they are usually where the rubber meets the road for an aspiring entrepreneur. Get these right and you are on the road to a very successful business. Get them wrong and it’s a death sentence.

Yes a death sentence. I’m talking your business 6 feet under. Before it ever sees the light of day.

Is Knowledge Power or a Death Sentence?

We did a quick review of the Dream Client and Unique Core Difference strategies to start the call. And Jori was digging it.

But then I asked him what Dream Clients he wanted to help and with what solutions.
And I quickly realized that Jori had a problem. He knows too much.

How can that be? Knowledge is power right?

Well the thing is he can help people with anxiety, and marriage problems, and addictions and and and…

And so he wanted to build a brand and website to be able to provide solutions to all those problems.

So I listened for a bit. And then I had to do that really hard thing that any good mentor must do.

I told him if he tried to do that. To share all his knowledge and solve all those problems. That it would be…THE KISS OF DEATH.

Yeppers. The Kiss of Death.

Jack of All Trades?

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Jack of All Trades, Master of None”. But it’s more complex than that.

Jori genuinely has the knowledge to help all those different Dream Clients with all those various problems. So it’s tempting. But it’s a horrible business strategy.

Let’s say you are looking for solutions to marital issues for example. Your search pulls up two websites:


You go to site #1. What you find is blog posts, interviews and products covering twenty or thirty different therapy related problems. Marital issues is just one of those thirty.

Then you visit site #2. There you find a free 7 Step Blueprint for Getting Your Marriage Back on Track In the Next 30 Days. You also find marital focused articles and interviews with other marriage experts.

Which of these two sites do you think you will subscribe to, become loyal to, purchase products from and tell your friends about?

I can tell you when I was dealing with the collapse of my marriage I was looking for specialized knowledge and niche experts.

Now this doesn’t mean site #1 can’t be a successful site. But if it is successful it’s because they started narrow by becoming experts in a couple of areas and branched out from there.

But you can’t start broad. You must start narrow.

Divide & Conquer

One of my mentors, marketing genius, Derek Halpern, calls this the “Divide and Conquer” technique.

The example he uses is when Facebook was trying to compete with MySpace (yes we’ve forgotten but at one point Facebook was the underdog).

Facebook didn’t take MySpace head on. Instead they focused specifically on the college market and even more so on dominating one college at a time. They started at Harvard, penetrated that market and moved to the next university. Only later did they move into the general market and compete and defeat MySpace.

So what I suggested to Jori was to use the Divide and Conquer technique. It works in every market.

I told him to take 1-2 topics that he is an expert in or wants to be an expert in and focus all his content and product creation around those topics. This will allow him to not only become “the authority” on those subjects, it will also help him narrowly define a Dream Client and become world class as solving their specific problems.

Because, you see, everyone wants to see a specialist.

We’ve all experienced this in medicine. We will fly across the country at times to seek out the most specialized medical help.

Yet we complain if we have to wait longer than 20 minutes in the urgent care clinic to see a general doctor whose name we don’t even know.

So not only is it smart marketing to Divide and Conquer. It’s also much more profitable.

And you will better serve the world. Because guess what?

Once you Divide and Conquer you will be providing solutions in a way no one else can, as a specialist. You will be changing the lives of your customers in a way you just can’t as a generalist.

Yes you can go on later to conquer more topics, issues and problems as a specialist. But only because you divided up the market and conquered it one specialty at a time.

And you didn’t grow so broad as to lose your authority.

So make up your mind today. Specialist or generalist?

Divide and Conquer! Get world-class in providing specific solutions to a very specific Dream Client. Then grow out from there.

Action Takeaways

  1. Create a Stop Doing List for Your Content, Products, and Services. Decide which “pet” topics that, while you love you them, you are willing to set aside for now.
  2. Use the Divide and Conquer technique to create a list of topics you are going to focus on providing content and solutions for.
  3. Now make an “Action Steps” list based on these topics that you will Divide and Conquer. This might be sites you want to write guest blog posts for on those topics. It might be a new service you want to create for the Dream Clients who are looking for solutions in your chosen Divide and Conquer topics.

Now go take action! Know that your Dream Clients need you to Divide and Conquer to serve them and their problems in a way no one else can. You don’t want to let them down do you?

Here’s to Your Comeback!


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