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Competition is fierce. Every market is saturated. Differentiation is difficult. Yet new companies are born everyday. Many are thriving. And innovative minds are finding success.

How do you become a stand out - a star - or even a brand that people know and love? There are many answers but all your efforts to push through the noise and make a name for yourself will be in vain if you don't do this one thing: Narrow your focus.

So what does it mean to narrow your focus? Let's create an example to demonstrate:

Let's suppose you're a wedding photographer. You'd like to shoot landscape, portrait, product and street, but you chose to stick to weddings. Is being exclusively a wedding photographer narrow enough? No! A resounding NO! It's not narrow enough.

beach wedding

When you think about narrowing the focus of a wedding photographer, you need to think in terms of the client. What makes you different from all the other wedding photographers must matter to a certain customer segment. You need to be able to explain why your differentiation makes you better or more valuable than all other wedding photographers. Let's look at a good example:

Let's say you choose to be a beach wedding photographer. Here are the reasons why this is a good idea:

  1. You'll start to learn the unique shots and services that beach wedding clients love. You can start marketing those photos and services that you know future beach wedding clients are likely to love.

  2. Your clients' friends who also want a beach wedding will ask them who they used. When your client refers you, their friend will be pleasantly surprised to see that you are the beach wedding expert.

  3. Your marketing is infinitely more powerful when you can focus on nothing but beach weddings. Think hashtags. Think potential clients who want a beach wedding and see that your portfolio is full of nothing but beach weddings.

  4. You'll learn how to get beach weddings down to a science: Your shot list becomes a thing of beauty, your gear becomes perfectly suited for the setting, you start to learn the key venues, and you start to make relationships with others in the beach wedding space.

beach wedding table

It really comes down to two things:

  1. You become better than everyone else at your specialty. Your refined skill wins you more clients.

  2. Your marketing starts to become easier and more effective. Never underestimate the value of being able to target a very specific type of customer.

But what if you don't want to limit yourself to something so narrow? Too bad. If you don't limit yourself, you will limit your success. Shooting any type of wedding you want is nice, but being booked so far out that you have to start hiking up your rates is nicer.

If you think that this principle doesn't apply to your industry, think again. Narrow your focus!

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