As a figure of speech, “Jack of all trades” has seen its fair share of different meanings.
With roots spanning back to the medieval era, “Jack of all trades” had neither a negative nor positive connotation. “Jack” was diminutive (nickname) for “John”, an incredibly popular name back then as it is now.
“Of all trades” was a general description. Basically, Jack was the “everyman”, the kind of guy you’d ask if you wanted some odds and ends done.
Later on, “Jack of all trades” spanned into a more positive proverb, adding the line, “Jack of all trades is a master of none, but better that than a master of one”.
Generalists were more valued than specialists, admired for their versatility in the workplace.
It’s only relatively recently that the latter half has been dropped.
“Jack of all trades, master of none,” is definitely not a compliment, used to insult dabblers and those with only a working knowledge of several skills.
But, once again, the tide has turned for “Jack of all trades”, this time in the digital marketing space. Some say that one skill, no matter how good you are at it, is never enough.
Employers, clients, you name it, expect you to have 2, 3 or 4 skills to bring to the table.
The world of marketing changes so rapidly, those who stick rigidly to one speciality are soon left squirming in the dust.
However, I disagree. I’m not saying that multiple skills don’t have their benefits, but to label yourself a “Jack of all trades” can be downright dangerous for your business.
To show you what I mean, let me take you on a journey.
♠️ 1. When You First Start A Business – “Jack Of All Trades”
I can’t begin to stress how important this is. I know you must be sick and tired of people telling you to knuckle down and find a niche.
It’s like when adults used to ask you “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and expected you to make a firm decision at 16.
Life doesn’t work like that. When you’re starting a business, it’s all about the hustle.
Being an entrepreneur is so different from the 9-5. You may or may not have a clear idea of what you want to do, or which sector you want to work in.
You could have an idea for an original product or service, or you may want to help people sell their product or service.
All you know is that you want to get away from your desk, your boss, and start making some serious money.
At this point, making a final decision can be self-destructive. If you aim to master one thing, like Google AdWords, and six months or two years later you hate it, it’s going to be hell to get yourself out of the hole you’ve dug.
Do your research. Being a “Jack of all trades” is useful, for now. Find out what skills other companies value and hire people for. You could learn:
- Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
- How to make landing pages on ClickFunnels and Unbounce
- Google AdWords, the Display Network and Search
- YouTube advertising
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Facebook advertising
The list goes on.
As you build your skills, you should be able to see where your talents lie and what abilities are worth expanding.
Crucially, any client you have will be appreciative of the skills you bring to the table.
You’re actively adding value to their business, and you’re able to perform all these tasks a hell of a lot better than they can.
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♦️ 2. Your Business Is Expanding – “Master Of Some”
Your go-getter attitude has paid off. Adaptability has made you popular with clients, and you’ve started to get a good reputation.
You may not be the best at everything you do, but exploring a wide range of marketing skills has helped you keep a cool head whatever the situation.
At this point, you should have an idea of which skills you excel in. Are you a copywriter? A Google AdWords master?
As you’re getting more clients on board, it looks like you’ll need to get someone in to help with the workload.
If you feel confident in all your marketing skills, that’s fine. You could hire another “Jack of all trades” and split the load between the two of you.
If, however, you feel like your SEO skills aren’t top-notch, or you struggle with technology, it would be a smart idea to hire someone who can do the stuff you can’t.
The longer you spend running a business, the more you’ll recognise some red flags. If you advertise yourself as a “Jack of all trades”, your clients, in turn, will expect more of you.
“Managing their SEO” suddenly becomes “AND building their landing pages AND managing their Facebook fan page”.
If you’re on a retainer contract, the client will justify all the extra work you do as being “part of what was agreed”.
Why would they pay someone serious money to design a landing page if they’ve already got you at their beck and call?
It’s time to decide what specific service you want to offer clients.
♣️ 3. A Thriving Business Means Being “Master Of One”
There comes the point when you need to take a step back, breathe, and look for changes you can make in your business.
If you’ve got more than 10 clients, you can’t afford to advertise yourself as a “Jack of all trades”.
You can only stretch so much until you start to fall apart at the seams. Duties and “favours” for one client will clash with another’s.
Soon you’ll find yourself working 80+ hour weeks, and you’ll be dreaming of going back to that 9-5.
It’s time to niche down.
Trying to do everything for everyone is the fastest to way to please no one – no matter how hard you try.
You’ve had enough experience out there in the field. Let all the distractions around you fade to grey and concentrate on solving one problem better than anybody else.
If you wanted someone to tailor you a suit, you’d ask the best in the business – not a friend who’d made their children’s clothes.
For those who think that finding a niche is “boxing you in”, this isn’t the case. All the other skills you’ve accumulated won’t be left at the wayside.
FlexxDigital specialises in generating leads for financial sectors on the CPL model. Within that specific niche we use SEO, Facebook, copywriting and funnel building. And, because our efforts are focused towards one specific area (aka, generating leads), everything integrates.
We spend less time doing a lot more with much higher profits.
Most importantly, we stand out.
♥️ Conclusion – “Jack Of All Trades AND Master Of One”
If you want to make it far in the PPC agency game or if you want more high-ticket clients, you’ve got to be a jewel among the pebbles.
Who are you? What makes you stand out? Why do you connect better with your target audience than anyone else out there?
If you’re describing your company as “professional”, “experienced” or, god forbid, “modern” then this isn’t enough.
And if you can’t think of anything that makes you different, work hard to find a reason why you are. Find out your real value and make your clients believe it.
But what if you’re currently struggling to even find the right niche…
Not to worry!
I’ve come up with a Gameplan to help you get on track.
It’s perfect if you’re someone that needs more help.
Click here to watch my Gameplan.