You know, I was trying to follow a common theme for a while and then I realized that other bloggers just go where their fancy takes them so why shouldn’t I? Just like getting to wear jeans to work everyday the Internet keeps making us freer and freer.
I spoke to someone the other day who had started a business in a particular industry niche. Convinced he was the “only” one doing this particular type of consulting he was sure that I would be able to get him tons of local press. However he had no academic credentials in his chosen area of expertise, and really had no experience either. Now I don’t think you need either of those to be successful necessarily. Look at Lisa Hammond at Femail Creations for example. With no catalog experience, she’s built one of the most successful gift businesses in the country. But she had (and has, I still do her PR) very realistic expectations of what she was up against.
There is ALWAYS someone out there doing exactly what you’re doing. Don’t ever kid yourself on that. You have to find the unique aspect that makes you different, and pitch it for all its worth. And if you don’t have the “credentials” make sure you have a really compelling story. A great story beats credentials every time.
What happened with this particular guy was that as I tried to drill down to find the essence of what made him different he became defensive. Sure that I was just being negative he began to argue that his business was totally unique and of course we aren’t working together. Today I opened up my favorite local business magazine and guess what I found? A story on a series of workshops that were exactly what this guy was doing. Two women had already beat him to it.