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Thoughts from Mike Templeton | Be the Best at Something, Not Mediocre at Everything
Thoughts on marketing, social media, and web strategy

Mike Templeton is an experienced marketer with a history in building community on the web.

For Mike's reactions to what others are writing about social media, visit Mike Memos.

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Be the Best at Something, Not Mediocre at Everything

I was recently watching a video from Loic LeMeur and caught a great conversation he had with Seth Godin discussing why he (Seth) isn’t on Twitter,

“Be a meaningful specific, not a wandering generality.”

If you can’t be the best, don’t do it

Seth explains that he is the best in the world at writing a marketing blog (for now) and the best at being himself. If he were to start using Twitter, he knows that he wouldn’t be the best at using it, as others are much better (like Chris Brogan, he says). Seth would rather stick to what he knows and what he is good at, rather than doing everything mediocre.

Catch the full-video interview on YouTube, where Seth describes why people need a tribe (and eventually why he isn’t on Twitter):

Should I quit everything I’m not the best at?

Seth Godin seems to have taken his example about Twitter to the extreme, but I can relate to his point about doing the things the best or not at all.

When I first started my marketing and web strategy consultancy, I had no idea what the scope of my services looked like. I figured I would do anything and everything related to marketing that  a client wanted to pay me for.

However, after spending time building websites, setting up blogs, designing logos and writing marketing campaigns, I soon found that certain items seemed to be taking more time than I wanted, and that I didn’t really enjoy some aspects of what I was doing. As a result, I had to sit down and truly define the scope of services I would offer. I decided that I would not be a graphic designer for clients and that my main focus would be on planning, strategy and education, not necessarily on executing everything.

This small exercise helped me understand what I was best at doing, and most of all, helped me understand what I was best at providing to clients. If I wasn’t going to be able to provide them the best graphic design service, why bother doing a mediocre job? It would be in my client’s best interest to find the best graphic designer available for the job and to steer them in that direction.

Examine your skills and figure out which are your best

If you’re not a good blogger, find someone else to blog. If you can’t manage projects, find a good project manager. If designing user interfaces is not your forte, find a UI designer who rocks at it.

In the end, identifying your own strengths and outsourcing the rest will save you time and make you (and your clients) happier.

What do you do the best? What should you be offloading to someone else?

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