Dear Friends & Colleagues:

On this day before our nation’s Thanksgiving holiday, I want to offer a sincere ‘thanks’ to all of my friends, colleagues, clients and readers for your support in 2021 during the publication of my new book, How To Win Client Business. I am grateful for your support and kindness during the book’s launch. This book’s successful launch would not be possible without the support of my agent (Sheree Bykofsky), my editor at Wiley (Mike Campbell) and of course all of you. I hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

To celebrate the launch of How To Win Client Business, I’m sharing an excerpt from the book each week. This week’s peek is from Chapter 7: Choosing Your Specialty. In this chapter we  take a deeper dive into how to define your distinctive personal brand – the first rainmaker skill that sets you up for success in winning client business.

Without further delay, here’s this week’s excerpt. I hope you enjoy it!



Chapter 7: Choosing Your Specialty

Shrink the Pond Until You’re A Big Fish


Terry Pappy’s Success Story: Carve a Niche, Then Carve a Niche within a Niche


Trevor’s story from the previous chapter provided an example of what a brand

identity doesn’t look like: going to market doing anything for anyone. Unfortunately,

there’s no slot for that in the client’s mind. And, if there were, it would

be a poor slot to own. This reminds me of a character in John Steinbeck’s novel

East of Eden:


Alf Nichelson was a jack-of-all-trades, carpenter, tinsmith, blacksmith, electrician,

plasterer, scissors grinder, and cobbler. Alf could do anything, and as a result he

was a financial failure although he worked all the time.


Terry Pappy is a talented marketing consultant, brand strategist, and host of

the Simplify & Multiply podcast. She learned the ropes of her craft from many

years in her industry including experience at ad agencies, newspapers, printing

companies, and client-side companies.

If we stopped there, Terry wouldn’t be that different from the tens of thousands

of marketing specialists out there in the world: talented, capable, and totally

unmemorable. But Terry has mastered the art of shrinking the pond. She provides

marketing services to a very specific clientele: solopreneurs – one-person

professional firms.

I asked Terry, “How did you arrive at your personal brand identity of serving



Terry lit up. “I didn’t start out with this focus. My initial response was

survival – having been laid off from my six-year span at Marriott a year after my

husband passed away. All I knew was to continue delivering creative and marketing

services for anyone who would hire me by the hour. Luckily, I had a few Marriott

connections that caused a chain reaction of referrals that led to a Chinese menu of

clients from ambulance companies, transportation companies, window installers,

interior designers, hospitals, and on and on.”


Because I could do any type of marketing and creative, I became a jack of all

trades taking on work simply to survive. I never looked at creating a niche.

As a result, I was 100% commoditized constantly being compared to every

other graphic designer, web designer, creative copywriter out there in the



It wasn’t until years later that I looked back and saw a pattern. There was one

type of client that I really enjoyed working with and got great results for:

solopreneurs – individuals who operated as a “company of one.” I realized I had

developed a depth of understanding about the world they operated in.


That’s when I decided to go all-in on serving these professionals. It was at this

point that I started developing products and systems specific to that audience,

which was a lot easier because I knew exactly who I was serving. And, as a result,

my business really began to gain traction and grow.


Let’s take a look at why Terry’s brand identity is so effective. Her positioning

fulfills a number of important milestones of the client’s buying decision journey.

For one, her identity is easy to understand and remember because it fills a unique

slot in people’s minds. Secondly, because of her deep experience and skill at serving

this specific target audience, her professional expertise is highly respected.

Terry owns the category. When Terry speaks to solopreneurs about her

marketing services, her credibility is immediately palpable. She understands the

unique challenges of solopreneurs who need to build a strong brand following.

Looking at Terry’s brand identity from the perspective of the top client pathways,

her positioning lends itself well to referrals and inquiries. Her expertise is easily

remembered and respected. When a solopreneur asks around for who’s the best at

marketing, it’s easy to see why Terry has significant top-of-mind awareness.



Click here to order your copy of my new book, How To Win Client Business, today!