My Readers know that I preach incessantly about niches, positioning, content marketing, referral networks, nurturing programs yada, yada, yada....
I have finally found someone who actually practices what I preach. This individual has a very successful business. But it's no coincidence that he also has a well defined (and very narrow) niche, a crystal clear message, and a 24/7 business development machine.
Meet George Bradt, the Niche-Meister.
The Niche is the Thing
George's niche is an inch wide and a mile deep.
His firm, PrimeGenesis, specializes in "Executive Onboarding and Transition Management." PrimeGenesis' Onboarding process is designed to ensure the successful launch of an executive in a new position ("new leader"). Over the first 100 days the firm helps the new leader set goals, align his/her team with the goals and develop relationships with peers.
This is all PrimeGenesis does. It doesn't do coaching. It doesn't do training. It doesn't do team building. It doesn't do leadership development. It helps new leaders launch successfully. Period.
"We're a single trick pony doing the same thing over and over again for one set of people," George says.
George and his partners have a great deal of management and organizational development experience.
They could offer a wide variety of HR-related and consulting services. But they don't. They stick to their knitting.
In fact, George says, the firm turns down half of the opportunities presented to him. Either the executive has already started his/her new job or it's not a true Onboarding assignment.
Doing nothing but OnBoarding (and doing a lot of it) gives PrimeGenesis four advantages:
It's the preeminent expert in the field It "owns" the niche. (Guess who's #1 on the Google results list for "Executive Onboarding"?) It has a very clear message It's sales and marketing efforts are very focused and efficient
A Clear and Consistent Message
It's relatively easy to understand what Prime Genesis does. It's also easy to understand the benefits.
George says that 40% of new leaders leave their jobs with 18 months. Either they quit or are fired.
That's a pretty scary statistic. A lot of executives' careers are damaged. Their employers waste a lot of money. And a lot of opportunities are squandered. In short, there is a lot of pain all around.
George estimates that the combined hard dollar cost (compensation, recruiter fees, severance etc) and soft dollar cost (projects delayed, opportunities lost) of a new leader is 10 times the executive's compensation. A failed $500,000 executive can cost his/her company $5 million. Yikes!
Prime Genesis reduces the failure rate from 40% to 10%. Would companies pay Prime Genesis' $50,000 fee to avoid a $5 million failure? A lot do.
Therein lies the power of George's message. It's simple. And the results are measurable.
The Content Marketing King
George is a publishing machine. He's co-authored three books THE NEW LEADER'S 100-DAY ACTION PLAN, ONBOARDING: How to Get Your New Employees Up to Speed in Half the Time, and TOTAL ONBOARDING PROGRAM.
Beyond that, he's got a weekly column in forbes.com and is a guest columnist in numerous other publications, including The Huffington Post. He also writes two or three blog posts a week.
And in his free time, usually between 5:30AM - 6:30AM, he tracks "Onboarding" posts on other blogs and adds his comments.
In addition to all this writing, George regularly runs workshops and webinars and gives speeches. Also, he is frequently interviewed in major business publications such as BusinessWeek and Harvard Business Review.
I don't know when (or if) George sleeps. His output is prodigious. I'm impressed.
All this content creation burnishes George's reputation as "Mr. OnBoarding." It also gives him a lot to share with his contacts.
Keeping in Touch
George is a master networker. He's got some 1,400 contacts on LinkedIn and 6,500 names in his database. Also he's some 300 execs and companies on his Google alert list.
When one of his LinkedIn contacts posts an update, that gives George an "excuse" to get in touch. The same is true if a contact appears in a Google alert.
George does not use these opportunities to pitch his services. "On every call, I ask 'how can I help you'," he says. His mantra is "contribute to individuals, teams, and knowledge." He is constantly giving back by creating content and sharing it. He's also helping people by making introductions.
And, by the way, those 6,500 contacts in George's database also hear via email from him every six to eight weeks.
Remember those assignments George turns down? He turns them into opportunities. He often refers the caller to another consultant or helps in other ways. This is a win-win-win:
He helps solve the caller's problem. He creates opportunities for the consultants he refers He (deservedly) will be remembered as the "go-to-guy for Onboarding
A Web Site That Educates
The last piece of the puzzle is Prime Genesis' website. The site is not a brochure. It's an Onboarding library.
The site offers downloadable tools, articles, blog posts, and book summaries. It's a destination for anyone seeking information on this topic.
George overhauled the site last year and hired a PR firm. The monthly number of visitors jumped from 400 to 4,000. There was also a dramatic increase in downloads and inquiries. Best of all, he converted many of those inquires into projects.
A Business Development Role Model
George is a model for all of us. Many of us don't have his narrow niche or simple message. But we can emulate his approach:
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