It’s OK to be a Generalist

One of the things I enjoy about following Seth Godin’s blog is that he is always looking at the bigger picture of the world’s of marketing and business. It just helps you step back from the day to day detail that tends to make up ones business life.

One of his recent posts was titled: We specialize in everything. The reason this stuck out for it exactly describes what we do here at Stone Temple Consulting. The point is that everybody needs to specialize in something, and what we specialize in is being a generalist.

Specialization is a good thing. In the world of web marketing, some people specialize in social media promotion, others specialize in link building, and others specialize in technical SEO, etc. This is great stuff to do, and to be an expert in.

There are times when waht a company needs is access to a particular type of specialist. A really good social media expert has to invest lots of time in building their network, their reputation in social media communities, finding and submitting content to keep their reputation current, and voting on content submitted by others.

This is a lot of work, and it is not something that can be done halfway. So when you have a make/buy decision for a social news campaign, you are almost always going to want to bring someone in to manage this for you. A specialist that invests the 2 hours per day just in keeping their reputation up to date.

At other times, you want someone who can help you with the big marketing picture. This would be someone who can help you determine if you should be pursuing a social news strategy, a widget strategy, affiliate programs, article promotions, or something else. Then, if necessary, you can bring in another specialist to focus on that one specific area.

So, it’s OK to be a generalist. Just make sure that you specialize in it …

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