Get All Access for $5/mo

How to Get Over Being Pigeonholed and Start Finding Success It's okay to start with one specialty, then grow from there.

By Kim Walsh Phillips

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

skynesher | Getty Images

At the last meeting of my mastermind group, one of our members revealed what was stopping her from releasing a course she had thought about doing for a while.

She had written a book on the topic, done numerous speaking gigs around it and had already been hired as a private consultant. Still, she shared, "I don't want to be known as the 'LinkedIn Guru.' There's so much more to me than that."

I totally understood. While I was building my platform, writing books and developing courses about growing your business through social media, I was worried I'd start to be known as the "Facebook Guru." I was nervous to be pigeonholed into one thing, centered around one platform, while what I really wanted to do was help people break through plateaus to get to the success and joy they were seeking in their businesses.

Related: 7 Mental Shifts That Allowed Me to Become a Millionaire at 22

How I grew my Facebook audience in the first place

I was tired of banging my head against the wall trying to grow my audience.

It was exhausting and expensive, and it wasn't working.

I knew there had to be an easier way, so I started researching hacks I could find to grow my audience quickly and without a marketing budget.

It sounds so cliché, but it was literally late one night that I uncovered a strategy and thought, Man, this has got to be too good to be true. But I didn't have much else to lose. Heck, nothing had worked up until that point, so I gave it a whirl.

I invested $20 into getting fans, and it worked!

I got 2,000 fans in less than 24 hours for less than a penny apiece. I couldn't believe it!

It had taken me five years to get the first 10,000. Now, my audience had grown by 20 percent in 24 hours.

And it kept going. Within a few days, I had doubled, tripled, then quadrupled my fans. And they were engaging on my page, sharing my content and most importantly, they were becoming my customers.

I was reporting on this exponential growth at our morning staff huddle when my Chief Marketing Offer Mike Stodola said, "Kim, this is huge. We should teach others how to do this."

Related: 5 Creative Interview Questions to Ask Job Applicants, Approved by Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Reid Hoffman

The problem

I struggled ... Did I really want to be known as the "Facebook Fan Guru?" Wouldn't that pigeonhole me into being only this one thing? I didn't want to spend all day talking about Facebook ads ...

But then I remembered that marketing that drives sales has to be like dating ... first attract, then get to know each other, then make the commitment/sale. Small steps.

So perhaps I could first draw them in with the Facebook Fans training and later share the next steps to creating profitable marketing and crushing business (and personal) goals. Even in that first training I could drop little important nuggets that expand beyond Facebook (like that they have value and deserve to be paid for it).

And so, our Facebook fan training was born.

Since we launched this training about a year ago, I've led it almost every week, live. More than 100,000 entrepreneurs and small-business owners have gone through it to get 10,000+ fans in 72 hours and turn those fans into their next customers.

From this training, we've grown our email list by over 100,000, and thousands of those have taken the next step of enrolling in our paid program or joining our membership and our mastermind program.

I get to work with our students and members on many things beyond Facebook and have been by their side to cheer them on and congratulate their success, absolutely loving every day I get to work with them. But it had to start with solving just one of their problems, not all of them.

Related: 25 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Starting with one thing

And because of that, I am okay with being known as the "Facebook Guru" as a first step, understanding that there is much more to it after that.

It's funny how we sometimes worry what will happen if we are truly successful in our efforts, so much so that we don't get started in the first place. Thankfully, I got over that.

Are you allowing a fear of being pigeonholed into one thing to stop you from building your platform?

Starting with one thing doesn't mean it will become your everything. But it is how you can first attract and connect with your key target customer. Start with one thing today.

Kim Walsh Phillips

Founder of Powerful Professionals

Kim Walsh Phillips went from 32 clients to over 11,000 in less than a year and founded Powerful Professionals, a business coaching company that has been scaling consulting and coaching businesses. Phillips is the best-selling author of The No BS Guide To Direct Response Social Media Marketing.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick


ChatGPT is Becoming More Human-Like. Here's How The Tool is Getting Smarter at Replicating Your Voice, Brand and Personality.

AI can be instrumental in building your brand and boosting awareness, but the right approach is critical. A custom GPT delivers tailored collateral based on your ethos, personality and unique positioning factors.

Business News

You Can Now Apply to Renew Your U.S. Passport Online — But There's a Catch

The U.S. State Department officially launched the beta program this week.

Business News

Is the AI Industry Consolidating? Hugging Face CEO Says More AI Entrepreneurs Are Looking to Be Acquired

Clément Delangue, the CEO of Hugging Face, a $4.5 billion startup, says he gets at least 10 acquisition requests a week and it's "increased quite a lot."

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Apple Reportedly Isn't Paying OpenAI to Use ChatGPT in iPhones

The next big iPhone update brings ChatGPT directly to Apple devices.