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How to Find Your “Micro Specialization”


What the heck is “micro specialization” anyway?

We went into detail answering this question in a podcast a few days ago.

If you missed it you can listen or download it here.

But, basically its becoming an expert on a very specialized  topic within your niche, instead of trying to be the answer to everyone’s problem.

People are often worried that if they niche down the services they offer, then they’ll end up missing out on a lot of business.

But think about it terms of food…

Would you rather go to the best steakhouse in town for a steak…or a restaurant that serves steaks, Italian food, Chinese, Indian, etc?

Probably you’d want to go to the place that SPECIALIZES in steak.

There is a place in Houston that specializes in “bone-in fillet”…even more specific than just a steak.  And if I want a good fillet..I’ll go there and spend 2-3x as much as a fillet costs at other steak restaurants.

The same thing applies to your business.

The more specialized you get, the less competition you have AND the more money you can charge for your services.

Let’s get into this…



At a high level, Richard Simmons is in the fitness niche.

But he ONLY focuses on helping morbidly obese eat healthier and start a light exercise routine.

Simmons doesn’t try to be the ripped-to-shreds CrossFit coach…or the guy that helps people train for a marathon.

He doesn’t want the people that are looking for that type of fitness expert.

He is very, very focused on the one specific subset of his niche, and doesn’t worry about the fact that he alienates 90% of his potential market.

richard simmons

The only thing bigger than the possible topics in the financial advice world, is the number of people pounding their chests screaming that they know it ALL!

But not Ramsey.

He focuses on one thing and one thing only….helping people get out of debt.

Ramsey probably knows more than most about investing in the stock market or commercial real estate, but he limits what he teaches publicly to that one very specific topic.

He even takes it a step further though…he has ONE SPECIFIC WAY of helping people get out of debt.  This fella is dialed in to the micro specialization model.


STEP 1  | Define your industry and knowledge base at a high level 

For me and Jack, this would be Internet Marketing.  Its the basic niche, or industry.

For you…it could be real estate investing, fitness, dentistry or many other things.  You probably know what it is already.

The key is to define it on a high level at this step, so you leave yourself plenty of options to brainstorm at the next step.

STEP 2 | Break down into smaller more specific areas

In this step, you break down your niche several levels to get several very specific “micro specializtions”.

For example, I’ve been an SEO guy for many years.   This is what mine would look like:

Internet marketing ⇒ SEO ⇒ Backlinking ⇒ Recovering from Penalties
Internet marketing ⇒ SEO ⇒ Content Development ⇒ Speaker/Coaches Niche
Internet marketing ⇒ SEO ⇒ Site Structure ⇒ Ecommerce Sites

You can see that each one of those is VERY specific, and if I were to focus my energy on one of those niches, I would have no problem getting clients that had a need in that area.

STEP 3 | Analyze Each One with the SPAN Method

S – Sub Topics…Are There Enough Specific Subtopics of Each?

Research and see if there is enough subject matter to warrant the need for an expert.  Search for your main terms in Google and look at the “related searches” at the bottom of the page.

You can also go to Amazon and look at the table of content in books on the topic.

P – Pain…Will You Be Able to Help People in Pain?

People in “pain” are always willing to spend more than a person looking to “prevent”.  If you aren’t going into a market where there is already a starving crowd…get out now.

A – Attainable…Can YOU Really Help Them?

Be honest with yourself here.

You may have stumbled on a goldmine of a niche…but if you can’t help the people in it, don’t say you can.

However, you can enter the market slowly and help at a higher level, and work your way up to an authority level.

N – Numbers…Is There Enough of a Market to Warrant You Entering It?

Check for ads in Google to see if people are spending money to attact this audeince.

You can also guage popularity with Facebook groups, industry forums,LinkedIn groups, etc.

STEP 4 | Quickly Become The Authority by Becoming The “Educator & Advocate”

You need to enter as the Educator and Advocate. Be the champion for your prospects and share high quality information on a regular basis.

The best options are a blog, podcast or video blog.   A smart thing to do here is to repurpose your content as much as possible.  We take a single podcast and make it into:

Blog Post
Transcribe for doc sharing
Slide share

Put new content out at least once a week, and over a few months you will have  more content on your subject matter than 99% of any competitor.

Find what’s missing that people want…and hit it hard. Be a machine.

If you are going to bed before midnight, and sleeping later than 5 AM, you have no excuse for not being the #1 content creator in your micro niche.

STEP 5 | Get Your Content In Front of New People

As in the step before, come out swinging for the fences and crank out as much content as you possible can..but not just for your site and web properties.

Offer to guest posts on other non-competing sites, and to be interviewed on podcasts and radio shows.  Podcasters are DYING for guests…you should have no trouble finding a few a month that will interview you.

Using our authority methods (like what we do in Authority Kickstart), you can easily get radio, TV and newspapers interviews too.

So that’s the basic process of claiming your micro specialization.  Take some time today and plan out how you will become an expert on a very specialized  topic within your niche…and stop trying to be the answer to everyone’s problem.

Although, you will miss out on some business opportunities…you will gain MANY more and be able to serve them at a higher level.

If you want more details about this topic, you can listen to the full podcast episode where we discuss it.

You don’t need iTunes or any special player.  You can listen right on this site, right here.

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Brian Horn
Co-Founder at Authority Alchemy
Brian Horn is considered to be the “pioneer of authority marketing”, which has exploded in popularity recently.

His unique methods have been talked about and covered on The Howard Stern Show, Wall Street Journal, ABC, Perez Hilton, CBS News , Forbes, Advertising Age and dozens of other media outlets.

Brian is the co-founder of the consulting firm, Authority Alchemy, and also writes for Huffington Post and Entrepreneur Magazine about authority marketing and personal branding.


  • Mark Edward Brown

    Brian and Jack,

    I like the SPAN method, that’s a new one for me and is a great insight. I would also like to know more about Step 4 and how you create, copy, and re-purpose all of that content? Keep this awsome content coming because you’re better than the “wonder twins” you are more like the Twin Powers of Authority!

    ~Mark Edward Brown

    • Brian Horn

      For us, the base starts with the podcast. Then we:

      …use a piece of the show’s topic as a blog post
      …use the outline of the show for the slideshare.
      …have the show transcribed and use that for doc sharing sites.
      …use the audio of the show with a static image of the episodes album cover as the video
      …use the transcription as a source for a kindle book or a chapter in a larger book

      The first 2, we do, the last 3 are outsourced…and I’ll probably also outsource the slide share soon.

      Transcription is cheap…you can get it for about $1/minute. It’s worth every penny.

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  • Tim Davis

    Brian, this is extremely helpful especially how you identified two authorities and explained how they went into a deeper portion of their niche. On the podcasting, what do you recommend for tools? For example do you recommend BlogTalk? Thanks

  • Sallie Greenleaf

    1) I really like your content! Doing a mind hack to drill down. Interested in high ticket promotion however I am leaning toward service that does not teach how to make more money (any money). Not sure how that works-people will pay for HT when they will get ROI quickly. Also, if I am specializing in one area how do I service my clients at different levels of investment?
    2) these 2 pdf’s on your download page gave me an error code: #14 & 15
    3) Thanks!

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  • Robin Bright

    This is such confirmation. I actually took on a client a few weeks ago within my skill set, but completely out of my niche. Wow, did I “not feel special” when I finished that job. Generally, I talk to my clients, create something magical (I brand pastors, John Maxwell speakers, and Christian authors) and they shout from the rooftops how amazing and beyond their expectations my work is.
    This time I took on a retail product and although I did a fine job, I didn’t feel like NO ONE could have rocked it out of the park better than me, which is how I usually feel!..So, thanks for telling me what I already knew, but needed confirmation about.
    Dialing it in from now on!

  • Jaya Savannnah

    I have a spin-off question on this topic. I have a pretty narrow niche–strategy coaching for holistic businesses. Because of this, I’ve been able to build my authority with some hard-to-get speaking opportunities and some published articles. Yet I really want to break through to my next level of authority recognition. Can a micro-niche such as mine work against me in terms of getting more media exposure? My industry cares, but I’m not sure mainstream media does.

    Enjoying your podcast, BTW. Thanks.

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