By Angie Nelson
Regardless of your service offerings, you can benefit from specializing. Freelance writers, graphic designers, virtual assistants and even social media managers are able to niche. That may mean working with a specific type of person or on a specific type of project. The possibilities are endless. And the reasons behind getting specific are plentiful.
Why Should a Freelancer Specialize?
It’s difficult and expensive to market to everyone for everything.
And let’s not just think of the monetary investment but the time involved. And with no focus how will you ever make a meaningful connection? Chances are good that your message is coming across as vague because you aren’t willing to commit. The end result: all of those people you are trying to talk to really aren’t sure whether you are a good fit for them or not.
You can demand more money.
It’s all about perceived value when a customer makes any kind of purchase. We automatically value the opinion and product of a specialist or an expert more than a jack of all trades. Clients want someone with industry experience. If I am hiring a blog assistant for my beauty blog it makes my job much easier if the person I am hiring is already involved in this niche. They know what readers are looking for, they know the active communities and etiquette and they know where to go to get the job done without much training or hand-holding. That is value.
You are always up-to-date on your industry of choice.
If you are writing about health and wellness news day after day, you know exactly what is going on without a lot of further research and legwork. That means a better product for your clients and a higher rate on your time investment.
A better product equals better ROI for your client equals happy customer. Happy customers are return customers.
You know where the clients are.
And you may already know them and/or have an expert reputation in the industry.
How Do You Choose?
What do you know?
The last thing you want to do is offer a service you do not fully understand. The only thing worse than no clients is unhappy clients. Assess your knowledge. Are you WordPress savvy? Can you write great copy? Are you a lead generating machine? Can you keep a Facebook conversation going for days?
What do you love?
Even though you know something like the back of your hand doesn’t mean you should build a business around it. If there is a task you don’t enjoy, don’t offer it. There is no quicker road to burnout than forcing yourself into the daily grind you turned to freelancing to avoid. Every so often you may need to provide services you would rather not for one reason or another. But, you should not create a service list around those.
Who do you know?
If there is no one interested in paying for those services on your Know-How Love List, you still aren’t paying the bills. At the end of the day, it’s always about your clients’ needs not your own. Assess the market. Are their people out there willing and able to pay for what you have to offer? The business world runs on supply and demand. Are there others out there offering similar services? Good sign. Are there people out there seeking what you have to offer? Great sign! (Not sure how to measure demand? Are companies out there hiring those with your skill set?)
Don’t get wrapped up in all of the emotional excuses – I don’t have a cool name, I don’t have a cool website, I don’t have cool business cards, I just have so many passions… I love this definition of passion from Cal Newport:
“Passion: The feeling that arises from have mastered a skill that earns you recognition and rewards.”
That's what gets me up in the morning!
You may not get it right the first time. But, you have to get started. Test, measure, improve.
How did you choose your freelance specialty? Or have you?
Angie Nelson has been a virtual assistant and serial blogger since 2007 when she took her future into her own hands and found a way to escape the corporate cubicle farm. Today she balances several successful online ventures and still manages to share her passion for home business and blogging with others on her blogs The Work at Home Wife and Beauty Blogging Bliss.