As a freelancer without a consistent income, it’s tempting to take any job you can. But being selective about the projects you take can allow you to niche into specific industries and build your business. Specializing makes you more money with less work and provides clients with better quality deliverables.
This article explains the benefits of having a niche as a freelancer, including how it builds your brand identity, boosts your workflow, and makes you more desirable than your competitors.
Create and communicate a clear brand identity
Your elevator pitch is an integral part of your business. It’s how you communicate what you do. Stating you’re a freelancer who’s open to any work doesn’t express this brand identity. You can’t differentiate yourself from the competition or increase your noteworthiness this way. That’s why a niche is so important—it gives you a story and an identity that people will remember.
Suppose a restaurant owner is looking for branding and design services. If their friend knows two graphic designers—one specialized in the restaurant industry and another who’s open to any work—the restauranteur’s friend will likely think of the graphic designer who works explicitly for restaurants first because of their clear brand identity. They may further believe the first graphic designer is a better fit because their brand identity communicates they’ve had prior experience providing design services to restaurants.
Leverage past experiences to boost your workflow
When you develop a niche, you build a wealth of knowledge about particular industries. Whether it’s insurance, tech, or disaster management, each subsequent project requires less initial research because you’re not starting from square one—you have a foundation to springboard off of.
For example, if given a cannabis content writing project, a content writer specializing in cannabis needs to do less research than someone with little-to-no experience in the cannabis industry. As a result, the first content writer can finish the project faster with the same or better end product. A client is happy to receive the deliverable more quickly, and the writer is delighted to make the same amount of money in less time.
Give potential clients a reason to choose you over the competition
Most people go to Ikea or Wayfair to buy furniture because these stores specialize in selling furniture. They may go to a boutique store if they want something more specific such as antique furniture. Your potential clients see your freelance business no differently. They generally prefer a freelancer who’s specialized, not only in the service they need but also in their specific industry.
Clients may do this for several reasons. They may have had bad prior experiences with generalist freelancers, leading them to search for someone who understands their industry. Niched freelancers need less guidance and help to tackle a project because they’ve worked with similar clients before.
If you have specialized knowledge, you can also provide insights and ideas that your competitors can’t. This means a better end product for your clients. And, because having a niche means that you’re in higher demand and can provide a better end product, it can warrant a premium for your services. So not only can you work faster due to your niche, but you can charge more.
A niche is a powerful tool for freelancers to differentiate their services from the competition. It can help increase your productivity and service rates at the same time, meaning you work for more money while spending less time on projects. It’s also a reason why your next client may choose you over their other options.