Choosing to specialise as a freelancer can be a surprisingly difficult decision to make. Narrowing down the subjects you’re willing to work on can really go against the grain of a good work ethic – especially for a freelancer living on an already precarious income.
While it seems like a counterproductive decision, specialising in just one or two subjects as a freelancer can mean you’re making yourself more desirable to clients. Here are just some of the reasons why specialising as a freelancer is the way to go.
Become an expert in your field
Allowing yourself just one or two areas to specialise in means you’re able to dedicate your time to learning everything there is to know within these areas. You’ll then be able to become an expert in your field, meaning more recognition – and more money.
As your skills grow in your specialist area, you’ll be able to advise clients more readily and take on longer lasting, higher paying jobs. This will also mean you don’t end up spreading yourself too thinly.
Networking becomes less stressful
Utter the word ‘networking’ and it’s enough to send freelancers all over the globe into immediate panic mode. The stuffy room, forced small talk and swapping of business cards creates a corporate atmosphere every freelancer runs from.
However, for those who have decided to target a niche market with their services, they’re able to create a streamlined networking plan. For example, if you’re a freelance writer specialising in fashion, you know exactly who you want from your connections.
You’re able to look for the events that will benefit you and speak to people with a genuine interest of their work. You’ll make valuable contacts who want to work with you – and who will know you’re the real deal.
You have a marketing angle
Of the same ilk as networking is creating your marketing strategy. If you’re a freelancer without a niche area to market in, this can get a bit tricky. Having a broad area of work means you have two options when it comes to your marketing technique. Come up with an exuberant personal brand that will get you instantly noticed, or don’t get noticed at all.
However, if you already have a specific target audience to aim your services at, your job as chief marketer will be a whole lot easier. Once you’ve begun, you’d be surprised at how easy it can be to focus a strategy around your chosen topic.
Less competitive market
While you may think you’re narrowing down your options by cutting off other avenues of freelancing, you’re actually helping your finances out a lot. By narrowing down your services, you’re competing with a smaller market for clients.
While others may be more specialised than you, it will be easier to narrow down your competition and learn from their marketing tactics. You’ll soon be able to climb your way up the ladder and have ‘industry specialist’ tagged to your LinkedIn profile page.
Specific, relevant, interesting work
The work you do a specialist freelancer will be very different from work you would do as a freelancer covering a broad range of topics.
Those who don’t specialise will often find themselves with very random tasks to carry out, all of which will require a lot of research – taking up more of your precious freelancing time. There’s no guarantee that you’re going to enjoy the work you have to do either, which can mean you’re landed with large pieces of work you have no interest in.
For those specialising, provided you choose a topic that you find riveting to research, you will always be interested in what you’re working on for your clients. However, it can’t hurt having a couple of specialist areas, as you’ll be able to switch it up in case things get a little mundane.
Do you specialise in one area as a freelancer? Or do you cater to a variety of subjects within your line of work? Leave us a comment below and tell us your thoughts!