I’m a big fan of choosing a niche when you set up as a freelance writer or copywriter.
By that I mean that you should not set up as a generalist: “Hi, my name is Nick and I can write your direct mail, your social media, your White Papers, your video scripts and more…across every industry imaginable from the fashion world to industrial fastenings, and everything in between!”
If I did that I would be perceived as a generalist, a jack of all trades and master of none. How can people see me as an expert if I claim to be “expert” at everything?
It’s far better if you decide to become a true expert within a defined niche.
You can niche yourself by industry, “I serve companies in the consumer electronics industry.” Or by writing skill, “I write shareable content for the web and for social media.”
Do that and your prospective clients will know what you do, and choose you over other freelancers because you are an expert in your particular specialty.
But is it possible to choose a niche that is actually too narrow?
For sure it is. For example, I wouldn’t recommend, “I write White Papers for companies selling typewriters to nostalgic authors.”
That said, some niches which might appear to be too narrow may well not be.
I was inspired to think about this when I received a couple of emails in response to the launch of my own latest freelance venture, ZeroDecaf.com.
My new niche is serving the online marketing needs of coffee companies that sell to coffee enthusiasts at home. Coffee grinders, brewers, espresso machines, coffees, coffee subscriptions etc.
When it was suggested to me that this niche might be too narrow, my first reaction was, “Are you kidding me?”
But then I sat back and tried to look at this through the eyes of a stranger. When I do that, I can understand why someone might think this niche is a little narrow.
But a stranger to the coffee industry doesn’t know what I know.
– The retail value of the U.S. coffee market is over $30 billion a year
– Americans drink over 400 million cups of coffee a day
– Over 80% of all that coffee is consumed at home
That’s why my first reaction was, “Are you kidding me?” There are a lot of companies out there selling coffee and coffee making equipment to consumers who make coffee at home. And there are some huge dollars involved.
There are a few lessons to be learned here.
First, the better you know the market you want to choose for your niche, the more informed and reliable your choice will be. In other words, don’t choose a niche until you understand it and know there is a real opportunity there.
Second, once you have done your homework and chosen your niche, don’t get distracted or downhearted by reactions from people who don’t know the market as well as you do.
Third, if you know your niche is a strong one, but other people don’t, give yourself a pat on the back. If other freelancers don’t “get it ” the way you do, you’ll have a lot less competition within your niche.
(Fourth, don’t write an article like this one, broadcasting to other freelancers that your niche rocks!)
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