Too many freelancers believe it’s enough to find a niche that seems “OK”, and just dive in.
If you want your freelance business to be as profitable, productive and enjoyable as possible, there are five elements you need to consider.
Element #1: Find a niche where competition from other freelancers is low.
This is the process of finding the “gap”, which was the topic of an earlier post.
What you need to do is move far away from where hordes of other freelancers are fighting over the same groups of prospective clients. Get away from the crowd and find yourself a niche within a niche.
Find a place where the need is great, but the supply of qualified, dedicated freelancers is close to non-existent.
Easier said than done? Absolutely. But it’s worth the effort.
Element #2: Match the niche to your areas of expertise.
You have a unique set of work and life experiences. Where do your strengths lie? What are you good at? Which areas of business and commerce do you know the most about?
The more you draw on your strengths, the easier you will find it to become the recognized authority within your chosen niche. And that’s what you want. You want to be THE person people think of first when it comes to writing or copywriting within a particular area.
You don’t want to compete. You don’t want to be compared to other freelancers in the same field. You want to OWN that field.
Element #3: Make sure you are going to enjoy your work.
I don’t think people pay enough attention to this one. It is essential that you enjoy the kind of work you are doing.
Sure, we are all professionals and we can work on whatever is given to us. But we’ll do our best work and be at our most productive when we are enjoying what we do.
This is particularly important for freelancers. When we sit at our desks each day we can either jump at the chance to start work. Or we can drag ourselves to the chair and put in a day of work, reluctantly.
You want to jump. It makes life more fun, and you’ll be a lot more successful as a result.
Element #4: Make sure your clients have money to spend.
You want to find a niche where the players are professional and have the budgets to pay the fees you ask for.
What you absolutely don’t want to do is work in an area where your clients are trying to beat you down on your prices.
This often means looking at medium-sized and larger businesses. Very small companies and start-ups can be interesting to work with, but are more likely to spin you a yarn about how they can only pay a little now, but in the future… (insert wishful thinking here).
Element #5: Make sure you can reach your prospects efficiently.
When someone tells me they are going to specialize in the health market, I ask them how they plan to reach the tens of thousands of companies which sell health-related products and services. Tough question to answer.
But when someone says to me that they are going to specialize in writing for the manufacturers of diagnostic equipment being sold large hospitals, I know that he or she is going to find it much easier to identify and locate his or her prospects.
If you are just starting out as a freelancer, you would do well to consider choosing a niche that satisfies all of these five elements. A niche that satisfies them all will put you on the road to being a lot more productive and profitable, and happier too.
If you are already established in your career, and one of more of these elements doesn’t match what you are doing right now, take the time to reflect and start making adjustments to the way you position yourself and get new work.
If you would like help putting these five elements in place, learn more about my coaching service…