Who really loves your business? Of course you do, but you don’t count. A better question is: which portion of the public out there really loves your freelance writing business?
You’d like to think everyone who has the need for a writer loves your business, but that’s simply not the truth. Not everyone is going to love your business nor will they be able to use the services you provide. Acting like that’s even remotely possible can be a huge burden to your company.
That’s why, in my humble opinion, many smart writers find a niche to fill. Specializing your company can give you a foothold in a market that’s otherwise giving you trouble. In fact, if you’re not specializing and actively filling a niche, you’re probably losing money.
Why a Specialty Just Works
To understand why you should consider turning your freelance writing business into a niche business, let’s hop into the shoes of an average client. Mr. Joe Plumber needs some blogging work to help boost the visibility of his company. Not really knowing anything about blogging, he turns to the Internet to help him find someone to write for him.
Mr. Plumber didn’t realize it, but there are zillions of freelance writers out there all looking for work. As soon as he hits “Search” he’s bombarded with names of people offering to write for him. There’s no way for him to decide who to pick, even when he limits the search to his local area.
However, Mr. Plumber gets an idea and searches for “freelance writers + Plumbing.” Perhaps not surprisingly, only a handful of names pop up. Now he just has to call or email them to see who can help him.
Now imagine you actually have quite a bit of plumbing experience. You thought limiting your client base by specializing in the subject would hurt your business so you instead to market as broadly as possible. You don’t even mention your former career as a plumber on your website. Unfortunately, that just meant Mr. Plumber looked right over your contact info.
How to Start
So you see how specializing in a niche area can actually give you an advantage. The freelance writing world is so swamped with your competitors it’s wise to use any advantage you can find. Focusing on a niche subject and becoming an expert in it rather than writing about anything and everything can become a huge advantage.
But how to start? How do you pick a subject to focus on? For starters, it’s best to go with something that you’re already passionate about. Not only will it be an easier jump for your business the writing may be significantly better since you know and love whatever it is.
Now, use a site like Social Mention to get an idea if there’ s a niche available to you. Not every subject you would like to focus on is going to work as a specialty. Sometimes there will already be tons of people writing about the subject.
Of course that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. So what if there are already a ton of travel and sports writers? Maybe yours could be the new voice of a generation.
Before You Protest
When I recommend specialization I inevitably hear “But what if I can’t find clients?” Specialization is not the end of the world or your career. Just because you write mainly about plumbing doesn’t mean that you can’t go after other types of clients if the plumbing work dries up. Specialization does not equal painting (plumbing?) yourself into a corner, but can give your work a focus and drive that you just won’t have as a generalist.
What do you think? Is specialization the way to go? Please share your story in the comments!
- Writers: Why You’re Losing Clients and Money As a Generalist - May 2, 2013
- 4 Tools for Freelance Writers (You Might Not Have Heard Of) - April 4, 2013
- How Not to Get Screwed as a New Freelancer - February 4, 2013