Discover 3 simple ways to become the undisputed expert in your chosen niche!
Picking a niche as a freelancer is a pretty controversial topic. In essence, what niching down means is refusing to work with most businesses. For many freelancers, this evokes feelings of fear, because on the surface it means turning down income. It feels like leaving money on the table.
But what almost everybody who has successfully chosen a niche will tell you, is that the opposite is true. What can initially feel like scarcity is actually abundance.
In this article, I am going to help you get started in choosing your niche. I’m going to help you uncover your ideal client so that you can tailor your offering and build a more profitable and exciting freelance business.
How to find your client niche
On the face of it, niching down looks like selecting a market segment. For example, if you are a copywriter, you might choose to only work with independent cafes. You might tailor your entire offering around these types of businesses, and turn down all opportunities from clients who don’t fit this niche.
Whilst this makes complete sense, it is the outcome of a thought process. What is important is how you come to choose your niche. It is crucial to give it due consideration; not simply pluck your niche from the air and hope that it works out. Here are some tips for uncovering niches that might interest you:
What interests do you have outside of work?
Niching is about joining your skillset with your interests. One of the best indicators for your ideal audience is in what you spend your time doing outside of the office. Perhaps you have an interest in football or play in a band. Maybe you’re a political activist or have a love of vegan food. Think about how you can marry your technical or creative skills with your interests in these areas. Perhaps you could develop a subscription product for local football teams, one that they could pay to access each month. Maybe you could become an illustrator for vegan food brands. Join your passion with your skills and you can develop a unique offering that your ideal client will absolutely love.
What are your proudest accomplishments in work?
Unfortunately, many freelancers take on projects simply to pay the bills. This doesn’t leave much scope to really engage in the work and produce something that they’re genuinely proud of. If you feel this way, niching will almost certainly help.
Think deeply about a time when you’ve stepped back from your work and smiled. Perhaps you developed your own WordPress theme, wrote an amazing article, or created an engaging video. These moments hold the key to what makes you truly happy. The challenge here, if you wish to accept it, is to reflect on why you enjoyed these moments so much. What was it that made you proud? Take time to dwell on this and write down your thoughts and feelings. This can give you some helpful direction when seeking a client niche.
When you visualise your future, what do you see?
Most freelancers begin their careers without a clear view of the future. They save up some cash in the bank and quit their job to freelance full-time. The problem here is that they don’t give themselves the vision to work toward.
What’s your vision? If you can’t answer that, it helps to imagine the future. Fast-forward a few years. Consider the following:
- Where are you?
- What’s the expression on your face?
- What are you doing?
- Who else is there?
- What else can you see and hear?
Visualizing the future can be helpful to give you direction. Many freelancers feel that they lack a clear path in the first years of their career, but visualization gives you an opportunity to dream. And when you dream, your desires manifest. What do you see? What don’t you see? Tuning into this vision can help lead you to your ideal client niche.
Putting this together
By exploring these ideas you can put yourself on a path to massive growth. Unfortunately most freelancers, myself included, don’t think about this stuff when they first start out. They follow their nose. This can be helpful in the very early days, but sooner or later you’ll probably feel the urge to specialize.
The world is changing. More and more people are choosing to specialize in a given area, to become trusted experts in a given niche. As a freelancer, it’s important that you do the same. When you do, you put yourself in a strong position to thrive in whatever challenges come your way.