Even if you're only just getting started as a freelancer, there's no doubt you've heard of niches. Every blog is talking about them: which one to choose, what the best niches are, and whether you need a freelance niche at all!
Let's cut through the never-ending guides and random opinions: do you really need a freelance niche?
What is a freelance niche?
Before we dive into the reasons to find a freelance niche, what exactly is a niche? Creating a niche as a freelancer means that you’ve focused your freelance work on a specific skill or industry.
By focusing your freelance work on a certain process or corner of the market, you'll typically stick to gigs within that field.
For example: you're a freelance writer who's more than capable of a variety of content like press materials, articles, news stories…the list could go on. However, you've decided you need a freelance niche, so you focus on finding landing page writing jobs.
Although you’ve got many talents, you specialize in landing pages – and that's your niche.
Finding your niche could also mean only taking work in a particular industry. In this case, your skill set can vary but your experience is mostly within one industry.
Taking the same example from above, if you were a landing page writer, you could choose to niche yourself further by choosing an industry to focus on. Perhaps you have experience working with science blogs, so you show off the relevant experience needed to fit in the science blog landing page freelance niche.
Like your freelance career, your niche can be imagined and created exactly the way you want. Don't just stick to what's out there; niche yourself where you're most passionate and comfortable!
So, do you need a freelance niche?
Before you add another step to launching your freelance business, do you really need a freelance niche…or can you get away with being a generalist?
While you may get lucky at first working with your general skill area, one of the fundamentals of freelancing is picking a niche. That's because niches help us to grow our careers strategically and in one direction instead of all over the place.
Focusing on a freelance niche is what turns you into an expert in your field.
Imagine there's a client who wants to build a website for their new farm-to-table restaurant. As the client accepts proposals, they compare these two: one from Bob, a generic digital marketer with a little experience everywhere, and one from you, a food sector marketing specialist with lots of gastronomy knowledge.
Of course, you'd be the star candidate! 🌟
Presenting yourself as a niche freelancer puts your relevant experience at the front-and-center of the proposal. The client will easily envision you having similar success on their project.
If you're interested in raising your freelance rate (and who isn't?), then you definitely need a freelance niche.
Clients who choose a niche freelancer are often happy to pay more for the security that comes with your niche experience. After all, your relevant experience means they don't have to worry; you know what you're doing!
It also makes it easier for clients to communicate their goals for the outcome of this project.
Clients know their business better than anyone and that's what they want to talk about. If you already know the lingo of the industry, you make it that much easier on them!
As the cherry on top, sharing similar experiences will make your relationship with the client more pleasant and friendly.
Working in a niche postures you as an expert, which makes clients more likely to become return customers.
You might be under the assumption that working in a niche will bring you fewer opportunities. Won't it be like working in a low-traffic roundabout, seeing the same jobs over and over.
Good news: that's not the case!
Once your client sees you as an expert, you’ll be their go-to contact person for any related work. They will probably skip even posting the work online and send you an email straight-away.
However, it doesn't stop there.
Some business owners have contacts within their industry and will be happy to pass along your information to the next person needing a similar service.
Overall, working in a niche is a great way to get discovered and gain clients’ trust.
The Benefits of Freelance Niches
One more great thing about niches: they can be anything you want them to be. You can even create your own original niche! On top of giving you full creative control over your career, here's a recap on the benefits of freelance niches:
- You’re more likely to win projects over general freelancing competitors.
- Niche freelancers can easily justify higher rates.
- Clients are more likely to return as customers, bringing new work straight to you.
What do you think? To niche or not to niche? Drop your opinions below!