When it comes to freelancing, understanding what sets you apart from the competition is imperative if you want to earn a decent living. Why? Because you need to sell yourself to your clients and show why you’re the perfect person to work on their project. An excellent way to do this is to position yourself within a specific niche, as opposed to blanketly trying to appeal to a mass audience. Articulating your niche skills isn’t easy, but with a bit of patience and research, you can achieve your desired results in no time at all. Here are eight tips to help you get started.
Start with the bigger picture.
Before you limit yourself, you need to begin with the bigger picture. For instance, if you know you want to ghostwrite children’s fiction for aspiring e-book authors, begin your search by understanding what it takes to be a ghostwriter. If you get too far ahead of yourself and don’t conduct the necessary research, you can get lost on your way to your niche. Think of honing and refining your skills as a process and begin with the basics before getting too specialist.
Consider what you’re passionate about.
Understanding and articulating your niche is much easier when you think about your passions. We’re all passionate about something, and interlacing your passions with your freelancing gig is the perfect way to ensure you will deliver exceptional work to your clients. For example, if you’re a sports fanatic, think about pitching your offer as a sportswriter or analyst. You could go one step further and offer content on a specific sport or league if you wish. Your passions will shine through when you deliver on your projects, so it’s a good idea to align them when you’re considering your niche.
Focus on your individual skills and talents.
As well as your passions, you need to think carefully about what you’re actually good at. You might, for instance, be amazing at producing captivating social media posts for influencers within the travel industry. However, when it comes to producing similar content for multi-national corporations, you struggle to find the same level of consistency and the posts lack engagement. As such, it’s a good idea to market your skills to the niche that you know you’re capable of working within, as this will guarantee you repeat custom with happy clients.
Social media can be a wonderful place if you put it to good use. If you look in the right places, you will be able to find content produced by freelancers in a whole host of niches. Check out the profiles of influencers that operate within a niche that you think you might like to work in. While you shouldn’t copy their work or necessarily aspire to replicate what they do, looking at their profiles and associated links will give you an excellent idea of what’s expected. You can then use this as a benchmark and have a reference point as you begin your journey as a freelancer.
Read specialist books and guides within your industry.
Whatever your skills are, you can find many books that will help you articulate your skills. Whether you’re a web developer, photographer, or a writer, you will be able to take some pearls of wisdom from books that have been published about or within your industry. Reading widely from authors who have succeeded will not only provide you with inspiration, but will also provide you with ideas about how to position yourself as a freelancer. Providing you keep notes and heed the advice, you will learn a lot from published authors.
Subscribe to successful bloggers that inspire you.
The gig economy is full of entrepreneurs who blog about their experiences and success. You can often find these people on social media or even from a simple Google search. Read through their content and learn about how they became a successful food blogger or a virtual assistant while traveling the world. While they might not spell out how to position yourself within your desired niche, they will show you how they did it for themselves. If you’re clever, you will be able to mimic their success and relate it to your own work.
Don’t confine yourself to a niche that’s too specialist.
As we mentioned in the introduction, finding your niche isn’t always easy. You need to strike a balance between reaching enough people and offering bespoke services that will appeal to your desired audience. Getting it wrong can be disastrous for your fledgling career as a freelancer. We would advise you to begin with a niche that isn’t too specialist. For instance, to continue with the example we presented in point one, if you want to ghostwrite children’s fiction for aspiring eBook authors, you might want to begin by offering your services as a ghostwriter, children’s writer, or perhaps a fiction writer. Over time, you can begin to refine your offer and position yourself within the niche you aspire to work in.
Be willing to test, pivot, and try new things.
To be a successful freelancer in any field, you need to be adaptable and willing to try new things. Some things you try won’t work out, in spite of your best intentions. But don’t beat yourself up. Use it as a learning experience and try something different. Many people settle on their niche as a result of much trial and error; it doesn’t always come naturally! If you realize you’ve had success within a particular field when you were least expecting it, that’s great! But if you need to pivot and try something new, just be aware that it’s perfectly normal for freelancers and nothing to be ashamed of.
Finding your niche skills as a freelancer is a process that takes time. You will have to do your research and think carefully about how you want to position yourself. You will also need to be willing to learn from others, try new things, and potentially even change your direction if things don’t work out the first time. Whatever you do, just don’t be too strict on yourself and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.