If there's one thing I know from personal experience, it's that having a niche (a.k.a. target market, specialty or focus) is one of the surest ways to justify higher fees, win better clients and stand out from the crowd of creative professionals who do what you do.
But if there's one thing I encounter daily, it's a lack of understanding about what it really means to choose a niche.
Everyone assumes is like a light switch that you flip.
It's not! It's more like a dimmer, that starts out low and gradually brightens, the more time you invest in it, until it's shining brighter than anyone else's!
That's why I wrote The Pick a Niche Kit.
And that's why I love "The Absolute Best Way to Attract Bigger, Better Clients,” a recent post from The Mighty Marketer, Lori De Milto, who graciously asked me to contribute some ideas about exactly how to evolve a niche.
Excerpted below is the story of how she evolved her own niche.
Expect Your Specialty to Evolve
It takes time to find the right specialty(ies). Most freelancers, including me, start out more broadly and narrow down their specialty(ies) over time. As you get more experience, you’ll learn more about where to find the best clients and the projects you like best. You may even totally change your specialty(ies).
Here’s how my specialty evolved:
Specialty #1: Freelance medical writer
This was way too broad, because medical writing is a huge market with dozens of types of clients and dozens of types of writing opportunities.
As I got more experience, I learned that there are 2 basic types of medical writers (freelance or employed): marketing communications and scientific. With my background in journalism, I was definitely a marketing communications medical writer.
Specialty #2: Freelance marketing communications medical writer
So I narrowed my specialty, but even within medical marketing communications, there are lots of types of clients and lots of freelance writing opportunities.
Specialty #3: Freelance medical writer for healthcare marketers and health organizations
My third and current specialty is medical marketing communications for hospitals, large medical practices, disease-focused health organizations, and communications agencies working in healthcare. This is much narrower and more focused than my earlier specialties.
(Read the rest of Lori's post here: "The Absolute Best Way to Attract Bigger, Better Clients.”)
Ready to pick your niche? Here are my 3 favorite resources:
- How to Pick the Best, Smartest Niche for Your Freelance Business (my interview with Ed Gandia on his podcast)
- The Niche Notebook from Flaunt My Design (with 300+ niche examples)
- The Pick a Niche Kit