Should I Take That Project? Checklist

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Here's one of Deidre's oldie-but-goodie blog posts that a reader wanted to share -- so I'm bringing it back to the top.

Like I have said many times, having a niche gives me confidence and comfort

I know I can do great work inside my market (creative professionals and service providers who want personality-rich words for their websites, newsletters and blogs)—and that’s all the satisfaction I need.

But lately (it must be the heat!), I’ve been stepping outside my market a tad for projects that aren’t my usual, including:

  • Web copy for a financial data consultant
  • Web copy for a woman who knits golf club covers
  • Blurbs about tourist destinations

Thankfully, the projects all went well.

Why did I say yes? A few things stood out. (A solid budget isn’t enough to make a project a good fit!) To make deciding easier in the future, I made myself a checklist.

Venture outside your target market if…

__They want to show personality.

__They want to differentiate themselves.

__They communicate well.

__They’re passionate.

__They know this isn’t my specialty and want to move forward anyway.*

__I can fully understand what they do.

__I can clearly see its value.

__I can get inside the heads of their ideal clients.

__I acknowledge that there will be a learning curve and I have time to invest.

__I want to!

I only accept a project when I’m confident I can do it well. But I also think it’s fair that my prospect knows it’s a bit of a jump for me. (This might require more time or patience on their end.) For my recent niche-breaking projects, the prospects responded to this information by saying:

  • I want an outside perspective.
  • We really need to change things up.
  • I’ve read your entire website and you’re the writer for us.

If I haven’t done a project similar to theirs, I suppose my confidence will never be at 100%. But if they can make up the missing 5%, then I’m comfortable moving forward.

Still need a niche? Get the Pick a Niche Kit so all of your decisions can be based on a strong, specialized foundation.

When do you step outside your niche? Do your niche-breaking projects have something in common?

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