The very idea may make you frustrated. After all, do you really want to limit your options when you’re prospecting for clients? The knee-jerk reaction may be, “of course not!”
However, if you’ve been around successful freelancers (or read B2B Writing Success for any length of time) then you’ve heard the advice to specialize. In other words, to niche.
The reasoning is sound, and there are a lot of success stories to prove it.
Writers with specialties find it easier to focus their marketing, can point to industry examples, and often command higher rates than generalists.
However, there’s also evidence that supports diversifying. After all, if you strictly specialized in real estate or financial writing, the 2008 crash would have severely flattened your income.
In this article, I’ll show you how you can do both. Specialize without feeling like you’re pigeonholing yourself yet also diversify your portfolio. Over time, you may find yourself with three or four specialties, which can help keep things interesting while providing focus.
Your Website Is Your Friend
Now, if you haven’t already gotten a basic writer’s website up and running, you’ll want to make that a priority. It’s an essential part of following this approach which works especially well once you’ve gotten some writing experience under your belt (no matter how limited).
Once you have your general website up and running, it’s simple to add additional pages highlighting specific expertise. As an example, let’s say you’ve written a couple of case studies and a few blog posts in the industries of HR and finance. You could put links to them on your “Samples” page. That would be a good idea.
However, you could ALSO create separate pages on your site for each specialty. One page for “HR writer” and another one for “finance writer” (or go deeper with “blockchain finance writer” or whatever makes sense for you).
It helps compartmentalize your work and helps prospects see you as a specialist in their industry. Imagine needing a doctor for knee pain… Do you want your generalist to treat you or do you want to see a specialist who works with knees daily? It’s no different for prospects. They want to work with people who know their industry.
Three Benefits to Creating Specialty Pages
- Simplicity — When prospects ask you for samples, they want relevant ones. So, if you’re pitching your case study writing services to blockchain tech companies, then it makes sense to corral your examples on a specific page of your site.
That way, you can send the link and they can see what they need to see right away. (By the way, you don’t have to have a ton of samples to make this work. Even two or three is okay.) Prospects are busy. Make it easy for them to hire you.
- Expertise — Prospects don’t want a jack-of-all-trades. They want a writer who understands their industry and will be able to deliver a clean draft that hits the mark. When you send them a link to a specific page that showcases your samples in their industry, they can see your previous work and are more likely to consider you an expert in their industry.Bonus, this puts you in position of being able to charge more money too.
- SEO Value — While prospects typically ask for referrals rather than conduct Google searches, it won’t hurt to name your Samples page with your expertise. I think you’ll agree, “blockchain finance writer” is more specific and targeted than “freelance writer” and you may be surprised by the inbound marketing that specificity creates.
As you can see, it’s not difficult to segment your writing into different topic areas so you can “niche without niching.” Instead of thinking of niching as limiting your writing prospects, you can think of it as building expertise in a handful of areas which will make your marketing easier and help you command a higher rate.
That way, you have the best of both worlds, a simplified process for directing clients to specific web pages and the ability to add new writing specialties as you like without feeling like you’re limiting yourself.
Have you added specialty pages to your site? Did it simplify your marketing?