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As surprising as it might sound the debate between multi-service providers and niche experts is still very much alive. In fact, for a lot of people who are starting an independent career – either as a freelancer or a solo-entrepreneur – the first step is to decide whether they should offer a little of everything to attract more clients or focus on a few specific topics. It’s natural to want to be active on a variety of boards when you work for yourself. After all, you don’t want to miss an opportunity to make money! However, it’s a grave business mistake to try to become the personified Swiss army knife of the business world. You cannot be competitive if you try to do everything at once. More importantly, you can’t offer quality services when you accumulate tasks, projects, and skills for a broad audience. Instead, you need to take a decision to define who your audience is, and to apply your skills to build a profitable niche. In short, the key is to zoom in, not zoom out.
Why niche experts?
To understand why you need to specialize in niche expertise, you have to think like a business owner. As an entrepreneur, it’s fair to say that you need to customize your equipment to meet your requirements, your processes, and your workflow. From the design of your website to the selection of industrial machinery, you need the right equipment to make it work. Needless to say, the right equipment isn’t possible if you don’t have an expert who understands the needs of your industry. You can’t just buy any machine and hope for the best. Similarly, you can’t just trust any professional with your business. That’s precisely why, for instance, the need for specialist service providers, such as PR for law firms, is continually increasing. As every sector has to comply with a set of industry-specific regulations and technologies, niche advisors are there to provide targeted consulting.
How do you promote your expertise?
Ultimately, it can be difficult to establish yourself as a niche expert when you’re in the process of launching your business or starting freelancing activities. But you can utilize digital resources to build an expert profile that appeals to your target audience. Freelancers, for instance, can use their LinkedIn profiles to develop a niche. If you choose to become an independent copywriter, as an example, you’re not just a copywriter. You can be a B2B Finance copywriter, or a Wedding blog copywriter, etc. The purpose of zooming in by defining your niche is to eliminate unnecessary competition.
But niche means fewer clients, right?
However, it’s fair to say that when you create a niche market, you also work with the relevant niche audience, which is smaller than if you were targeting a broad market. However, it isn’t a bad thing when you think about it. A smaller audience in this situation means that you are more likely to build loyal and strong relationships with your clients, as a result of low competition. Additionally, you can get to make high-profit margins – expert skills are sold for more – and spend less on marketing your activities.
In conclusion, the niche is the way to go as a solo-entrepreneur. You want to gain a competitive edge by promoting your specialist skills to a smaller but more loyal audience. There’s only one problem to solve before you start; you need to find your niche!