Know Your Niche: Finding Success as a Freelancer

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There are a lot of pros to becoming a freelancer that makes launching your own business seem quite attractive. Setting your own hours, not having to wait for time-off requests to be approved, and choosing what projects you want to work on are serious perks.

However, one thing about being your own boss is that you have to work like a boss. You have new responsibilities that as a worker bee, you likely didn’t have before. For example, finding and keeping clients will now be up to you.

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Determining a niche for your business, or one thing that you do better than everyone else can give you the competitive edge to excel in your field.

But how do you go about finding a niche? This article will cover the basic steps of determining what niche is right for you so you can take your first steps towards success.

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Why Should You Have a Niche?

People are more likely to trust experts on topics where they have incomplete knowledge or no knowledge at all. For example, while most people would be okay getting a recommendation from a friend on what restaurants to go to or movies to see if you were making a big financial decision, almost 80% of people defer to expert opinions according to this survey.

The same survey determined that a key factor in listening to experts was how trustworthy that expert was perceived to be. If you are an irrefutable expert in one particular field, then you have established yourself as an authority and a trustworthy source on that topic.

Being an expert in your field has other benefits as well, such as producing better quality, and therefore more desirable, work than your competitors. In addition to producing better quality work, staying on top of research in your field will also allow you to work with greater efficiency due to the fact there will likely be some crossover with your sources and projects.

All of these things combined will start to drive higher quality clients your way, providing more consistent and better-paying jobs as you grow your client base.

How Do You Determine Your Niche?

Drawing a blank when thinking about what your niche should be? Determining a niche can be harder than it seems, and there are several factors to consider. To make this step a little easier to tackle follow the “four Es” to determine your niche, which are:

  • Enjoy
  • Excite
  • Excel
  • Earnings

First, what do you enjoy working on? They say to do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. This statement holds as recent research has found that people were 12% more productive when they were happy and fulfilled. What makes you happy has to do a lot with your particular personality traits and interests, so some self-awareness and introspection are required.

However, that time commitment will also help you with step two, excitement. In this step, you want to determine which of the things you enjoy excites you as a potential business endeavor. Separating which of your passions are hobbies and which are potential profit turners will narrow down your prospective list.

The third E, excel, is where you should start narrowing down your list. Consider what passions you are an expert in and focus on those as a potential niche. For example, you may really enjoy painting and that excites you, but if you are not an expert in art styles and history, painting should stay a hobby and not a hustle.

It is important to remember that not every one of your passions has to turn into a business, it is 100% okay, and even healthy to separate some hobbies from your freelancing niche. Last, but certainly not least, you need to consider your potential earnings.

Even if a certain niche meets all three other E’s if there is no money to be made it is not a sustainable career option. But how do you know if a niche is profitable before you start writing? You’ll have to do some digging. You can start determining how in-demand your particular niche is by checking statistics reporting websites such as Statista. Here you can search by keywords or phrases to bring up articles and raw data surrounding your niche. You can use these reports to determine how many, and how frequently, companies are using your service.

Additionally, services like Google trends allow you to research the number of people searching for keywords related to your niche in particular geographical areas, which is an indispensable tool in deciding where to set up if your business will not be relatively mobile. Lastly, you may check various job boards or marketplaces to see how many people are actually requesting services for your niche right now.

Starting your new life as a freelancer is a lot of work, and finding your niche is imperative to stand out in a crowded marketplace. However, with the right passion and a little hard work, you can experience the freedom of freelancing.


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