It is important to concentrate on a niche, as a freelancer.
One way freelancers can boost their leverage in pay rate negotiations is by developing a “specialty” niche market or area of expertise. With a little extra effort and focus, freelancers can polish and hone their skills to make their work more valuable to their clients.
How Clients Benefit from Your Niche Specialization
Your work will represent clients to their customers and colleagues, so they want to know that you can discuss their field or industry knowledgeably. When you develop a specialty niche, they will be the beneficiaries:
You make them look good. Because you already have experience in your particular field or "niche", you can provide work of high quality. You know what you're talking about, and you can produce industry specific projects in your client’s field.
You're fast and reliable. You don't need to spend hours researching a topic to understand it. You've got experience behind you, so even if you need more information, you know exactly where to look.
You're not too busy. Because you have a niche, you can pursue projects that interest you or pertain to your area of expertise. This means you will be able to provide more personalized service to the client, producing higher quality work more quickly.
How You Benefit When You Specialize
Developing a niche benefits you as well. As you learn more about your chosen field, your projects will become more interesting to you and you will experience all of the following:
You develop a reputation for quality. Because you have developed specialized knowledge in your freelancing efforts, word will spread about the quality of your work in that niche. Clients will use your services again and refer you to their contacts in the industry.
Quality Work + More Time = Money. With a reputation for quality work and a quick turnaround, you will have clients clamoring for your services, instead of the other way around. This means you can ask with confidence for a higher pay rate.
Less stress, more focus. When you become an expert in your field, you can pick and choose which projects you want to accept rather than fighting a crowd of freelancers for any small job here or there. Fewer projects for higher pay, means less stress for you!
What Is Your Area of Expertise?
You probably already have a niche and don't even know it. Look at your past projects and identify trends in subject or theme. It may be a topic you've always found interesting or even a hobby you enjoy on the side. Take time to develop a portfolio of quality work in this niche and patiently pursue clients in the field as you develop your special talents.
There is some quality training material about how to focus on a niche. One of the leading courses has been written by John Soares. The title of his training book is: Find Your Freelance Writing Niches: Make More Money for Less Work.