When you’re trying to find work as a freelancer it’s really tempting to take the scattergun approach. You market yourself as the graphic designer that can do anything. Logos, website design, YouTube banners, brochures, packaging design, editorial projects…the works. For any company in any industry. You can do it all. But here’s why it might be best not to be a jack of all trades and instead to specialise.
Carving out your own niche can be the best way to succeed as a freelancer and there are a number of reasons for this.
1. Just because you can do everything doesn’t mean you can do it well.
Everyone’s got their strengths and weaknesses. And it’s probably better to focus on the former, because what you create will be excellent. Sure you can improve on your weaker areas, but clients don’t want subpar work in the meantime.
2. You want to be the first person clients think of.
If you really perfect a particular skill and market yourself as the person who does that, people are going to look to you when they have an issue, rather than going to someone who does that among many other things. You want them to think “I need a wedding singer, Jeremy does that – I’ll give him a call”, not “Well, Jeremy says he can do weddings…”
3. It’s easier to get repeat work.
It’s easy to build more long-term business relationships when you specialise, as clients will keep coming back to you for a certain type of work. Businesses like hiring specialists in the first place too, as they know you’ll have the knowledge they need for their project.
4. You’ll really be able to hone your skills.
When you specialise, you can really pour all your energy into a particular area. You’ll get better and better at it and earn more money as a result.
5. But make sure you specialise in something you enjoy!
There’s no point in committing to a life of technical illustration if you’re going to despise every second of it. Choose something you’re good at that you’ll enjoy doing. After all – what’s the point in being a freelancer if every day feels like an endless slog?