Why being a specialist doesn't mean saying no.

I look at a lot of freelancer websites. A LOT.

Something that always impresses me is focus. When it comes to my own business, focussing on a niche has always felt like saying no to lots of opportunities. Until now. 💡

First, let’s do the niche limbo…

How niche can you go?

1) I’m a marketing pro.
2) I’m a digital marketing pro.
3) I’m an SEO pro.
4) I do SEO for pet shops.
5) I do local SEO for privately owned pet shops, based in the UK & Ireland.

Focus on a skill, or focus on a target customer.

So you could be a Facebook Ads specialist, or a marketing pro for holiday let owners. Of course, combining the two is also possible. Why not be the person that specialises in Local SEO for florists.

What’s the big idea here? Why bother finding a niche at all?

It’s all about getting clients. If you are THE person to speak to about a specific topic, you become a good person to know.

  • Need help with Instagram Stories? You need to email this guy.

  • Work in the auto industry? Sarah is definitely the only person you should be talking to.

Make it easy for people to refer clients to you. Make it easy for those clients to say yes. Make it easy for potential clients to find you, follow you, and (at some stage) work with you.

Got it. Say no to anything that isn’t in my niche? Well, no.

This is the bit I’ve always struggled with. Whilst I’m always impressed by businesses/people that go niche, I struggle to do the same (and stick to it) myself.

Earlier this week I met with Alex Johnson. His niche is Unbounce Landing Pages. He helped me see that, if the goal is to get great clients with ease, why would you say no to other opportunities that come your way?

So if someone wants to work with you and they fit your niche (they followed you on Twitter, subscribed to your newsletter, joined your Facebook Group), that’s fantastic. Your niche marketing strategy works. 🙌

But if Dave (who you worked with years ago in that job you both hated) calls you up and says, here’s an opportunity for you, take it if you want to. It doesn’t need to go up on your website if it doesn’t fit your niche. And you don’t need to go shouting about it on social. But it’s paid work that’s landed in your lap and there’s no guilt in deviating from your niche.

Clearly there’s a reason why clients like specialists. If you know one thing, chances are you know it really well (whether that’s a skill, an industry, or both). And sticking to that niche allows you to build specialist knowledge and experience that will help clients. But honestly, I feel I could easily argue the huge benefits to popping outside of that niche occasionally too.

What’s your niche? And what’s the most niche business you’ve come across?

Drop me an email. I love getting feedback on my writing.

Gareth K Thomas