Figure out what you love to do, and then go out and be the best at it.
Would you hire a plumber to come to your house and paint your portrait? Probably not, a professional artist would most likely do a better job. Just the same, you wouldn’t hire someone known for web development to design your logo. Graphic design for example, covers a lot of ground. It could mean anything from designing brochures, to logos, to web design and anything in between. That being said, being a freelance graphic designer doesn’t mean you have to do everything. Defining your specialty and finding your niche could be one of the best things you do for your business.
Here’s a quick story:
My first year in business, I was doing everything. Logo design, creating blog templates, learning html/css, print design, full web development… needless to say it was exhausting and stressful. At the end of the first year I took a look back and tried to pinpoint what was working with my freelancing business, and what needed to change. What I found was that I hated web design/development. I was completely self taught when it came to coding, so I had to learn as I went along. The majority of the time, my creative ideas were way beyond my technical skills in that area. What I realized I did love, was print design, static web graphics and designing pdfs.
I decided I was going to say no to all the web design jobs that came my way and focus more on print work. Not only was I less stressed, but my work improved, as well as my income. I was able to really focus in on what I enjoyed doing, and in turn become so much more productive.
The great thing about running your own business is that you don’t have to work on projects that don’t excite you.
What I would encourage you to do is sit down and figure out what you enjoy and what you don’t. This can change at any time, but if you don’t try and do it all, you’re more likely to be successful in your niche.
Grab a pen and paper and try this quick exercise (Or download my free printable exercise here):
- If you’re already in business, write down everything you’re currently doing for clients/offering as products. If you’re just starting out, write down everything you know how to do and are considering offering as services/products.
- Now that you have a list, cross off the things that you dread working on. There’s no need to work on projects you can’t stand.
- Now with your smaller list, circle the items that take you a long time to complete. With these circled items, figure out which are worth taking time to learn ways to be more efficient and productive, and which you want to scrap for now.
You should now have a list of 3-4 main services/products that you can offer your clients.
This list can absolutely be changed once you get started. Once you’re working with customers, you’ll start to see what you hate/enjoy and what types of services/products are in demand. What you want to do is be the go-to person for [insert your business here!]
None of this is written and stone, and you can change at any time. But overall, defining your specialty, and working on projects you really enjoy, will definitely make your business more of a success.