Find your Freelance Niche with this Simple Strategy
One of the most common questions I get from my students in my Cultivate a Successful Freelance Career course is:
“How do I find my freelance niche, and what skills should I focus on?”
It’s important to know what type of freelancer you are. You don’t necessarily need to identify as just a freelance designer, or just a freelance developer because you may be able to do both! But you need to know what your primary focus is (or “niche” as some may call it).
You should know exactly the types of services you are able to offer, and you should offer only what you are able to deliver at a very high level of proficiency.
Sure, you can be the guy/gal who offers “everything”, but are you actually able to deliver “everything” at high quality and value? If so, call me, I need to hire you for an upcoming project. Otherwise, you’re making a mistake.
In order to help you decide what kind of freelance business you’re going to build, we’re going to adopt a strategy I’ve designed over the years as a freelancer, as a self-employed individual, as an entrepreneur. It’s called…
The Freelancer Focus Pyramid
The focus pyramid is a strategy I developed to help freelancers understand exactly what they should be focusing on in order to build, and grow their freelance business. The focus pyramid forces you to understand:
- The Primary Focus of your business
- and the skills you need to master
- The Secondary Focus of your business
- and the skills you need to constantly improve
- The Tertiary Focus of your business
- and the skills you should understand, but should pay others to do for you
[A bare bones example of a Freelancer Focus Pyramid.]
I like this strategy, because it helps you see what you should truly be focusing on in your business, and exactly what skills you need to master.
You may not be a highly skilled designer, developer, or [insert skill here] yet, and that’s okay! You don’t need to be amazing yet. Truth is, I was far from amazing when I made my first $500 (and I still have a long way to go, IMO)! You are going to work on becoming amazing, and I’ll do my best to help you get there in my Cultivate course, but for now we need to get to work on building your Freelancer Focus Pyramid.
Let’s start by figuring out your three levels of focus, and each of the disciplines within them (I’ll show you the exact skills you need in the Cultivate course).
Step 1: Your Primary Focus
You need to decide what your primary focus is. You need to pick one discipline. This may be easy for you, but if you’re having a hard time deciding, ask yourself some questions, like:
What are you most interested in?
Do you have any baseline skills you can improve?
Do you enjoy UI design?
Are you a hacker at heart?
Wanna build software?
Love writing compelling copy?
Once you’ve decided what your primary focus is, stick to it. You are allowed to change it, but remember, every time you change your focus, you’re essentially starting over. The goal of the Freelancer Focus Pyramid is to choose a primary focus and get seriously good at that discipline.
Step 2: Your Secondary Focus
Pick two disciplines to be your secondary focus. These two disciplines will take a supporting role to the primary focus, but you need to maintain them at a professional level of competence. You need to be able to hold your own in these disciplines should you get a paying gig that require them.
Think of the secondary focus as the backup singers in a popular band — they may not be the lead singer, but you can bet your a** they’re damn good singers, and they’d rock the spotlight if they had the chance!
Step 3: Your Tertiary Focus
Pick three disciplines that will level out the base of your pyramid. You may have an impressive working knowledge of these disciplines, or you may have no desire to be an expert in these disciplines at all, but you must understand how these disciplines work!
Every discipline is made up of a handful of important skills. Aim to have a basic understanding of some of these skills, but do not attempt to take a project on that primarily requires these disciplines — unless you can hire somebody to handle that part of the project.
Here is a basic example of my own personal Freelancer Focus Pyramid:
[Brad’s Focus Pyramid.]
Now that you understand the structure of the Freelancer Focus Pyramid, I want you to start building your own by following the steps I’ve outlined above. But keep in mind, there is a lot more to the Freelancer Focus Pyramid; you still need to add the exact skills you need to learn / master within each discipline. If you already have a good idea of what skills you should know, awesome! Either way, I’m going to help you find out exactly what you need to learn within each discipline, and I want to give you my free Photoshop template to help you build your Freelancer Focus Pyramid (like the one above).
Download the PSD Template
Simply enter your name & email below and I’ll send you my Free Photoshop Template for designing your own Freelancer Focus Pyramid. Plus you’ll be enrolled in my free email course, Cultivate a Successful Freelancer Career, where you’ll find out the exact skills you need to learn within each discipline, and you’ll get weekly actionable tips to rocket launch your freelance career!
See you there 🙂