It’s almost a daily question on forums like Quora for freelancers: “How do I find clients?”
Business to Business (B2B) customers are looking to solve problems. Very specific problems.
If you’re running a Shopify store, for instance, who would you consider hiring? A freelancer who does “Web Design” or someone who does “Web Design For Shopify”?
It’s not hard to see why it’s important to build your portfolio and your service offerings to cater to a specific vertical niche.
What is a vertical niche?
A vertical niche is simply a very narrow subset of services, catered for one specific market.
The above example is one such vertical niche: web design for Shopify.
Here are a few other examples:
- Plumbing services for restaurants
- Math tutor for High School students, specializing in standardized exams
- Front end web design under $500 for MVP websites
In each of these examples, the customer can self identify whether he or she is the right customer for you, the freelancer, who is offering a very specific skillset.
Wouldn’t this limit my customers?
Yes, of course it would.
But you’re trying to angle for freelancing business by not being a general contractor. You’re trying to be a specialist who is more appealing simply because your offered skillsets has a higher chance for success.
Build your services for a specific market
By creating a menu of services catered to a specific market, you’re offering a more complete end solution to the customers. They want to know that when the project is completed they’re getting a functional result.
So what’s a menu of services?
Let’s use the same example of “Web Design For Shopify”:
- Shopify customizations
- Marketing for Shopify stores
- Theme auditing for Shopify
- Custom application development
Niche freelancers in a competitive market
Niching down is an opportunity in markets where nothing truly differentiates you from the other guy. It’s also a way to defend your market position.
Leaders in a niche tend to stay as leaders. As you develop your services, keep in mind the power of vertical niches.