When it comes to freelancing, identifying and owning your niche determines whether you succeed or not! This is one of the reasons why some people don't pursue work online. They have skills that they think are not something they can offer virtually.
Take it from me—I started freelancing with my nursing degree.
And it was challenging to find a niche that suited my skill set—administering medications and documenting care are not really services you can deliver online.
I had to work with my ability to write and speak English well and started out as a health writer.
Even though I didn't have any experience writing professionally, I still gave it a try. I also did some academic writing (nursing research was useful after all) and blog writing.
Since then, I was able to explore other services like data entry, market research, transcription, customer support, administrative support, and 52 others (just kidding).
My experimentations have helped me learn more about the different running parts of a business which eventually led me to what I do today: conversion copywriting and content marketing.
If there's anything I've learned, it's that niching down is a vital first step in building a profitable freelance business. As the saying goes...
If you market to everyone, you market to no one.
So here are some ways to help you find your freelancing niche:
1. Use Your Superpowers
Identifying your talents and skills is a great way to find your niche. It's probably all you need to know to pick your industry.
For you to profit from your talents and skills though, you will need to find clients who are willing to pay for your services.
It's a good idea to search the market for demand. You can do this by checking if there are job postings for your talents and skills. If demand is low, then maybe try something else.
PRO TIP: Look for competition. If there's competition, there's a market.
2. Use Your Brainpower
What you studied in college can give you a good idea as to what niche to try.
Some degrees are are instant freelancing services, while others are not. For example, a degree in marketing, finance or business administration can easily be offered as a freelance service, but not degrees in philosophy or biology.
Before dismissing your educational background though, do some research! You might surprise yourself with what you can find online.
3. Use Your Work Experience
I've seen many corporate employees like call center agents, office secretaries and accountants transition to online freelancing. They take on projects as virtual assistants, customer support agents, and bookkeepers.
4. Laser-Focus Your Offer
Start with something general, and narrow down to a more specific niche. The more specific, the better, as it allows you to build credibility and authority.
Any client would prefer a contractor who specializes in web design over a web designer who also offers customer support, game development, and financial planning services.
5. Use Industry-Related Keywords
If you find that your skill set is unique and doesn't fall on any of the categories above, try searching for industry-specific keywords on gig sites like Upwork, or on freelancing marketplaces like LinkedIn.
Searching for the keywords "nurse" or "medical" has helped find my niche as a health writer.
6. Run Experiments Like a Mad Scientist
While it's great to focus on just one niche and stick with it for the entirety of your freelancing career, feel free to explore new ground and shift things around. However, avoid juggling several niches at a time.