What’s A Niche?

This is a popular topic in freelancing. Is there a need to find a niche or is it better to maintain a general scope? Let’s find out.

Let’s get technical

What is the correct way of pronouncing Niche? According to Merriam-Webster:

“There is a debate about how you are supposed to pronounce niche…”

See? Even Merriam-Webster admits awareness of what’s going on so stop with the petty arguments on pronunciation!

“There are two common pronunciation variants, both of which are currently considered correct: \NEESH\ (rhymes with sheesh) and \NICH\ (rhymes with pitch). \NICH\ is the more common one and the older of the two pronunciations…”

“..All this is to say that the historical pronunciation has been \NICH\, and that \NEESH\ is a relative newcomer that came about likely under influence from French pronunciation conventions. At this point in time in the U.S., \NICH\ is still the more common pronunciation, but \NEESH\ is gaining ground. Our evidence suggests that in British English, \NEESH\ is now the more common pronunciation.”

In layman’s terms, both are accepted now. One outweighs the other depending on where you are geographically located. I hope that settles that.

 

Now that’s out of the way, let’s dig deeper to find out what it means:

Oxford defines it as,

“(business) an opportunity to sell a particular product to a particular group of people”. 

 

On the other hand, Merriam-Webster said that it is,

“a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted”.

 

What’s the deal?

Freelancers offer various kinds of services, right? These are examples of what a freelancer can offer:

  • Email  and Calendar Management
  • Appointment Setting
  • Customer Service
  • Article/Blog writing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Powerpoint presentation creation
  • Video editing
  • Website development
  • FB/IG Page management

The list goes on. The only limit is you and what you can do. If you will examine the list closely, I just literally listed down some services without any thought. They are not related. There’s no connection to these activities.

Notice what’s different on this list:

  • Managing several social media profiles (FB/IG/Twitter)
  • Hashtag research
  • Follower growth
  • Responding to audience comments/reactions
  • Creating viral posts

Did you notice that all the skills are all about Social Media? That’s because these are the skills of a freelancer whose niche is in Social Media Management.

In other words, when you focus on a niche you offer services on a particular field or specialty to a client.

 

Niche or without a Niche?

Imagine creating a portfolio.  How would it look like? Would it be like the first list where the skills have no relation? or would it be like the second list where it’s zoned in on a particular specialty?

On the other hand, put yourself on the client shoes. If you’re searching for a Social Media Manager, what type of portfolio would you like to see? Would you prefer someone who has a mix of skills plus some background ? or would you prefer someone with a portfolio similar to the second list who seems to know everything that there is about the role?

You exhibit expertise when you offer services towards a niche. You command authority. For this reason, you can demand higher rates.  It makes marketing for the next client easy for you too. You would know where to find them and what exactly are they looking for. A sure win-win situation, don’t you agree?

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