Avoid This Common Freelancer Trap

Animal trap on Hilbre Island, Wirral, England.

Watch out for the trap (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you fallen into this trap?

Many freelancers and creative firms try to be all things to all people.  Sometimes, the problem is being too vague:

“We’re a full service marketing agency that leverages your company resources to maximize profits”

Other times, it’s being too broad:

“We do logo design, landing pages, WordPress themes, and SEO”

Specializing in everything is specializing in nothing

AWeber specializes in email marketing.  That’s what they do.  Not iphone games, not branding, not even email copywriting.  They make email software.  Period.

Why one thing works

People know where to “file” you.  If you’re a grant proposal writer, then if a friend or client comes across a charity seeking grants, they know to refer you.

The benefit to you (and your clients) is that you get to know your business, your clients, and their problems, really well.

If your business is backup, do backup, not installing servers, not database management, not warm cookies.  Don’t try to cast  your net too widely, learn marketing from fishermen.

Negatives are good

Our hypothetical referrer in the previous paragraph also knows not to refer you if they meet someone who needs a technical writer.  It’s a completely different skillset.

I was asked the other day if I did branding.  Could I?  Probably.  Do I?  No.  It’s not my specialty. No branding, no general advertising, and no press releases.

Instead, my clients hire me for copywriting and response-driven marketing.

You can charge more

Remember BUMI from last week’s post?  They focused on one thing, and could charge higher fees, because it was now a premium service.

More about common traps to avoid, making your competition irrelevant, and competing against outsourced workers in my webinar.

One thought on “Avoid This Common Freelancer Trap

  1. I agree with all of you. Yet people are trying to pull me in another direction that I really don’t want to do. I’m happier this way … if not always flushed with business.