Freelance: should you specialize or not?

When becoming a freelancer, a question often comes up concerning specialization. Should you focus only on one skill or should you be versatile? There is no single answer, it will depend on you, your needs, and your skills.

However, these two choices each contain advantages and disadvantages that Codeur.com proposes to review in this article!

 

Choosing your specialization

Choosing to specialize is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. To do so, it is necessary to take several elements into account and ask yourself the right questions:

  • In what area are your skills strong enough to claim to be an expert?
  • What are the missions that you enjoy doing?
  • Do you have elements (experience, diplomas...) that can justify your know-how and expertise?
  • Is there a need for clients in this sector?


Also, specializing can take different forms. It's up to you to find the degree that best suits your situation. Specialization in : 

  • A specific sector of activity: communication, graphic design, web...
  • A specific mission: the creation of advertising brochures, the creation of logos...
  • For a particular public: associations, luxury companies...


According to the type of public to which you address, the financial capacity will be different. For example, associations will generally have less budget to grant you than a big group.


Rates

To begin with, if you have a skill that few other freelancers have, you might as well make it your specialization. This will allow you to justify higher rates than in very competitive sectors.

It's the same principle as in business: the rarer a product is, the more expensive it is. Conversely, in the face of increased competition, brands are forced to lower their prices. Think of your business this way.

Also, your customers will be more likely to accept a high price for a service if your skills are recognized in that field. In this context, every recommendation is important.

Your experience, know-how, and proof of your professionalism are all elements that will give your client confidence. Building your reputation and your success in your field will ensure that your client will be willing to pay the price.


The competition

Obviously, if you specialize, the competition will be weaker. As a result, you increase the conversion rate of your quotes, because your prospect has few choices.

If you can bring a complementary service or a superior quality to your business, then you are sure to get the vast majority of contracts. And it doesn't matter if they are few, because as explained above, your rate will be better. Still, make sure that your specialization is on an upward research trend.

 


The nature of the projects

Versatility has the great advantage of positioning you on multiple projects. When a freelancer is able to do multiple assignments, he will have more opportunities but will face more competition.

Moreover, in the beginning, he may have to accept uninspiring projects, to make his business profitable, but also to fill his portfolio. Nevertheless, when his numerous quality works are recognized and his address book grows, he will be able to better select his projects and finally have motivating and rewarding missions.

A specialized freelancer will have quicker access to rewarding projects and, given his expertise, will be able to afford a careful selection from the start. Word of mouth will then spread within his field of activity, bringing him more and more assignments related to his specialization and therefore motivating him. But be careful, he will have to be at the top in these skills.


Important: For a specialized freelancer, continuous training is essential. He must make sure he is always informed of the latest developments in his sector, at the risk of being outdated and not being able to offer the best to his client.


 The e-reputation

Good at everything = good at nothing? That's not necessarily true, but that's what versatility sometimes induces in the minds of prospects.

If you don't have a strict specialization, try to narrow your field by selecting two or three areas. In any case, never accept assignments in which you are not very comfortable because it is your image and the performance of your company that is at stake!

Finally, you have the possibility to break the stereotype through a proactive presence on social networks. Through quality content, you can demonstrate your experience, your knowledge, and your versatile know-how.


Posting informative content on LinkedIn on a regular basis is a way to show that you are active and to spread a professional image to your network.


For a specialized freelancer, his or her e-reputation can quickly snowball if he or she is running projects correctly. It will be easier for him to ensure his image as an expert and to take advantage of it to recruit prospects.


Organization and communication

When you choose to specialize in one area, it is much easier to set up your tools. Your communication process will be centered on a single subject and your services will be more readable for prospects.


Keeping a blog can be a good way to show the extent of your know-how and expertise. It is a time investment that is worth it: if it is regularly updated, it will serve as a professional showcase for your customers.


Moreover, your commercial offer and your quotes can have a common framework, which you only have to personalize according to the customer's request. In the end, your prospecting documents are more precise, really targeted, and save you time!

On the other hand, versatility requires regular adaptation to each client's request. If the freelancer can have several frames prepared, the communication is wider, and the requests too, which leads him to constantly review the globality of his commercial offer.


Conclusion

Specialized or not, it is up to you to make your choice according to your skills, your experience, and your needs!

In any case, the next step is to find clients who need your skills. To do so, register on Codeur.com to have access to published missions and to be able to propose your services to potential clients. 

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