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The "Specialization" Lesson is part of the full, Finding Clients as a Freelancer course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Paul explains that defining a target market involves focusing on specialization. This doesn't mean turning away work or restricting leads to a specific type of job. Specialization tailors a message to a specific audience or sector.


Transcript from the "Specialization" Lesson

>> Okay, so where have we got to? We have decided that we need a sales funnel. We've decided that email plays a big role in that. But before we can do any of that, first of all, we need to decide, well, who do we wanna work with, okay?

Because so many of us just actually kind of will take anything that walks through the door and are not particularly fussy about who we market to. But there's really good reason why we want to segment our market as they call it. Why we want to put another way specialize, okay?

You hear this thing about specialization a lot, that you should definitely specialize, and there's a lot to be said for it. For example, if you specialize, you're gonna face less competition. There's less people that are going provide the services that you provide, and have the expertise that you have.

Secondly, if you specialize in a particular area, you're seen as an expert in that area. So even though potentially, but let's take something like, let's say you specialized in charity websites, right? Now, admittedly, someone who didn't specialize in charity websites could design that website and build that website just like you could.

However, because you're a specialist in that area, you're seen as an expert, and that gives you an advantage in winning the work. And then finally, if you specialize, you can charge more, right? Because you're more in demand and because there are fewer people that can do what you do, you can charge higher rates.

And so overall, specialising is really good, but I know that it creates a lot of nervousness in freelancers and agencies. And the reason that it does this, there is this fundamental fear that if I specialize, I'm going to be turning away work that I could do. And you see so many agencies, where you visit their website, and it says, we do web design, we do print design, we do branding design, we do this, that, and the other.

And developers who go, I could do WordPress, I could do Ruby, I could do and so it goes on. So let me clarify a little bit about what I mean when I'm talking about specializing. First of all, it doesn't mean turning away work, right? I'm not suggesting that you, if somebody comes to you and says, I've got WordPress build, I'd like you to do.

Then you go, actually, I'm sorry, but I specialize only in, I don't know, Python. I'm not very up on programming languages showing. You're not gonna turn that work away, okay? Neither am I suggesting that you redesign your website to say you only work in your specialism, okay? All I'm saying is that we're gonna target our audience.

This audience that we wanna reach, the specialty in terms of the group of people we're reaching out to. Secondly, it doesn't mean you're gonna lack work, right? There's this big view that, well, if I specialize, there's not many people that are gonna wanna hire me within that area.

Okay, there's two things I wanna say with that. One is you're probably mentally being constrained by geography, I come across this all the time. So what you mean when you say there aren't many people, say if you're specializing in charities. Well, there aren't that many charities that will hire me.

What you mean is there's not many charities in my area, right? But well wide, there are a lot of charities more than you could ever work through. So that's one thing to say. Let go of geography, because geography is a rubbish wave of constraining your audience, okay? Secondly, I'm not saying you only ever specialize in one area.

And that brings me on to the last concern that people often have, which is that the work will get boring if I'm only ever doing charity websites. I'm gonna get sick of that. You can move from one specialism, one focusing on one particular group to another, and I've done that over the years.

So what does specializing mean in real terms? It means tailoring your message, right? Because you're focusing on a specific audience, we can tailor our message to better resonate with them, right? So we can talk about their problems and their pain points and their issues. Secondly, it means you're gonna be heard more often.

Now, what does that mean? Well, imagine taking a pebble and throwing it in the ocean, right? It's gonna just disappear, okay, lost, gone forever. Take that same pebble and throw it into a tiny puddle, and it will create ripples, right? So what I mean is if you're targeting a specific group of people, the chances of that small group of people hearing from you multiple times is good, right?

People need to hear from you multiple times before they're gonna be willing to sign up to their newsletter. Your newsletter or mailing list or whatever you wanna call it. And then the final benefit of or thing that specializing means is that you become the go-to person for a particular sector, a particular group of people.

So for example, when I was running my agency, we got to the point where we decided to specialize or focus on marketing efforts on the heritage sector, which is areas of outstanding naturally, your national parks, and old historic buildings, and that kind of thing. And we ended up winning 95% of the heritage jobs that were in the market because we became the go-to person.

If you've got heritage website, you'd go to head scape. That was just the way it was. So that's what I mean by specializing, is focusing on a particular audience or a particular sector so that we can build their attention. I don't mean specializing in WordPress, right? So you're not talking about specializing in deliverables.

And we're certainly not talking about specializing in something as broad as WordPress, which you might as well say I'm not specializing, because WordPress consists of whatever ridiculous percentage of websites. It has to be a very small, well defined niche audience, and we'll get into that, how to find that audience in a minute.

And I'm also not saying you change everything overnight, right? You can take it slow. So jumping into a specialism full scale, saying I only work with charity websites is a bad idea, right? It's risky, it's dangerous, and you're not gonna wanna not do it until it works. You don't need to redesign your website to focus exclusively on your specialism, all right?

And you don't need to turn away work that's outside of your chosen area. Instead, what we're gonna do is create a separate campaign and landing page, and all the rest of it is aimed at the audience we're trying to reach. And just as a slight aside at this point, Whenever I talk about anything in marketing terms with any agency or freelancer I ever talk to, their instant reaction is, I need to update my website, right?

Stop updating your website every five minutes, right? It's not gonna make any difference. It's not gonna help. Your failure to when you work is not because of your website, right? It's because you're not targeting the right people and providing them with value regularly, right? Your website is a minor part of your ability to win work at best.

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