Why You Should Choose a Niche on Upwork / by Chris Skyes

When deciding to freelance, it is easy to become overwhelmed with ideas as to what you could freelance as. At this moment in time, it is important to pause, and figure out the one thing which you really want to do.

Consider this: Let’s say you need an accountant. You look up accountants on Upwork, and you find a freelancer who is a full time freelance accountant, and one who is an accountant, a plumber, and also a dog groomer.

Who would you hire?

Whilst the two other occupations shouldn’t reflect negatively on that person, unfortunately, they do in most cases. People want their freelancers to be focused, not spread all over the place.

Now, that being said, there is definitely room to diversify. In fact, I started out on Upwork as a sound editor. I would pick up jobs where people had poorly recorded audio, and I would clean it up for them.

Given that this is a highly technical skill, I could demand a higher price, but it was very competitive, as there isn’t as much demand for that service as there is for article writing, for example.

Over time, I started offering my skills as a sound designer as well, creating sound effects for people, and bringing their films and animations to life. As I was doing that, I noticed that some of my clients would of liked me to have video skills as well, so what did I do?

I spent a week straight learning how to use Premiere Pro and After Effects, so I was now proficient in video editing and motion graphics. Bare in mind that I did have previous experience with video editing, and learning complex software like that in a week isn’t common, nor is it expected of you.

Nowadays, I offer a more complete creative package, involving aspects of both audio and video.

As an added bonus, this has helped me uncover an unexpected love for filmmaking, which I didn’t even know I had, and made my first short film. It’s amazing what you can learn about yourself if you just explore a little bit.

Now, back to the article. At first glance, this might seem like I’m going against my own advice. Didn’t I just say that you should niche down?

That is correct, I did say that, but diversifying is ok, as long as it’s closely related to your main, or original skill. Bare in mind that I didn’t go from sound editing to marketing. I stuck within the creative audio and video field, where people who do video are also expected to do audio.

It’s all closely related enough that it actually builds more trust in my clients, rather than taking it away.

Now, consider your niche. Take a few minutes and think about how you could expand what you’re doing, in a way that makes sense. Start off simple, and then expand on the services which you offer, whilst being careful not to over reach into a different field.

This will not only get you hired more often, but it will increase the confidence that clients have in you.

I wish you the best of luck!