Those who tap into their raw talents and passion get ahead further and faster in the ever-expanding Web world.
It seems obvious, but most web types get drawn toward immediate, short-term opportunities and wander far from their true calling.
Renew your drive by specializing in an area where you naturally thrive.
When you focus on one particular area or niche, your knowledge and experience increase rapidly. Within a short timeframe, you get in tune with leading technologies and trends, become established in your industry and market, start to earn top dollar and ultimately gain full control of a satisfying career.
Conversely, if you attempt to be all things to all people, you’ll produce mediocre work and attract comparable clients.
Such was the case with a web-savvy individual who recently completed a series of projects for my business. During the 1990s, he had his hands in programming, design, online marketing and copywriting. “I was attracting the worst customers,” he said. When he wasn’t haggling over price, he was dealing with unhappy clients demanding freebies. He finally decided to stick with what he knows best: programming. Now he works less, makes more and gets to pick his clients.
Not too long ago, another programmer who’s been developing websites for 10 years asked me: “Should I go to school so I can also provide clients designs?”
Rather than broaden his work scope, I suggested he narrow it. A great programmer can’t necessarily become a great designer and vice-versa. It comes down to recognizing what you’re good at and leveraging that talent. After all, it’s no coincidence the very best websites are collectively created by professional web copywriters, designers, programmers and other specialists.
On the design front, a Vancouver-based design team I’ve worked with began researching the food industry’s web needs, and decided to pursue that niche. It didn’t take long to land some notable restaurants and become the ‘go to’ web design firm in that industry. They discovered they have a knack for it, wholeheartedly threw themselves into it and clients now knock on their door.
Unleash Your True Passion and Talent
How do you determine your niche? Consider what you love doing and what you do well. Hopefully the two overlap. Then determine your market; who could you best serve? Finally, fine-tune how you position yourself by listening closely to common customer complaints and problems. If there’s a pain your competition or the industry isn’t paying attention to, you’re sitting on a goldmine.
Some tips on determining your potential expertise and niche:
1) Write down what, how, when and where you are going to offer your service.
2) Describe your strengths (how and why you’re better than the competition).
3) Acknowledge your weaknesses (things you need to improve or delegate).
4) Develop a profile of your ideal client (age, sex, needs, spending habits, region and so on).
The sharper your focus in a particular segment of your industry, the quicker you can gain expertise or even authority status in your field. And that’s when the best clients come to you; the ones who value your work and pay accordingly.
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It’s been said that it takes 10 years to master anything. People tend to try learning many different things to increase their chances of getting a good job. The problem of doing this is that you won’t be a master of any of your skills.
Having many abilities looks great on your resume, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t produce outstanding results. Learn one thing, learn it well, and you will run circles around the competition.
Funny…the points you make seem so common sense. But they’re not, otherwise everyone would be doing it, including me. Like me, most web types seem to try to do everything for everyone, and achieve very little along the way. Your “specialization” advice is extremely helpful. Thanks for the kick in the butt. I needed it :)
While I buy into your specialization on the Web take, I wonder how possible it is during these tough times when everyone is scrambling to make a buck. But then again, that could be a cop-out. Sticking to your guns and doing what you do best might be good for job security.