To niche or not to niche?
Let me get straight to it and say that you don't have to niche down your web design and development services to be successful in freelancing.
But, I do believe it's more beneficial to work in a niche and this article will explain why.
The old man with the hammer:
One fine, sunny day, the owner of a large million-dollar ship found out the engine is not working.
He called every engineer on board and the surrounding towns, but no one could fix it.
Then he brought in an old man who specializes in fixing ship engines. The old man immediately got to work and inspected the engine from top to bottom.
The owner was watching as the old man reached into his bag, took out a small hammer, tapped something with the hammer, and the engine was instantly brought to life.
A week later, the owner received an invoice from the old man for $10,000.
The ship owner didn’t want to pay for it and said, “He hardly did anything!” So he requested for an itemized bill.
This is what the old man sent:
A lifetime of experience made him an expert at fixing ship engines and he had every right to charge like one.
The subject of niching down is very much tied to the subject of expertise and why experts are able to charge more than the average developer.
Whether you’re new or have a few years of experience up your sleeves, finding a lucrative niche can make the difference for you.
A niche is a small but well-defined segment of a market to which you can target your marketing and offers.
Niching down positions you as an expert in a specific industry, allowing you to charge more and become more in demand.
For example, if you advertise to everyone who needs a website, you’d have to compete with big brands with millions of advertising funds.
Also the millions of others who charge as low as possible to get the client.
Another benefit of choosing a niche is you can establish yourself as an expert faster and easier.
Make 3 websites for wedding service providers and you’re already a better choice than a generic web developer.
Still not sure?
Read this: Should You Niche Down Web Design Services?
Now, how do you decide on a niche?
You need to consider one or a combination of:
- Time Input
What services do you offer?
I advocate for Website Design and Marketing. Here's why.
You can either get a lot of clients paying you a low amount or a few clients paying you a large amount.
There's no right or wrong approach here.
Let's get into it:
Private healthcare practitioners are a great market to target because of their competitive industry that makes it crucial to have a high-converting website and also their high spending power.
Chiropractors, dentists, cosmetic surgeons, and psychologists are just some private medical practitioners that you can target.
When it comes to this niche, it’s better to focus on a specific medical practice at a time to be able to hyper-target your marketing.
For example, Perfect Patients is a digital marketing agency that focuses on chiropractors as reflected in their marketing messages:
It’s important for medical professionals for their expertise, the value of services, and the impact on the lives of their patients to be reflected on their website. It will help to ask good questions that will help you better understand their practice, what they’re good at, and their business and personal values.
The real estate landscape may be volatile, but recent surveys show that there is still an increasing number of real estate agents worldwide.
In the US alone, there are over 2 million real estate agents, including both licensed NAR Realtors and agents outside this association.
Because the competition is stiff, real estate agents are starting to leverage digital marketing, a good strategy considering that 51 percent of millennials reported purchasing a home they found online.
There are three strategies you can do here:
- Create websites for real estate agents in a city, state, or country.
- Create websites for real estate agents selling specific kinds of properties. E.g. condos, commercial properties, vintage homes, tiny homes, etc.
- Focus on creating IDX websites.
Example by Jeremy Buff:
Financial advisors are licensed professionals who are trained to advise people on how to achieve their financial goals.
Their services include financial planning, tax management, accounts management, investment management, life insurance management, and more. Their clients include professionals, small businesses, and big corporations.
Financial planning and advice as an industry has been steadily growing in value since 2013, achieving an average annualized rate of 6.4% to total $57.6 billion.
Because financial advisors are also expected to educate potential clients about financial management, it’s best to complement your services with other digital marketing services including content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing.
Example: Advisor Websites
The hair and beauty industry is extremely diverse, including everything from salons to barber shops, massage spas, wax salons, facial salons, and more.
Hair and beauty businesses are concerned with having a web design that pops and makes a good first impression. The website needs to reflect who they are as a business, what sets them apart, and the value of their services.
Example: Salon Search Party
Business coaching is a high-ticket service that business owners avail to either solve a problem in their business or take their businesses to the next level. A business coach charges anywhere from $100 to $1,000 per one-hour session.
Since the stakes are high, the trust level needed between a business and a coach is also high. This is why business coaches need a website – they need to convey that they have the expertise, insights, and integrity to take their clients’ business to the next level.
Online learning is bound to grow in the next years, with more course creators putting their stuff out in the market.
There are tons of online learning platforms already like Udemy, Coursera, Lynda, and Skillshare, but these platforms take a percentage off of the creators’ earnings. That’s why many course creators would rather have their own websites.
The main challenge with building websites for online courses is making sure that students will have a great learning experience through great design, smooth flow, and a clean interface. The website also needs to be fast and powerful enough to handle lots of video content.
Example: The Branding Designer
Both upcoming and veteran authors want a website where they can showcase their works and who they are as an author. It’s a great way for them to build a loyal readership by letting people get to know them more and by having all of their works in one place.
You can target both physical and e-book authors, but keep in mind that they may have different needs. For example, e-book authors may want users to be able to sign up for an account and access their purchased e-books instantly.
You can also specialize in a content management system or website building platform. Some of the most popular CMS include:
E-commerce is a fast-growing industry projected to reach $4.9 trillion in retail sales by 2021.
More and more e-commerce stores are popping up by the day, and many of these are owned by first-time entrepreneurs who face three major problems:
- Lack of time. Some of them hold a full-time job to get them by until their store becomes profitable.
- Lack of technical know-how. Although building a website is now easier more than ever before, people just don’t have the same level of technical skills. Older generations also tend to have more difficulties in building websites.
- Lack of expertise. A top reason for failed e-commerce stores is the lack of features to convert visitors to buyers. Solve these three pain points and you’ll surely get at least a few clients.
Because the e-commerce trend is skyrocketing, there are already tons of agencies specializing in building e-commerce websites.
What you can do to set yourself apart is to further narrow down your niche by choosing a specific industry (e.g. hair and beauty, baby products, etc.) or offering more competitive pricing.
A sales funnel needs to do one thing: convert. Whether your client wants new buyers or email subscribers, it needs to do the job. A high-converting sales funnel is composed of various landing pages that need the right mix of great copy, great design, responsiveness, and speed.
Building a high-converting sales funnel is not easy, and you’ll probably have to spend some time studying it. But once you master it, it’s going to be worth it.
Businesses are willing to pay thousands of dollars for a sales funnel that works, so you can charge high as long as you can justify it with value and results.
Those were 10 niche ideas that you can explore to get web development clients.
I hope this list inspired you to find your niche.
If you have other niche ideas in mind, feel free to share it with us in the comments below.
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