I imagine many a business coach or seasoned marketing pro will be wincing at the announcement made in the title of this piece, but it’s true. I have no niche when it comes to the stuff I write for my clients at agoodwriteup.
Is there stuff I’m better at writing than others? Definitely. There has to be, but I genuinely don’t think that’s for me to decide. That lies in the hands of my clients – and they all seem fairly happy so far.
I’m always self-critical and want to improve on what I write, but I need some objectivity.
Be honest, how many times have you created something (a post, a picture, a pie, etc) and you’ve been convinced it was epic, only for your other half to look at said creation – and you – like they’re completely bored/offended/horrified by what’s in front of them?
Let’s move on.
For some reason, the last few months have seen me working with a lot of clients in the finance sector.
It’s not a sector I’ve ever worked in prior to going freelance, it’s not an industry I have any real knowledge of, and it’s certainly not an area that lights a massive spark inside me when I think about it. Words not numbers, and all that.
But, I’ve really really enjoyed working with those particular financially-minded clients on their numbery and excel spreadsheety kinds of projects.
I’ve trained them and I’ve written directly on their behalf. I’ve edited existing works and I’ve worked alongside teams to direct change in their own writing.
It’s been fun, it’s been an opportunity to learn, and it’s been a lesson in being open to getting shoved out of my comfort zone.
My point is this. If I worked on zoning in on a niche, yes I’d be more visible to those who needed my focus, and would no doubt get more work from that particular area, but I’d be shutting out the opportunity to try other things. I don’t want that.
I’m not saying that any of this is the best, smartest or most financially sound business model, but I’m not fussed about any of that.
I’m not bothered about being seen as the best, because I know I’m pretty damn good. I’m not bothered about being thought of as the smartest, because I’ve got this far without having died on my arse.
And I’m not bothered about not being on my way to scaling up to my first million, because that’s not what I’ve ever set out to do with agoodwriteup. Let’s face it, my kid would spend it all anyway, so a comfortable living is all I need.
Obviously, it can work the other way, whereby I’ve been involved in projects and I’ve decided over time that I just don’t want to be open to offers of a similar nature again in the future. Ghostwriting was a big example of that.
In 2017, I had a massive break in being chosen to ghostwrite the book for a former winner of The Apprentice on BBC1. It was an amazing amount of fun and gave me a real platform as a credible writer, but I don’t offer it as one of my ‘things’ anymore because 9 times out of 10 it’s a massive drain.
The original blog about that is here, by the way: Giving up the ghost. I’ve also given up the writing of bid and grant applications (they literally pain me) and I no longer offer proofreading for large texts (just take my eyes, FFS).
I never thought I’d give up any of those things, so I’m now more open than ever to trying new projects even if I think they’re out of my comfort zone. if a client has faith in me, then I have to have faith in myself.
I’ll always put heart and soul into everything I write for a client, and if I believed that this wouldn’t be possible for any reason, then I’d just politely turn down the project in the first place.
I naturally want to do a good job so that I can keep tight hold of my clients, my reputation, and my legal ability to stay living in my house.
But I also want to enjoy what I do as much as possible, so I’ll be keeping myself open to all options and then will pick and choose accordingly. I do believe it’s the best business decision – for me, at least.
People go freelance either in part, or mainly because they don’t like being shackled. I do honestly wonder if aiming for/sticking to a niche would shackle me.
I’m a freelancer, and I like being free to choose.
First published on agoodwriteup.com