A really interesting discussion was started in the Business of WP Slack group last week that got me thinking.
One of the group members asked “Do I really have to specialize in my freelance work? I’ve been successful as a generalist for years.”
Even though specializing is my favorite pet project of the moment, I don’t think it’s for everyone.
Specializing doesn’t really seem necessary if:
- You’re happy with number of leads you’re getting
- You love the clients who are connecting with you
- You’re happy with the rates you’re being paid
- You enjoy the work you’re doing now
- Your sales process isn’t that hard
If that’s all true, it sounds like your business is going really well and you’re being successful as a generalist.
I just know that for me, those things weren’t true.
I was not as successful as I wanted to be. I spent a lot of time worrying about where my next project would come from. My sales process wasn’t easy, and my agency’s services were often being compared to others based on price. No one had a compelling reason to hire us over anyone else because we weren’t differentiated. I just felt like a tiny fish in a huge pond.
Here’s what I know for my own case and my own business—Since I have transitioned from being a generalist to being a specialist in SEO for wedding professionals,:
- I love writing content and feel like it’s truly helpful to my target audience
- I know people are actually reading my content, because it applies right to them
- I know exactly where I need to be to market to my target audience
- I get new referrals and leads every week (this is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders)
So here’s the deal: specializing is working for me. But being a generalist may be working just fine for you. And that’s great!
If you’ve cracked the code and successfully run a generalist business, I’d love to hear how you did it. Leave me a comment below.