This is a quick one, but it’s something I’ve wanted to share because I know it’s a fear dancing around in the back of a lot of freelancers’ minds.
How do you start targeting a new niche market without going broke?
This week, I want to get real with you about money and how I’m making it work.
For the last three months or so, I’ve been focusing almost 100% of my marketing efforts on my new specialized niche: SEO for wedding vendors. But, I still have bills to pay.
I pay myself a set salary every month, I have three co-workers who expect a certain number of weekly hours, and we have plenty of expenses for monthly subscriptions and taxes and hosting and all sorts of stuff. So I need to be bringing in income while I’m building up authority in a totally new-to-me market.
This has really forced me to be more creative in bringing in generalist web agency work while building up our specialized business. I don’t want to resort to going to networking meetings and taking local coffee dates to try to fish for local web design projects.
Instead, I’ve come up with a couple strategies to bring in business more easily (the “low hanging fruit” if you will) to pay the bills right now while building for the future.
The first and most important is getting website work from past clients. I sent out an email at the end of last year to touch base with clients and share some information about HTTPS migrations. This sparked some great conversations with past clients, small migration projects, and even a client who brought up that they would be interested in having us redesign a website I built on my own 5 years ago.
I’m going to use this situation as inspiration to proactively reach out to a few other past clients, those whose sites are now 4 or 5 years old and falling out of style. I think this will be a great way for us to bring in good income from clients we already know and enjoy. Big win.
Another thing we’re doing to bring in web design income is continuing to connect with referral partners and take on work through referrals. I’ve gotten a couple leads from referrals recently and have bids out on those projects.
Lastly, I am also actively seeking out graphic design work with past clients. This is great because my designer can execute most of the work on those projects while I’m working on building the niche business. I know this isn’t as much of an option for solo freelancers, but I would encourage you to think about small projects for past clients where you may be able to outsource some or all of the work.
So those have been my strategies for the last few months to bring in income while pursuing my specialty. If you have any other ideas for how to bring in income while minimizing sales and marketing time, I’m all ears. J