To generalise is to generally earn, but to specialise is to especially earn. To be blunt, specialties are a huge factor in potential freelance earnings. Speaking from a freelance writing point of view: a copywriter with a penchant for high quality white papers will find themselves with a golden ticket in the form of their reputation.
The secret to mastering a specialty boils down to the level of difficulty and your own obsessiveness. You need to identify an area of interest that can’t be represented by simply possessing a baseline understanding. It must also possess a level of difficulty placing it above most peoples abilities (or indeed willingness) to understand and master, yet completely within your own ability. Finally your own obsessive understanding of the field in question will be the deciding factor, remember this is something you’ll want to learn and understand for years to come. It’s an important choice, one that warrants taking the time to really think about it, your career could literally depend on it.
Scott Adams famous comic strip Dilbert was the result of Adams combining his comedic outlook with his insight into technology, office drama/politics and his love of drawing. The act of combining the fields you might consider becoming a specialist of into one niche, is a form of specialisation unto itself.
There’s no time limit on specialising, in fact I highly recommend taking your time. Do the research and plan out the right path for you, regardless at what point in your career you make the choice. From college student to industry veteran if you stop and check out the highest earners in your field, most of the time their specialists.
- Create a list of what you believe to be your biggest skills and fields of knowledge.
- Consider what can be combined from your list and progressed forward.
- Consider furthering your education in particular fields or just in general.
- Never pass up the opportunity for self-improvement.
Remember with the rise of the 1099 economy/on demand workforce being a freelancer simply makes you the unique snowflake of the work force. By specialising you can truly differentiate yourself from the now literally millions of other freelancer/contractors roaming the wilderness better known as “the internet”.
In an economy where a potential client can pick and choose which services and from whom they come with a simple click, does it not make more sense to stand out as much as possible? Or better yet – to stand out as much as possible with relevant experience and knowledge of that particular field the client could be looking for?
Or to put it simply: If you were looking for the service or information you provide, be the man/woman you would want to find for help.
Or learn to REALLY like cheap take out, or become a specialist in making that stuff actually edible!