If your goal is to be a top-earning freelancer, you will need to specialize eventually.
You must choose a particular field that you are passionate about - an area where you can be an expert in.
This article is for current freelancers whose goal is to increase their earnings to at least P70,000 a month.
(If you have never tried freelancing before or you’re still a newbie trying to get an online job, I’d recommend that you start by learning more about the freelancing world first.
Just like achieving any goal, you’ll have to start by learning the basics. There is no fast and easy way to be successful online.
Anyone who tells you so is trying to scam you, that’s why it is important that you’re already familiar with how freelancing works before you proceed in choosing a specialization.)
For existing freelancers, you must understand that to increase your earnings, you must also increase your value.
You see, money is value. If your client is willing to pay you money for your work, that means he/she finds value in your skills.
Therefore, to charge higher, you must also invest in increasing your worth through specializing. It’s that simple.
While the logic behind earning is simple, choosing a specialization is not.
That’s why it’s common for many long-time freelancers to still be confused about where to focus.
The rapid growth of technology is not helping, either.
The internet world is rising quickly.
Online demands keep changing -- new jobs pop up, new updates get released, and therefore, new skills are required by clients.
It only gets more confusing.
So, how in the world should you choose a freelancing field specialization?!
Here are my key takeaways from Jason's FB Live Session:
1. Don't simply choose skills, select a category (skill set).
Often, freelancers ask us:
“Should I learn SEO?”
“What about social media marketing?”
“Should I learn Facebook Ads first?”
"Should I learn ALL of THEM?"
The skills mentioned above are all parts of the Online Marketing skill set.
And while the demand for skills changes, the need for a particular category doesn't (as long as the internet exists!).
When specializing, I always advise students to choose the category they want to focus on and learn its principles so that no matter how the demands change, they can quickly adapt.
Some categories with their relevant skills are:
2. Focus on your strengths.
Just because you know a lot of people succeeding in Web Design doesn’t mean that you will, too.
Stop looking around, comparing which skill sets have more successful freelancers and which ones have fewer.
Start looking INWARD.
YOU are the only one who can determine which field is most suitable for you.
Look to your strengths. What are you good at?
Look to your passion. What is it that you love doing?
Are you talented with words?
Do you enjoy writing entertaining pieces of content?
Are you good with numbers?
Do charts and computations make your heart beat faster?
Are you great with design?
Have you been sketching your ideas whenever you’re bored?
Are you fascinated by machines and how lines of code work?
Have you been imagining apps that you would like to develop?
Look inwards - your strengths, talents, and interests will lead you to the best freelancing field for you.
3. Consider your Experience.
After looking inwards, it's time to look to the past.
Sometimes, one’s passion and career/educational background don’t match up.
But that doesn’t mean you should totally ignore your experiences.
There's purpose behind everything. Your past experiences might point you to your ideal future.
In my case, I’ve always loved reading, writing, and research.
However, I didn't have the chance to pursue my passion.
I had to quit school and look for a job.
I ended up working in the customer service industry for nine years.
I didn’t plan nor dream to be in customer service, but somehow it has become my most marketable skill.
My experience of nearly a decade easily attracts clients, so it definitely counts as an asset.
Do you have any educational or career background that is marketable online?
It would be great if you could combine your background with your passion.
But even if you couldn't, don’t neglect them.
There’s a purpose why you ended up in those fields - you can use them to your advantage.
4. Don’t get distracted by money.
Let’s face it – we are all in this for the money.
However, money is NOT a sufficient motivation if you want to stay in a freelancing field long-term.
Specializing means you’ll be focusing on that area for YEARS! (Learning, staying updated, interacting with clients, EVERYTHING.)
If you chose a category only because it’s the most profitable, you'd end up bored, unhappy, or frustrated.
And believe me, it's not at all worth it. It will feel like being enslaved by work and money all over again.
Why don't you stay within your strengths and experiences (SE) “zone” and enjoy every second that you work, learn and help clients?
Then your tasks won’t feel so much like work.
5. Test one category at a time.
Some of you might say, “I have so many interests! I can’t choose one.”
If you’re thinking this, you’re probably just like some of the “multi-passionate” or “multi-skilled” freelancers that I know.
Some people just can’t decide on a specialization because they’re good with numbers, love writing, have a programming background, and are talented in design!
(I know, right? These are the kind of people we love to hate.)
If you are multi-passionate, it may be tough to choose a specialization.
But you do have a wonderful gift and have so much potential in different fields.
So, if you have this dilemma, I would suggest that you choose just one category at a time.
Try working in all of the fields that you want – ONE. AT. A. TIME.
Choose one field and stay there for at least two years. Then, focus on another category again until you find out which one you enjoy the most.
Ultimately, choosing the right specialization is like tasting different flavors of ice cream.
There are various flavors, but you won’t know which one becomes your favorite until you've actually tried most of them.
And once you've picked one, all the other factors no longer matter – only that you enjoy your favorite flavor (or skillset).
If you do want to learn a different skill set, try taking a look at our course list HERE. You may find your perfect match right there.