Niching down vs. expanding your services: Which one is best?

Whether you’re just getting started with freelancing or have been at it for some time, you’ve undoubtedly come across this question: Do you need a niche?

There are several avenues for freelancers when it comes to growing your business. A couple of those options are either niching down or expanding your services. 

Let’s go over both options to discover which one is best for your business.

The case for niching down

First, what exactly does niching down mean? 

A niche is a specialization. If you’re choosing a niche for your freelance business, that means you would specialize in either a service offering or an industry — or both. For example, you could offer grant consulting for nonprofits, which would be niching down in the service you offer and the types of clients you work with.

One benefit of niching down is that you can become a go-to in your industry. By focusing on one type of client or service, you’re demonstrating your expertise on the subject. 

Not to mention, having a niche is not only a good way for clients to find you but it also helps you weed out potential clients who may not be a good fit. 

“I have a particular niche and I have priced according to that niche and what’s going to be affordable to them,” says Lola Adewuya, founder of The Brand Doula. “We’re creating this more intuitive and clear customer journey where those who don’t fit in it already know that they don’t fit in it, and they’re not going to spend extra time in a place that they don’t belong or that it’s not going to be fitting for them.”

Niching down is great for solo freelancers, but that doesn’t mean a studio can’t have a niche, too. Niching down is all about streamlining. If you want to take on bigger or more clients within your niche, you can partner up with freelancers who offer the same service as you so you can team up to take on more work. 

“Focus on what’s going to be that product market fit idea,” adds Adewuya. “Focus on creating that service and refining your journey and making the best possible service that you can for the niche that you’ve decided to be in.”

The case for expanding your services

Another option for freelancers is to expand your services. 

Expanding could mean expanding your offerings or expanding the types of industries or clients you work with. Either way, expansion = growth because you’ll either have to take on additional work yourself or bring on teammates to help offer new services.

A good case for expanding your services is when you find that your clients could benefit from additional or complementary services to what you already offer. For example, if you’re a website developer, you might want to offer additional services that would provide a complete website experience for your clients including branding, SEO, and copywriting. In this case, since you can’t realistically offer all of these services yourself, you could partner with other freelancers who offer complementary services to you.

This approach can be great for people who want to turn their independent business into a studio. But if you want to remain solo, you could also expand your business into new industries in order to work with new clients while continuing to focus on one service.

The verdict 

There are pros and cons to both niching down and expanding your services. But the best part about freelancing, is the choice is yours. Only you know what’s best for your business and what’s worth exploring.

If you want to hone in on a certain service or industry, niching down is a great way to do that. But if you’re curious about entering a new market or growing a team, expanding your services is the way to go.

Ready to explore your options?