As a Freelancer, Should You Focus or Diversify?

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As a freelancer, the question of focusing vs. diversifying often comes up. Common questions that arise are: Is it possible for freelancers to have multiple service offerings? Is it better to stick to one core service offering—or advertise multiple services? Indeed, can freelancers be skilled in multiple areas? Let’s take a look…

Do freelancers have multiple skills?

The first thing to understand is that good freelancers naturally have multiple skills. This includes:

  • Communication
  • Dealing with clients
  • Managing their workload
  • Marketing themselves
  • Prioritising
  • Solving problems
  • Analysing their competitors

In other words, their skills lie not just in the actual work they do and their service offering, but in being their own boss. We’re talking about people who use multiple different skills on a daily basis and wear numerous hats to succeed in their freelance business. So yes, freelancers are multi-skilled.

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Do skills mean service offerings?

The second thing to understand is the difference between freelance skills and service offerings:

  • A skill simply means “the ability to do something”
  • A service offering means “the particular service you advertise and sell to customers”

You no doubt have skills in multiple things, but that doesn’t mean you have (or indeed should have) service offerings in all of them. Your service offerings should be comprised of your best skills.

Can freelancers have multiple service offerings?

Freelancers often have multiple skills that would benefit clients, and one freelance skillset might lend itself to multiple freelance service offerings. Imagine a person who has the following skill set:

  • Attention to detail
  • An eagle eye
  • Knowledge of grammar and punctuation
  • A way with words
  • An understanding of what readers want

From these skills, they could offer proofreading, copyediting, copywriting, or ghostwriting services. As such, they might have more than one service offering.

Likewise, a virtual assistant might offer a wide range of services to clients, such as managing inboxes, posting on social media, invoicing, proofreading, and so on.

Do clients want multiple service offerings?

On the one hand, freelance jobs are more fluid than a 9-5 job description. Clients know what they want, and that doesn’t necessarily fit under a simple category. On the other hand, if you advertise multiple disparate skills, you risk sounding like a jack of all trades. Clients often like to hire people who are experts in their field, so selling multiple very different services is likely to indicate that you’re not a master in any of these areas.

Should you stick to one core service offering?

There’s no simple answer to this question, as it depends on each individual freelancer and the strength of their skills. However, there are some general considerations…

  • The more service offerings you have, the less time you get to develop and improve in them, and the less likely you are to develop a ‘trusted expert’ status.
  • The less service offerings you have, the less clients you’re opening yourself up to, and the less likely you are to weather the storm if your skill becomes outdated or oversaturated.

box-2071537_640.pngAs such, you may want to pursue several complementary service offerings. Alternatively, you could offer a core service and maintain your skills in other areas on the side. Or you could bundle your complementary service offerings into a simple, combined service for clients.

How to sell multiple service offerings

If you do decide to sell multiple services, there are a few simple rules that should ensure success:

  • Stick to skills that you’re an expert in, so you maintain great reviews.
  • Back up each skill with the experience you have in that area, so potential buyers can see your skills in action.
  • Try to stick to complementary skills, rather than completely different ones, so clients trust in your skills.
  • Keep your skills in all service offerings up to date.

Do you have one or multiple service offerings? How did you choose which to pursue? Comment below or get in touch.

 

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