The Ultimate Guide to Choosing your Freelance Copywriting NicheJan 28, 2021
Copywriting niches are specific areas or industries you will focus on. Not choosing a niche is one of the worst mistakes you can make as a freelancer.
Most writers are curious and multi-passionate, so they think niching down will limit their reach, but that is not the case at all. Niching down is the most effective way to land clients and command high rates.
What is B2B copywriting?
B2B stands for business to business. B2B means that your writing aims to sell to companies buying products like software or office supplies. Your writing is still aimed at someone, but you’ll speak to someone’s job title and responsibilities rather than their personal life.
On the flipside, business to consumer (B2C) writing is for individuals buying products (like Vitamins) for themselves–—not on behalf of a company.
The difference? The way a business buys is slightly different from a consumer.
For example, Gina is an HR employee that needs to upgrade her company’s HR software. Although Gina is in charge of the purchase, she must consult her boss, colleagues, and the finance department before making the purchase.
Since Gina must involve several people in the buying process, it’s considered a more complex sale. The B2B material you write to target Gina will address the complexities of her purchasing process.
When Gina gets home from work and shops online for a new spin bike, she’s now a consumer. The advertisements for spin bikes will touch on different pain points since she’ll be making the decision on her own and only needs to pull out her credit card to make the purchase.
Because a B2B decision is more complex, it takes more skill and understanding.
That’s why B2B copywriting tends to pay more than B2C. Deciding between B2C and B2B will come down to who you want to speak to.
If you’re building on your professional background, you’ll know how to speak to B2B buyers because you’ve encountered them at your past jobs and can understand what motivates them.
Different types of B2B copy:
- White papers
- Case studies
- Press releases
- Sales brochures
- Sales scripts
- Blog posts
- Landing pages
- Product pages
- Social Media posts
Why you need to niche down
In addition to building a website, your niche helps customers find you. Having a niche helps you to appear in search results and ensures clients that you’re a match for them before they even contact you.
For clients to find you, you must correctly position yourself. Marketing expert Amy Porterfield says that if you’re speaking to everyone, you’re talking to no one. When you label yourself as a generalist copywriter, you risk getting lost in the crowd.
Niching doesn’t limit your reach—it helps you stand out in a sea of other writers, increasing your odds of being chosen.
By choosing a niche, you become the expert in your field. Serious problems usually require working with specialists, and people with specialized knowledge tend to be more expensive.
Look at the back of your insurance card. The copay for your general practitioner is probably around $15, while specialists cost at least $20 more.
When we go to professionals who specialize in one area, we conclude they’re the most knowledgeable in that field. Those are the people we trust immediately.
One of the fastest ways to gain their confidence is by telling them you’ve helped clients just like them.
Being a generalist in copywriting is less efficient. Shifting between industries and researching unrelated topics is much more time consuming. Remember, time is money.
If you choose to start with content writing like blogs (which I recommend), you’ll be paid a flat rate. If you spend too much time researching and writing posts, you’ll be unable to make money on other projects and clients.
When you write for one industry, you’ll get to know it inside and out. Your knowledge will compound, making it easier to complete assignments and making burnout less likely.
Examples of niching down
Here are examples of vague niches that don’t stand out.
- Finance copywriter
- Health copywriter
- Tech copywriter
- Education copywriter
Here are examples of niching down that ensure profitability—fast:
- Personal financial services copywriter
- B2B SaaS Technology Copywriter (mine!)
- Holistic health and wellness copywriter
- College and higher education copywriter
How to choose a niche
- Build on your background and experiences
Your past experiences should take precedence over your passions. I know that sounds like a bit of a downer, but it’s critical.
Where have you worked in the past? What do you have concrete experience doing?
Sure, you can choose something you're interested in, but we're trying to land paying clients as soon as possible. The number one reason for selecting an area you have experience in is confidence.
Being a new writer without “professional writing experience.” can shake your confidence, especially when pitching clients for the first time. I know it shook mine.
If you've clearly demonstrated your writing ability and can share with the company personal experience related to their industry, what else can they question?
Passion for a subject is great. Just make sure you can confidently tell them why you'd make a valuable addition to their marketing team.
2. Research companies in your market
Find out who the big players are in your industry. I niched down pretty far and focused on the software as a service (SaaS) in the sales enablement space. The big players in my market were companies like Salesforce, Hubspot, and Salesloft.
Software as an industry is broad. I chose sales organization software, since I had experience with that type it. Researching your target company's industry can help narrow down your niche.
Google the big industry players and target their competition. For me, I found a ton of smaller CRM companies that dreamt of being the next Salesforce. These “smaller fish” are great companies to get started with.
3. Check for viability
If you know what you want to write about, but don't know if there's a market for it, Google them to check for viability.
High-paying industry examples:
- Professional services like IT and accounting
- Computer hardware/software
Make a list of five ideal clients whom you would like to write content for. Visit their website and check to see if they are already writing content.
Are they posting blogs and offering white paper downloads? Do the topics they write about align with your niche?
Their existing content shows that they need more content. They may not be hiring at the moment, or they may have employees writing the articles, but that doesn't matter. Since they have a content strategy, you can potentially contribute.
The bottom line on choosing a freelance copywriting niche
Niching down is one of the most effective ways to land clients and command a high fee. Since B2B buying decisions are more complex, they require more skill and knowledge and cost more.
Determining what type of B2C or B2B to focus on will depend on who you want to reach. Niching down makes it simpler for clients to find you, brands you as the expert in your field, and speeds up the writing process.
Now go choose your niche!
You’re more than capable. You got this!