If you are a freelance writer or copywriter, you probably have a fairly broad skill set.
If I asked you what you did, you might say one of the following:
“I’m an online sales copywriter.”
“I’m an online content writer.”
“I’m a social media writer and marketer.”
There is nothing wrong with those descriptions, in so far as they describe a general area of expertise. Behind that claim you could have a ton of training and professional experience.
The limitation of describing your value in these broad terms is that you will find yourself lumped together with thousands of other people who describe themselves in exactly the same way.
For example you could be a terrific online copywriter. But when someone hears you describe yourself with those words, they might think, “Yep, you and a thousands of other people like you.”
In other words, you are not differentiating yourself.
There are various ways in which you can try to differentiate yourself. Perhaps the most common is to choose a particular niche. Instead of saying you are just one more online copywriter, you can say you are an online copywriter who specializes in the financial industry.
But today I want to suggest another way to create a point of differentiation.
Within your broad area of knowledge, acquire some deep expertise in one related skill.
For example, instead of saying, “I’m an online copywriter,” you could say, “I’m an online copywriter certified in A/B split testing”.
Instead of saying, “I’m a web content writer, you could say, “I’m a web content writer who specializes in YouTube video scripts and advanced YouTube features.”
Instead of saying, “I’m a social media writer,’ you could day, “I’m a social media writer with advanced knowledge in using social media monitoring and analytics.”
Now you have a differentiator. You have a technical point of difference that separates you from other copywriters, content writers and social media experts.
In addition, these areas of specialty expertise add to the perception of your value. This means you can charge more.
I’m not saying that as a copywriter you’ll now only be doing work that involves A/B split testing. You can take on regular copywriting work too, just like you do now. But the fact that you offer a related, specialty service still sets you apart and make you seem more authoritative and valuable.
There is a proviso here.
For this to work, and to add genuine value, you really do need to study and master this area of expertise. Take a course, read the best books on the topic, get certifications where they are available.
And the examples I gave above are just the tip of the iceberg. Your specialty could be Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Facebook advertising, landing page optimization, lead generation, email optimization and so on. Some, like Google Analytics, are product specific. Others, like email optimization, are more general. But they all add a layer of specificity that you can’t achieve by just saying, “I’m an online copywriter.”
One more thing…
Learning a narrow skill, and knowing more about it than 99% of other people feels good. It’s like you have joined an exclusive club. Sure, thousands of people present themselves as online copywriters, but how many are also certified in database marketing?
It’s fun to feel special, to be apart from the crowd.
It can be profitable too.
About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach. Read more…
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