Freelance : You don’t have to specialize if you don’t want to.

If there’s something that I’ve read mostly everywhere when I was doing my research before creating my business, it was that YOU. MUST. SPECIALIZE. = find your niche, and never look back.

Well, it’s been a year and a half since then, and I’m quite happy that I didn’t listen to that specific piece of advice.

When I started as a freelancer, I had 3 different kinds of activities : international recruitment, translation, and proofreading. As I was doing my business plan, I did try to find a niche for each activity, and I mean, on the paper it did look good. It looked badass, even. What a plan, what a strategy ! But in the end… it really didn’t work out that way, haha !

Out of the 3 activities, recruitment and proofreading were the two I had developed the best on paper. Guess what, it’s the translation activity that worked the best ! I ended up focusing on this one for a while, because that’s how I started to actually make money out of my business.

You must think, “she said you don’t need to specialize, but that’s what she did in the end”… but actually, nope. I removed activities that just didn’t work for me, and focused on the one where I had fun working and where I could actually make a living out of it. And I didn’t choose any niche in the translation market, I’m still open to almost everything. If I see an interesting project, I just give it a try. So far I’ve translated personal documents, resumes, articles, webtoons, Youtube videos… and I’d like to try translating books and tv shows in the future.

And I didn’t stop there.

As I started translating Youtube videos for a psychology channel, they also asked me if I could do the voiceover for their animations. I do have a Youtube channel (even though I didn’t post in forever), so they could check my voice there. It made me feel quite insecure because I had never tried that, and didn’t even think about trying it, but at the same time… I was so curious. I’ve mentioned this in previous posts so you can check it out if you’re interested in this topic : I’m a multipotentialite. Which means I love to try and learn new things (and I get bored easily). So, spoiler alert, I did accept the job, and now it’s been 2 months that I’ve been doing voiceover videos, and I love it ~

I’d say that working as a freelancer is the ultimate freedom, so why would you put yourself into a box ? If you’re interested in other fields, try it ! If you see a project that looks like fun, even if it’s not in your field, if you think you can do it, apply/contact them ! It’s all about finding the right opportunities, and taking a chance.

Here’s an example : these days, my days are divided in two; translating Korean webtoons in the morning and early afternoon, and working on these voiceover videos in the afternoon or in the evening. I have to say, it’s very stimulating since it’s never the same thing, it’s a routine without being boring, and this is perfect for me. This is what you have to look for : what suits you best.

When I started, I remember how worried I was about not having a specific activity and niche. Even when I focused on translation only later on, I was worried about not having a niche. But it all worked out fine. You know, it’s like when you’re looking for a job and it’s just a question of finding the right company… As a freelancer, you just have to find the right clients. They will give you a chance, even if you have no experience in that field, because they see how determined and passionate you are. Where someone will see flaws in the fact that you’ve had multiple and various activities, someone will see it as an amazing capacity to learn and adapt.

So for the ones who need to hear/read this : you really don’t need to specialize if you don’t want to. Try everything that you want to try, and see what works out ! This curiosity will make your business bloom 🙂 !

PS : But if you’re the kind of person that prefers to focus on one single activity and niche, that’s also fine, don’t worry ! You just do you !

What about you ? Did you specialize, or do you just go with the flow ? Or maybe you specialize on one thing at a time ? Tell me about it in the comments ~

I hope you all have/had a lovely day, and see you next week !

Marie.

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