(Sorry it’s been so long since the last post. The book launch (and myriad technical issues) have kept me hopping of late. We’re back on track…)
Finishing up a round of work for one of my regular commercial freelancing clients recently, I once again paused to savor my original choice to be a commercial writing generalist. Yes, I tout my sales and marketing background as positioning me nicely to write effective copy in that arena, but within that broad category, I enjoy taking on projects types across the spectrum.
And frankly, I wouldn’t have landed this client as a specialist focused on one industry or writing project type. Over the past three or four months, she’s hired me to work on commercial writing projects spanning the gamut: marketing brochures, ads, direct mail, flyers, emails blasts, landing page copy and a lot more – for one of her clients.
I love the variety and she loves that she can get everything she needs from one person. She’s crazy-busy all the time, with little time to juggle writers; she needs and wants ONE reliable and multi-talented writing partner.
Others in our field (you?) love the specialist route. Folks like Michael Stelzner (white papers) and Casey Hibbard (case studies) spring to mind. Others zero in on one industry – usually the one they came out of. They love (or at least don’t mind) operating with a narrow focus, and are typically rewarded handsomely for doing so – often more than generalists.
But, while income potential is often higher for specialists, in my humble opinion, you should choose either route, first and foremost, because you truly enjoy that path, not because you think you’ll make more money. I mean, isn’t one of the key reasons for self-employment to do what you enjoy?
WANTED: A few successful generalists (like me!) to showcase in upcoming webinar. I’m looking for a few commercial writers who’ve gone the generalist route by choice and thrived (i.e., a six-figure writing income, ideally, or close to it…); big plus if you have a web site. If that sounds like you, email me.
Are you a generalist or a specialist, and why did you chose your path?
If you’re an ex-generalist/now-specialist, why did you make the change? Is your job satisfaction and/or income higher as a result?
Have you found that being one or the other has helped you weather a tough economy?
What do you see as the pros and cons of your path?