Web Design Niching: Bane or Boon?
Posted by Sandeep Sharma
Good news for all web developers and web designers out there. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the US Department of Labor, the demand for web development, web design and other online marketing experts will continue to surge until 2020 making it one of the fastest growing employment sectors. This is primarily attributed to the foreseen growth in ecommerce. Given this industry boom, there still one question that has been beleaguering a number of website designers: should you be a “jack of all trades” designer or should you go the route of a highly specialized website design company?
Clearly, there are benefits to both but here, the discussion will zoom in on the advantages niching can bring to a designer of a web design agency and how you can carve your own place in this extremely competitive industry.
Niching: What are the Advantages?
You go to a dentist for an oral prophylaxis. If you’re experiencing chest paints, you will be referred to a cardiologist. To get clear skin, a trip to the dermatologist is in order. The medical profession is one of the most highly specialized fields in the world.
Based on the example above, one of the advantages of website designers who choose to focus on specific industries is having the opportunity to establish themselves as the go-to experts for potential clients in that field. For example, if you position yourself as an expert in designing websites for financial companies, the next time a bank, say Citibank, needs a web redesign, you have a higher chance of being hired versus your generalist counterparts.
Another advantage is since you’re only concentrating on one or two fields of expertise, you can focus all your attention to keeping up with the trends and best practices in your chose niche. This makes your processes more streamlined and productive. Further, since you’re only learning keeping track of one or two industries, you have more time to develop sophisticated and advanced services for your clients.
Niching is a Great Hook for New Clients
Without hard facts and definitive statistics, it is a fact that many times, the thing that strains the relationship between a client and a web design agency is the agency’s lack of in-depth knowledge about the client’s industry.
As mentioned above, niching solves this problem. Website designers who specialize in specific industries know the intricacies, the jargons, the trends, the market situation, the needs and the demands to be successful in that particular field. The client does not have to engage in a lengthy discussion on the ins and outs of the industry, thereby expediting the design process. The sooner a website gets published, the sooner a client can meet its desired business objectives.
What are the Different Niches?
Aside from industry niches, there are other specializations that a website design company can be involved in.
- Website type – you can be a specialist in ecommerce sites, entertainment sites or content sites.
- Geographical Scope – there are clients who prefer to hire website designers whom they can meet in person and have regular face-to-face meeting with. You can focus on providing services to your city or state if the demand is present.
- Associations and organizations – you can also focus on designing websites for professional organizations, interest groups or lobbyists. For example, you can position yourself as an expert in designing websites for women advocacies.
- Redesign and other specialty services – there are a lot of business owners out there who may be dissatisfied with their current sites. You may choose to specialize in this. Also, you may also offer other affiliate services on top of web designing such as SEO marketing.
Tips on Selecting Your Niche
There are three key factors that you should take into consideration when choosing a niche. First is market size. There are some niches that are too small and unprofitable. In order for you to continue doing what you love, your chosen niche should be profitable enough to sustain your operations and grow your business.
The second factor is market growth. What sectors or segments are growing rapidly? For instance, green living or environmental friendly products are gaining in popularity because of recent natural disasters. Read the news. Go to social media. Know what’s happening out there and identify growth opportunities.
Lastly, make sure that the niche you choose is something that you can be passionate about. Website designers are at their best when they love what they’re doing. If your interest is not that lucrative, maybe you can have two niches – one that will allow you to express your true passion and one that will bring you the revenues.
If you think niching is something for you, feel free to use these recommendations and hopefully, you’d fine your “web design calling” in no time.