Do I Need a Specialty as a Media Professional?

Last updated on May 16th, 2022 at 11:31 pm

Do I Need a Specialty as a Media Professional?

Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

If you’re like me, you hate doing the same thing day by day. You find the tedium of repetition unbearable, so you were drawn to the media industry for its variety and for the freedom it provides. But after a while, you realize you’re not getting any work. You’ve cast your nets so wide that no one knows what to think of you as. Are you a writer? A graphic designer? A web developer? A videographer? “All of the above!” I hear you cry.

Speaking as someone with exactly this problem, I know this situation all too well. But there’s hope! In this post, we’re going to explore why casting your nets wide doesn’t have to weigh you down as a professional, as well as how to communicate more effectively with your potential clientele about your many and varied skills. 

Because no, you don’t have to have a specialty. What you need is good communication. Let’s talk about how this looks on a portfolio website like studiooriley.com

Communication

Communication is the process by which information passes from the communicator to the receiver through a medium, whether that medium be speech, written word, gesture, image, video, etc.. If you’re not getting clients, it’s likely because your message isn’t reaching the people its meant for. The best way to fix this is to diagnose where the problem is in your professional presentation.

First

Let’s say you have a portfolio website, listing all of your services. The first thing you need to know is that not every client needs to know every skill you have. While you may be able to do a multitude of things very well, your client is likely visiting your site because they’re looking for one service. To Jacks and Jills of all trades, it may be helpful to use an umbrella term to encompass all of your talents. For instance, professionally I am a videographer, graphic designer, photographer, web developer, writer, And brand consultant. But that’s a mouthful, so I call myself a Digital Media Designer for short. This tells clients that I make digital content spanning multiple fields without being overwhelming. 

Second

Don’t be too specific. If you’re a writer, don’t list every kind of writing you do on your main page. That’s what your “Services” section is for. It’s true that there should be somewhere where potential clients can peruse all of your skills, but their first impression of you should be a concise one. It’s enough to tell people that you’re a copywriter. Does that mean you write copy for everything from blogs to stories to ads and everything in-between? Maybe, but your ability to concisely state what you do will leave your visitors with higher confidence in your ability as a writer. 

There is another benefit to brevity. By leaving visitors with such a broad label as “Copywriter,” you leave them free to imagine the many and diverse uses for copy. Copy, in itself, says versatility. It’s generality allows for endless use cases, whereas if you specify many use cases for your visitor, they may assume that the types listed are the only types you can do. In short, find the most general term to describe what you do, and call yourself that on your business cards.

Third

Every claim must bear the burden of proof. If you claim to be a writer, your visitors will want to see examples of your work. The same goes for other content creators. You need to provide samples, tell stories about your work up to this point, maybe even provide reviews from your previous clients. You’ll want to put work into showcasing your work in its best light, because this is how visitors will decide whether or not your work is worth their money. 

So what form should your examples take? Galleries are a great option for visual content. Give each piece it’s own mini-page, pointing out its best features, telling the viewer about the process that took you, the creator, from concept to product. For writers, you want a blog, preferably with a selection of your best work for other clients. Musicians may want a gallery of sorts, with a cover image for each audio clip and a sample of the file. In short, your clients should get a real taste for the quality and scope of your work. If they don’t, you’re wasting your time. 

Fourth and finally,

Keep everything your clients will see as uncomplicated as possible. Your website or portfolio should have just enough complexity to truly represent your work, and no more. There should be plenty of white space, big, visible buttons, and pretty color combinations. If your visitor doesn’t like the presentation of your page, you’ve likely lost them already. With so many professionals out there, with so many options for fast, cheap, professional service, your website has to really speak to the visitor. You’ve got a few moments, at best, to convince them to reach out, so make those seconds count.

Now, keep in mind that running your own business is hard. So don’t give up if it takes a few years to gain the kind of traction you’re comfortable with.

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, or if you’d like to leave a question or comment, please don’t hesitate to do so. As always, I’d love to hear from you. Click here to get in touch.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *