As a web designer, you are your own business and business owner. You might find yourself in a very competitive market and because the field you are in is so competitive, you need to find ways to give yourself an edge over the competition. There are several ways to do this, and of course, you can try your best to outperform and outdo the others in your field, or even lower your rates to attract more business. But an alternative way in trying to be competitive in the market you are in, is to find a smaller, less competitive market and specialize in that. This is exactly the strategy for those targeting and working in niche markets, and is called niching down your business. The idea is that you find a market where the demand is not quite as high, but also translates to the services and products available also being low. In turn, you will specialize your services here and ensure you become an expert in fewer things rather than simply good or average over a variety of avenues. With less competition, it is easier to work yourself to the top, being the best in that market and thus being able to pull in the few that demand your services at still quality or even perhaps higher rates based on your abilities.  

Design Niche

There are several ways in which you can niche down your web design business. One strategy in order to target niches is to design specifically for those certain niches. Instead of being a designer that is able to work for and create anything, specializing in one or a few paths will allow you to become an expert in that design. For example, choosing to specialize in advertising banners for businesses may limit you from customers that are looking for platform background designs for apps like twitter and facebook. But what you are doing is becoming the designer that companies can specifically contact for their design needs. You may be limiting the amount of small and midrange offers you get and the quantity, but being an expert in a certain field helps promote yourself to larger companies and bigger projects.  

Who You Work With

Another idea that you can implement when designing with niche markets in mind is to work with specific people, companies, or industries. It comes back down to being that professional with a certain expertise.  Working mostly with restaurants, dentists, or lawyers lets your clients know that you understand their business. read more here to get an understanding of how there are certain markets looking for different services. By providing a niche service, you can provide clients reliable service due to your experience and track record. This will again put you in demand for your services for these niche markets, but may limit you in the options from other markets or the general public. But you will create a trust for your clients, which will promote longer and better business relations.

Target Markets

Alternatively to choosing who you work with, another strategy to employ would be to choose the type of companies and markets you work in or with. This doesn’t necessarily mean the industry you are specializing in, but more they companies and their structure itself. An example might be that you choose to work with smaller startups, understanding their lower budgets, who they are targeting, and how to grow. Or you could choose to work with more established companies, with a clear understanding of how to garner more returning customers, and be competitive in their markets, as they already have a large audience, and how to budget with more money to work with.  


As a designer, you are not only limited to the markets you design for or the products you are designing when niching down.  If you are looking to specialize yourself and your brand, a great way to do so is to specialize the service you provide in the language, code, or programs you use.  By doing this, you can open up the availability you have to work on different projects, companies, and markets, but you are letting your clients know you have expertise in things like HTML5, Javascript, or Flash.  This provides you more opportunity in the jobs you can take while still communicating that you have expertise in certain things that will keep you in demand in competitive industries.

Finding a niche as a web designer might sound limiting for beginners who may want to have as many doors open, but actually, by doing so, you are making it harder for yourself.  Committing to certain niches allows others to perceive you as an expert and will then give you more demand for your services, while also allowing you to focus and improve your craft.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.