There are many reasons to specialize. Among other: Clients trust experts, word of mouth works better, and your own marketing becomes easier. Here I present creative professionals who already have chosen their niche. This time: Pere Pagà, a Catalan freelance graphic designer.
Pere, what's your niche?
Corporate identity, packaging and communication for wine and spirits.
Why, and when, did you choose this niche?
I've always been in close contact with the wine industry. I live in a wine-producing region (Penedès-Catalonia, northeastern Spain). While I was finishing my design studies I worked as a label printer for an important Penedès wine producer, so already then I was in daily contact with wine labels.
In 1991, I started working for myself, and one of my first commissions was to design labels for a range of sparkling wines from a small, new wine producer.
Today most of my clients come from this niche.
However, sometimes I enjoy designing for other products just to “detox”. The occasional project outside my niche also gives me a broader view to the benefit of future projects.
Do you find it easy to find new clients in your niche?
If you specialize in a niche, you will develop a deep knowledge in what you are designing for, and such specialized knowledge gains trust from your clients.
The Penedès wine industry is increasing its sales abroad every year.
30 years ago the standard was to put a quill drawing of a “chateau” or a “masia” (Catalan rural house) on the bottle. The change in attitude was partly influenced of more attractive and attention grabbing wine designs used by wine producers from the New World (Australia, California, South Africa, Chile…)
Today many wine producers know that design can add value to their products and make them more competitive.
How do you primarily find new clients in this niche?
Mainly through recommendations from my clients or printing firms.
I'm active on social media, and I send out a monthly newsletter focused on this niche. The newsletter is a PDF-file with an example from our latest work.
Besides for finding new clients, how has choosing a niche affected you?
As a wine lover, it has given me the chance to form good relationships with winegrowers and make some good friends in this passionate world.
What advice would you give to a fellow graphic designer who is about to choose a niche?
Do what you love. If you love a specific area (sports, fashion, editorial, technology…) – fight for it! You'll enjoy work twice as much when working with two things you love.
Any other advice?
Design isn't an as easy job as it may seem when you just leave school. Dealing with clients is hard work sometimes. Add psychology on how to handle clients to your design skills.
More examples of specialized creative professionals: The Niche Notebook: 170+ Real-Life Examples of Creative Niches.