Recently I asked a technology executive if businesses value writers as much as lawyers or accountants. “More so,” he said.
As his comment suggests, writers are in demand today. A writer can make the difference in whether a company’s content stands out in a content-saturated market, a start-up’s business plan wins over skeptical investors or a CEO’s speech inspires and motivates employees.
Often, businesses want writers who are specialists.
Specialization can provide:
- a foundation on which you can build a writing business,
- opportunities to increase your income and
- the flexibility to pursue other interests such as writing for a nonprofit organization, teaching or writing a novel.
Here are some ways to specialize:
Businesses hire writers who specialize in industries such as entertainment, healthcare, real estate or technology. These writers are well informed about trends and issues in an industry, know the industry’s lingo and are comfortable working with industry professionals.
- Business and professional services
Some writers specialize in writing for accounting, architecture, law, consulting and other firms that provide business and professional services.
- Small businesses
There are millions of small businesses in the U.S. Writers who understand the challenges of managing a small business can help a business start up and grow.
- Content writing and marketing
This is a hot market for writers – as ASJA’s recent Content Connections conference in Chicago attests. Businesses want writers who excel not only at creating but also at marketing content. These writers help companies build their brands, connect with people through social media and other channels, inform, entertain and influence audiences and attract customers.
- Type of writing
Today’s market for writing talent is so broad and deep that businesses can find writers who specialize in every type of writing: blogs, case studies, e-newsletters, video scripts, white papers and much, much more.
How to specialize
Do your research
Learn about developing a specialty. Visit the web pages and social media sites of businesses and writers. Consult information sources such as Industries At a Glance, a U.S. government publication. Learn about content marketing from the Content Marketing Institute and other sources. View job listings for writers.
Figure out what interests you
Does writing for companies in construction, healthcare or another industry interest you? Or writing for small businesses?
Start writing about your specialty. On your web site. In articles for industry journals. In a post for a trade association. You’ll create a portfolio to use in marketing your services to businesses.
Attend meetings of business groups. Join associations of businesses or professions in your specialty. I’m not a certified public accountant, but I belong to the American Institute of CPAs (in a membership category for non-CPAs).
Specialization doesn’t limit you. You can specialize in healthcare but also write about things outside the field. And you can have more than one specialty.