I’ve got a secret to share today, but promise me, this would remain between us.
I can count on you, right?
The thing is – I am no master, I am just a jack of all trades.
All your professional life, you must have heard – be the best at ‘one thing’- pick a niche and be a master of that craft.
And here I stand – the one you’ve been listening to for a while, telling you I’ve not been able to master anything even after working for six years straight.
Were you duped?
You signed up for this newsletter thinking you’d learn something from me and now I am saying I am no master. So, do you feel like being cheated?
Before you stop reading further, just listen to me.
Did you know?
The phrase ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’ is actually only half part of the full couplet. The original phrase was, “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes, better than a master of one.” Unlike the popular version, the real one has a completely different meaning. Right?
Being a jack of all trade isn’t bad after all
I know we all have our biases and pre-conceived notions. I don’t want to break the ones you have.
But I am saying that you should always keep an open mind- towards things around you. You shouldn’t limit yourself by sticking to just one thing.
My first job was in a small financial consulting firm. The owner of the firm always repeated the same thing when we talked:
“Keep an open mindset, Anmol! Broaden your outlook.”
He wanted me to keep exploring ways to grow the business. And he was right, all along.
That made me who I am today – a jack of all trades. And I am not ashamed of it.
For some client projects (and most of my personal ones), I don’t just write (or create marketing strategies). I write, design, launch web pages, talk to real customers, and whatnot.
I want you to keep an open mindset, too.
In fact, there’s an actual position for this particular situation in marketing (and the real quote): a T-Shaped Marketer and with that concept in hindsight, I want you to be a T-shaped freelancer.
Being a T-shaped Freelancer
It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, designer, or coder.
If you’re freelancing, you need to be a T-shaped freelancer, by default. (you need to take care of admin, invoicing, accounting, taxes, marketing, etc.)
Now, that being said, let’s focus on being a T-Shaped Freelancer through an example of T-Shaped Marketing.
A T-shaped freelancer is someone, who is great at one thing – has a depth of knowledge on everything under the sun related to his skill, and also has a broad knowledge of the related concepts. (apart from basic ‘freelancing skills’ like invoicing, accounting, etc.)
For example, I am a marketer who knows his way around organic rankings, blogs and content.
But that doesn’t mean I ignore other related aspects. (A few mentioned in the post above)
Marketing results are heavily dependent on the product, audience, website/channel, design, choice of marketing channels/avenues (social media, paid ads, organic rankings, etc.) and everything in between.
So, I keep experimenting in allied niches and over time, gained some practical knowledge about ‘things’- became a jack of all trades.
Not because I am not confident of my core skill, but I don’t want to feel like a fool when a prospect/client asks an opinion on a related ‘thing’.
So, if you are a freelance content writer, make sure you don’t stick to writing only. Learn a bit about content strategy, add ‘eye for aesthetic design’ to the mix, pepper in some insights on best mediums, explore how to expand the scope of writing.
That’s how you’ll grow as a professional and a person, in fact.
You don’t want to be the master of only one skill in 2021.
It will hurt more than it will benefit at a time when most clients want a single freelancer to handle everything- from writing to keyword research, blog management, content strategy, design and whatnot.
Trust me, you’ll be doing a favor to yourself if you start your T-shaped freelancing journey, soon.
The market is going to get tighter and more crowded with time with people promising the world, moon, stars and more, for pennies.
But remember this one thing – learn to differentiate between being aspirational and knowing your limits. And never portray more than you know. Else, you know, you can be marked as an imposter, too.
It will take some time to master the art of being a T-shaped freelancer, maybe even months or years, but the sooner you start accepting this fact, the better your future will be.
Lastly, I don’t mean to discourage you from sticking to a single niche. If sticking to a niche is working well, I am happy for you. 😊
I just wanted to share that I am not just a master, but a jack because I had to work on all kinds of project over the years.
Till the next time, keep freelancing….
Wait, wait, wait... you must be thinking where is the ‘promised’ gift that I mentioned in my last newsletter?
Here comes another confession:
I goofed up big time with that!
(Actually, my dog did something horrible which made me mad while I was working on it but that isn’t important right now).
I am preparing it again from scratch, but I have something else for you right now.
Something we all like - a riddle.
Here it goes:
“You can share me with others, without losing it yourself,
I am considered more valuable than worldwide riches & wealth,
Sometimes, I am found in the building with the most stories,
Other times, I am found lying around buried deep in widely known theories”
The answer to the above riddle is the promised gift. Send me the answer by replying to this email.
If your guess is right, I will send you a special surprise, personally.*
* No limits or T&C. Everyone who gives the right answer will get a special surprise. So, send your answers, before I reveal the gift myself. 😊
Your freelance companion
Anmol Ratan Sachdeva