Know It All And You Lose It All – Get Your Gold Client VIDEO Series


How many times do you think I have heard people say, “I’m a web designer” or even “I’m an expert web designer”?

How many times?

I can tell you – too many times. I’m sick of hearing people say “I’m a web designer.

And you know why? Because it says absolutely nothing about you. Do you really think being one of millions of other “web designers” is something to be proud of?

No! It isn’t something to be proud of at all.

And today I will tell you exactly why.

Do you want to be known for something? Or do you prefer to be nothing to anyone?

Think about it my dear friend!

”If you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll wind up being nothing to anyone.” ~ Author Unknown

Know It All And You Lose It All

Three Steps To Choose Your Niche:

1. What Are You Interested In?

What’s your best skill? What do people tell you, you’re good at?

  • Is it politics? Build websites for governments!
  • Is it painting? Build websites for art studios!
  • Is it photography? Build websites for photographers!
  • Is it cats? Build websites for catteries!

You got the point – whatever your interest is will be the niche you will be able to stick to.

2. Can You Pay The Bills?

Research whether your chosen interest can be profitable enough to pay your bills.

  • It can be a budget field where you charge less per client, but have more clients!
  • Or on the other hand it can be a premium field where you can survive having 5 clients!

You can love your niche, but walking around starved will not get you anywhere.

3. Can You Start Right Now?

Just because you have picked a niche and it is profitable does not mean it will be easily accessible.

  • Consider your niche’s competition. Is it easy to break through it?
  • Are people in your niche willing to pay for your services?
  • Can you start tomorrow? Or you need more resources, like extra funding, knowledge, etc?

Whatever it is you still need, nothing can stop you except yourself. Go and become an expert web designer in your niche!

Question: “So What Is Your Specific Expert Niche?”



  1. Jack of all trades isn’t bad at all I get more job offers than the people who “specialize” in certain things because i’m known to be able to get it done. I think reputation and reviews are more important than anything.

    • James Richman

      Hey Josh

      You are totally right mate.
      But at the same time there’s a little secret behind.

      I can tell you clearly that you wouldn’t not be able to charge as much per client.
      If you are jack of all trades. Because the ones with specialty at a certain niche are the ones charging high rates.

      So it’s your choice – 1. Less money from a client and more work or 2. More money from a client and less work.

      Which one do you prefer Josh? :)

  2. Hi James,

    Sorry I am bit late coming in on this article! But wanted to say thanks for another great article & vid. I totally get your message. It has been mentioned a few times on 1WD now and I am glad I am getting this drummed into me now, as I begin my career.

    Not particularly got a niche yet for myself. I am working on a few sites to get a portfolio together and need to get the business set up (blog, website etc) still. Coming to end of my course, then aim to learn WordPress and PHP then I will take a step back and see where my skills are best and steer toward that particular field/niche.

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Mike

      I’m glad you enjoyed the video.
      And your totally right, it’s such a topic, that needs to be repeated.

      As that’s your foundation.
      But of course trying out different niches to establish your portfolio is a great idea.

      I wanted to ask you Mike.
      Are you using WordPress much or not?

      Also what part of the UK are you from? I’m in Wales :)

      • Hi James,

        Yes, it is important to repeat the important and basics, to build on and to re-visit the fundamentals every so often so you don’t forget them.

        I haven’t used WordPress yet :( so far all I have done is install it on my web host servers but that is it. I want to re-design my portfolio site and to start a blog and so wish to do this with WordPress. I thought my own website would be an ideal project with which to learn rather than a client’s website where I have other pressures that I won’t with my own site. I just need to find/make time to learn. And find somewhere to learn from too, Dainis had mentioned Spence on here, so I need to have a look at his post archive.

        I am in & from Perth, Scotland, James. Been here for all but 1 year of my life, where I lived in Greater London, near Croydon. Never. Again. :p

        • James Richman

          Hi Mike

          Ouh I’m so glad you are going to use WordPress for that.
          Because as you know I’m a big fan of WordPress.

          And for sure your own website is the best place where you can learn and test everything.
          Spencer is definitely an experienced freelancers, for sure.

          When are you thinking to redesign your site?

          • Hi James,

            As soon as I can. I have been meaning to get started for weeks now but I keep having to put it to one side for now. I am hoping the workflow will allow me to get started next week sometime, will see. I want to do code it in WordPress once I have a design to work on. :)

  3. Its really about focusing on what you’re best at. Maybe I can be a bit of everything and be master of one?

    • Same question for me. Although on a different case.

      I’m a new graphics designer who focuses mainly on logo designs. However, I also design business cards, vouchers, brochures, etc. I have been reading articles here at 1stwebdesigner. Now, I’m seriously considering trying out web designing.

      • James Richman

        Hey James

        It’s pretty much the same example Jason mentioned.
        You can try to do all of those things.

        But you risk dropping the quality for that one speciality you would like to master.

        Jacob Cass is a great example how to be really good at something one and specific.

        But James, Don’t You Really Feel Like Focusing Only One Of Them?

    • James Richman

      Hey Jason
      You kind of already answered your question yourself.

      You surely can be a bit of everything and be a master of one.
      But think how good could you become at that one, if you wouldn’t wast you time and energy on those other things, but only the one you want to master.

      What’s Your Opinion On This Jason?

  4. James, nice one!
    This is so important to understand. Sometimes it can take few years to get to this knowledge.
    I’ve got flash back while watching your video.

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Peter

      I’m very glad you got the main message of this video.
      And you are totally right, sometimes it can take few years, but on the other hand sometimes much less.

      What About You Peter?
      Do you already know where your focus is?

      • Ahoy James,
        Currently I’m diving deeper into Prestashop development. This environment is very dynamic and pleasant to work with. I like to spend more time on one project and this is bit difficult when working on small personal websites. But yeh I’m putting the puzzles together and starting to see a picture.

        • James Richman

          Hey Peter

          So you are more in to eCommerce projects, right?

          And actually I don’t really know many Prestashop developers.
          But probably it is because there are so many shops built using Wordpres, like WooCommerce, different Themes, Child Themes and Plugins.

          As well as Magento engine for really professional shops.

          What About You Peter?
          Never thought of using WordPress for your eCommerce projects?

  5. Luison

    Got the idea James. Thanks. Now I have to choose one of the million niches about web design. I’m starting in the web design business, and I even don’t have a portafolio, or a presonal website. Everithing is in “under contruction” fase.
    I’ll see what i do in the near future.
    Thanks to 1stwebdiseginer team I’m clearing a lot of things up.

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Luison

      I’m glad you enjoyed the video mate.
      Don’t forget we all started with “Under Construction” phase.

      So it’s just a a part of the whole journey.

      Now, If I Was Asking You Now Luison
      What is the niche you think you would love to focus on?

      • Luison

        I guess I’m really enjoying working with Joomla, but I don’t have preference talking about niche. Not at the moment. I suppose I have to try building some different kind of websites.

        • James Richman

          Hey Luison

          Ouh yes Joomla, I used to work with it in the past.
          Even in the times when it was Mambo.

          And regards picking your niche.
          You are right, you got to “touch” a variety of industries.

          In that way you will get the best feel what you are good at and comfortable with.

          Are you thinking of trying WordPress any time soon?

  6. Khalid

    Agree 100% from first hand experience. Many years a go I was hired because I knew some HTML, now days it takes more than just being an expert web designer to get the job , you need a deep knowledge and understanding of what you design for. that’s why I focused on a small niche 6 or 7 years a go, it wasn’t easy at the beginning but surly paid off after time.

    • James Richman

      Hey Khalid

      That’s actually unbelievable how a while ago all it took to get hired was just HTML knowledge.

      And I Wanted To Ask You Khalid
      So since 6 or 7 years ago what has been this focus of yours?

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Zannat

      Thanks for your kind comment! :)
      It was my pleasure to share it!

      How About Your Focus?
      Do you have a specific niche you can focus on?

  7. Tim

    “Do you really think being one of millions of other “web designers” is something to be proud of?”
    This can be said about anything…
    Do you really think being a human is something to be proud of? We’ve done nothing but destroy this planet and most every creature that lives on it, including ourselves. We use up valuable resources without replenishing them. We send people to prison for committing murder… oh, unless it’s for the purpose of war, then it’s perfectly fine to kill people. It’s ok to kill animals…UNTIL their population gets down to a point where it isn’t ok to kill them. We eats cows, but are horrified if we find out that horse meat is being used instead.
    We reproduce uncontrollably, thus causing economic recessions. Although, people don’t want to believe that it what is causing the recessions. They would rather blame it on the government, or really, anything but themselves. It’s so obvious, yet everyone chooses to ignore it because that would interfere with their lifestyle. More people = fewer jobs for existing people = less money to distribute between people = higher cost of living.
    Aside from that, being a web designer is entirely better than being a military officer, CEO, politician, the vice president, hunter, fisherman, lawyer, fast food employee or salesman.

    • James Richman

      Hey Tim

      What an amazing comment you have here.
      I’ve thought so much about the issues you wrote about.

      It scares me a bit and makes me kind of angry too for what we have done.
      And then makes me confused when people are so not willing to understand or listen about it.

      But this article’s main message can really be applied to anything that’s right.
      The secret is to make sure you make yourself stand out from masses, by having a niche.

      Now, I Wanted To Ask You Tim
      What makes you think that for instance being a web designer is better than being a CEO?

      • Tim

        I have never met or seen/observed a CEO that is truly happy with their job. They may put forth the outward appearance of being happy, but it is plainly obvious that they are not. They are usually under tremendous stress. They have to make decisions that affect the lives of 10’s to 1000’s of people. They have to hire and fire people. They have to constantly worry about their company going bankrupt, about taxes, about lawsuits, about what product they are going to make next, about what the public will think of them. I can go on.
        In interviews and public appearances I’ve seen with these people, they joke around, but you can tell by facial expressions and certain tones in their voices or answers that happiness has not found them:
        Steve Jobs, Rex Tillerson, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, etc. It’s all about money with CEO’s, and it has to be because that’s the way capitalism works.

        • James Richman

          Hey Tim
          To be honest I agree and disagree with you at the same time.

          I totally agree they are under huge amounts of stress and worries.
          And I can also agree that it’s all about money with them.

          But at the same time isn’t it with everyone?
          If you are a freelance web designer you still have to make sure you have enough work, to get enough money coming in to cover your bills and put food on the table.

          And actually in these days every good freelance web designer worries about anything their clients say about them, because all it takes is one negative testimonial on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or other social networking places and their career can be ruined.

          What’ your opinion on this Tim?

          • Tim

            The difference is that freelancers can always try to get a full time job if they are not doing well freelancing. CEO’s cannot do that. They are the top rung of a company. They could quit, but usually when that happens they are just retiring, not getting a job at the local fast food place. The only problem comes in when freelancers become egotistical and too proud to get a full time job. Then they are screwed.
            I agree, stress and money is a problem with everyone. Eventually, the world will collapse because of money problems. Gene Rodenberry had the solution 50 years ago when he created Star Trek – stop using money. Do things because you love doing them, not because you have to do them.
            Designers certainly love what they do, for the most part. They certainly aren’t in the design business for the money. I don’t know any designers that only do design work and make 6 figures (or even upper 5 figures).

  8. Thanks, man! I think this is very inline with what Seth Godin thinks on the idea of marketing to a specific crowd rather than the masses. :)

    Awesome dude, keep it coming!

    • James Richman

      Hi Louis

      Hey it’s so great to see that you are also a fan of Seth Godin.
      As I totally admire the man!

      Let Me Ask You Louis
      What’s your favourite book or your favourite video of Seth Godin?

    • James Richman

      Hey Tony

      Thanks for appreciating this article.
      So you say you got some clues then, right?

      But Tony I Want To Know
      How do you stand out from the rest in your industry?

    • James Richman

      Hey Sameer

      Thanks a lot for your comment!
      Nice to know you liked the article.

      What About Yourself Sameer
      What’s the niche you are focusing on in your career?


    agree very much. focus and develop on a small particular interest. thanks for adding up my confidence.

    • James Richman

      Ha Aminroy

      Thanks a lot for your comment mate.
      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the video and agree with this article’s main message.

      Now, What If I Asked You Aminroy?
      What’s your main focus and that small particular interest?