Dear Mydoma Studio users,
Recently I’ve learned something that made me a little sad. I learned that many of you struggle to define who your target client is.
I recently spoke with some of you about target audiences and quite a few said a variation of, “Since I offer eDesign, anyone who speaks English or lives in a predominantly English speaking country”
I don’t want to call anyone out specifically but if this is how you define the types of clients you go after, you need to re-evaluate.
Why is that some of designers choose not to define who they’re going after?They’re probably afraid of leaving people out or missing out on a potential opportunity who doesn’t fit into their build. They might say they’d rather just try to promote their stuff to everybody and see who bites. You should know that just because you go after a certain group doesn’t mean that you can’t work with someone who doesn’t fit perfectly into your category. It just means you aren’t catering your branding to that type of person. For example,
Here’s why you need to start defining your design business brand:
1. There’s only one you!
If you’re like most of our users, you run your design business by yourself or with the help of a very small team. There’s not enough of you to give to be all things to all people.
Since your time is limited, it’s better to eliminate the type of people you don’t want to/can’t work with early on rather than finding out after you’ve already started some work.
Let’s say you’d like to run some Facebook or Instagram ads. If you choose all of USA as your target audience area, your ads can be just as likely to be seen by someone living in a small rural town as they are to someone living in the suburbs or in a tiny apartment in the big city. Would you really be equally willing to/comfortable with each type of client equally?
Lastly, people don’t want to hire a designer that claims to be able to cater to every type of style. When I bought a wedding dress, I didn’t go to a store that specializes in “dresses for any occasion” I went to a store that specializes in bridal wear! Buyers want a focused professional when they’re dealing with these important investments, not someone who’s all over the place. As cliché as it sounds, you are the only you and you have something unique to offer so offer it.
2. You may be attracting the wrong type of clients
If you choose not to define your target client in an attempt to attract a variety of clients, you’re actually missing out. You may not realize that potential clients are already sizing up your brand. Because you’re choosing not to take control of your message, chances are the message that’s coming across is not ideal.
Every bit of your business’ outward presence is part of your brand. The types of customers you attract will play a role in the types of clients you attract. Your company name, your logo, the way you speak on social media and on your website/blog/Mydoma Studio login page, which social media channels you use, the prices you charge, and more all give outsiders an impression of you and play a role in your branding.
Not sure what kind of vibe your business is giving off? Ask an objective outsider (aka not your mom) or talk to a marketing consultant. Second opinions can go a long way.
3. It gives people a reason to buy from you over another designer
As a potential buyer, I would look online at your website, social pages, portfolio etc. to get a feel for the type of work that you do. If I’m looking at several designers, you need to stand out to me in order for me to want to work with you. Be different. If you look just like everyone else (no better, no worse) I don’t have a reason to pick you over someone else.
Here’s what you need to get started:Now that I’ve convinced you to think critically about defining yourself, here are some tips to get started (outside of the obvious gender, age, where they live).
- What life stage are they in? Recently graduated college, newlyweds, new parents, new grandparents, etc.
- What are their interests? (think outside the they’re interested in “interior design” box) kid’s toys, home appliances, gardening, food & wine, luxury goods, etc.
- BUDGETS! How much are your target clients willing to spend? If you’re targeting high-end clients don’t show off cheap design. If you’re targeting more mid-range clients don’t show them designs that are completely unrealistic for their budgets.