Build Your Own Creative Business: Identify Your Ideal Customer {Day 22}

Build Your Own Creative Business Series by Lisa Jacobs on Marketing CreativityWe’re getting down to the wire! Today is {Day 22} of the Build Your Own Creative Business series!  If you’re just joining me, you can click here to catch up from Day 1Today we’re discussing how to identify an ideal customer for your business, but first! A little disclaimer on marketing and advertising …

As handmade artists, you offer a unique value: you provide your customers that special feeling only an item made from passion can produce. Artists and crafters love what they do so much that they often cringe at the idea of targeted marketing. In fact, the notion of cold-selling what’s been made with a warm heart makes many creatives downright uncomfortable.

However, targeted marketing simply means finding the customers who desire your work. It’s introducing yourself to people who think you’re a Pablo Picasso, rather than waiting a lifetime and beyond hoping that they’ll stumble across your most talented piece. It’s time you show the world what you’ve got to offer and find more paying customers for your creative business because …

Somebody is out there, right now,  just waiting to pay you to do what you love to do.

It’s time to replace the cringe of old-fashioned marketing with the warm and inviting smile of today’s socially-acceptable advertising. Messages no longer blare, flash, or otherwise interrupt your life … unless you give them permission to do so. In fact, permission marketing (where customers sign up, request more, and voluntarily follow what you’re doing) is what’s happening in the advertising world today. And there’s nothing cringe-worthy about giving customers what they’re asking for. You don’t cringe when you hear from your favorite artists, companies, and stores! You don’t cringe when filling an order, and you absolutely shouldn’t cringe when letting customers know you’re out there thinking of them, creating for them, and ready to exceed their expectations. In fact, keeping them up-to-date and informed about your work turns interested people into paying customers. Because …

When your art adds value to the world, the world will value your art.

Once you have a quality product, the question becomes: How do I find the people who value my art? In other words, how do you find your paying customers? In the handmade community, we often count fans, sales, followers, and favorites, but the number that adds to your bottom line, the audience who will truly help you fund your passion is composed of paying customers. They will help your business grow, your talents expand, and your skills improve. This audience is composed of the people who “get you” and they want what you’ve got to offer. These are “your people.”

Finding your people (image via CraftyWoolFelt on Etsy)

How to Find “Your People.”

If your product is for everybody, it’s for nobody, because nothing is for everybody. Realize that your product isn’t for everyone; it’s for a select few who share your taste, and have an eye for your art and a love for quality handmade. If you could tell the whole world about your product right now, and then separate the interested buyers from the rest of the population, you could never keep up with the demand from that interested sea of paying customers … not by yourself, anyway.

In order to find “your people,” you have to identify them first. Do this by narrowing it down to one person: the ultimate fan of your art. Now, about that person:

  • Would it be a male or a female?
  • How old is he or she? {I’m going to refer to the person as a she for the rest of the questions.}
  • Is she single or married?
  • Does she have children or not?
  • Does she exercise, and if so, what’s her preferred method?
  • Is she city or country?
  • Is she conventional or quirky?
  • Does she like to stand out from the crowd or not?
  • From which genre does she buy most of her books?
  • Which magazines does she subscribe to?
  • Where does she take her vacations?
  • What are her favorite television shows?
  • Is she laid-back or adventurous?
  • Who are her role models?
  • What hobbies does she have? Is she a crafter or artist too?
  • What is she afraid of?
  • Is she a blog reader or not?
  • What does she dream about?
  • How do (or will) your products make her feel?

There are many benefits to answering these types of questions about your target audience. Identifying this person will help you to generate a whole list of ideas on where she’s hanging out (and how you can find her). It will help you determine your niche market, because your niche market is the sea of people doing much of the same as she is. Give these questions some time, and let your answers fall from pen to paper. You’ll be amazed at the ideas you come up with!

That’ll do it for {Day 22} of the series! Only 9 posts left to take advantage of this special: In honor of the 31 days to Build Your Own Creative Business Series, I’m offering my complete business-boosting e-program, Shop Fundamentals ($57) for $31 while it runs! Click here to learn more.

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