September 11, 2007

Who Is Your Ideal Client?

By Nika Stewart

When asked who their ideal client is, many designers respond:

Owners of expensive homes or Rich people or Anyone who has money and is willing to pay

Here is the problem with believing that wealthy people are your ideal clients: It is an ineffective target because it is too broad. Choosing "high-end homes" or "wealthy homeowners" as your target does not give you a specific target. And without a clear, defined target, your design business will be less successful.

You must aim all of your marketing at a clearly defined target. Why?

  • Marketing becomes SO much easier
    When you know who your audience is, you know how to find them. You know what they read, what stores they frequent, and what events they attend.
  • Marketing costs go down
    Instead of promoting your business to everyone, you can target your advertising.
  • More word of mouth referrals
    Your unique ideal client is thrilled when they find someone who specializes in their interests and needs, and they will share you with other members of their circle.
  • Competition goes WAY down
    When you have a very specific target audience, you become a special, sought-after designer. Those without a target are a dime a dozen. But a decorator who specializes in the needs of an exclusive group of people is one in a million!
  • You get to design your business - on your own terms!
    My favorite part of choosing my own ideal client is choosing what works for me. I choose to target people whom I love to work with - those who are creative and easygoing, and want to work with me because they see me as the expert.

Try this "Ideal Client" Activity:
Sit alone and begin to imagine your ideal client in as much detail as possible. Keep in mind your goals for business and lifestyle. Write down a clear description of this client (this is your Ideal Client Intention), and place this paper in your office where you can see it everyday.

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