It’s the time of year when so many of us set goals, both personal and professional, with an eye toward improving our lives during the new year. One problem: more than 80% of us fail in our resolutions each year. If you’d like to improve the outcome for yourself this year, it’s time to take a different approach. For your design business at least, focusing on your ideal client profile for lead generation and growth should be helpful.Your ideal client is someone who finds the perfect solution to their problems or needs in the services or products that your company provides. The Ideal Client will be loyal to your company, frequently uses or buys your products or services, and is likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues.Beyond this, your ideal client is someone with whom you enjoy working on design projects that are also profitable. In other words, don’t resent you making a living from the work you do for them.As a starting point, the following questions will help you define who those people and projects are:
- Which of your recent projects has been the most profitable?
- Which have you enjoyed working with the most, and why?
- Who have you enjoyed working with as clients, and why?
Once you’ve outlined your favorite projects and people from the past, you can begin to focus on defining your ideal client for future projects.Creating the Ideal Client ProfileIf you're unclear about the makeup of your ideal client, you’ll find it difficult, if not impossible, to target them to work with. When you model your ideal client profile on those past projects, you create a realistic target that you’re more likely to hit. It may sound counterintuitive, but the more specific you make your ideal client profile, the stronger it will be. A detailed profile allows you to focus your search and screening processes to find exact areas and client types that will grow your business.With help from Houzz(¹) magazine, we offer these critical steps to creating the ideal client profile for you design business:Ideal Client Demographics: Understanding who your ideal client is and where they are located will help you identify promising projects at a glance.
- Where is your ideal client located? What areas do you want to work in? How far do you want to travel?
- What is the ideal age range you want to work with? Do you want to work with clients who are younger or more mature?
- Does your ideal client have a family or are they single? Do you prefer working with clients with individual or multiple decision makers?
- Based on your project cost, what would the ideal household income level be? How much income is needed to afford the type of projects you want to work on?
Begin by asking yourself these questions about your history; the clients and projects you enjoyed working with, and which were profitable, from the section above. Only then can you move forward with a profile for future clients.Project Logistics: Knowing what your ideal project is and at what stage you want to be involved will help you determine if future opportunities are the right fit for your business.
- What types of projects do you want to work on most? Which projects best fit the direction you want to take your business? What kinds of projects do you want to add to your portfolio?
- What timeline works best for your projects? Is there a certain timeline you like to follow for your projects? Are there certain seasons or months that you prefer to work during? What is your current pipeline and how might new projects fit into it?
- What is your ideal project budget? Given your average project costs, do you have a minimum budget you’re willing to work with?
Logistical questions are always important. Among other things, they determine your level of involvement, your level of commitment, and your potential for enjoyment and profitability.Working Style & Motivations: Every project requires some level of collaboration. What does your ideal partner look like and what are their motivations for this project?
- How engaged is your ideal client? Do you prefer to work with clients who are hands on or hands off? How involved does your client need to be a successful project?
- What is your ideal client looking to achieve through this project? Are the reasons behind the project important to you? Do you want to work with clients who are emotionally invested or approach the project from a more practical standpoint?
- Is it important to work with clients who already understand your style? How much time do you want to spend educating a potential client about your work? Would you rather work with someone who has done their research and knew what they want?
Client engagement is exceedingly important. You either love it or hate it and, knowing how involved they want to be will go a very long way toward determining your potential for a satisfying project.(¹) When Clients Come Knocking: How to handle new client inquiries and close the deal, Houzz.com/ProLooking for more new design trends, tips, and ideas? Get in touch with TD Fall today.