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Designer Marketing Tips – Defining Your Ideal Client

designer marketing tipsA recent attention-getting article at offers three opinions on how to recognize when a client is a good fit. As part of their new “Pro Panel” series, a landscape designer, an interior designer, and an architect describe what they look for in a dream client. Now, while the guidance offered certainly has value, it merely scratches the surface of designer marketing tips for defining the ideal client.In a previous post, subtitled Do You Know Your Ideal Client Profile? we offered quite a few tips designed to help you sketch the types of people who would best respond to your marketing approach for interior design services. While each of the suggestions we offered then has real value, they were somewhat general and slightly impersonal in nature. In today’s post, we would like to offer a more nuanced, individualized profile of the potential clients with whom you would most like to work.Of course, it goes without saying that your ideal client must be local; should both need and want your services, and is willing to pay you for them. Beyond that, however, the “perfect client” will also be a joy to work with. They will be the type of client whose personality meshes well with your own and will be someone you love to work with more than any other.Because, after all, you don’t want to work with just anyone. You want to work with people you LOVE and who bring you joy.Ideal Client Personality ProfileIn a perfect world, every client (and potential client) would match your description of perfect. But, while the world we live in is certainly not perfect and you will be forced to work with design clients you would rather not if you set your sights on perfection you are far more likely to reach that goal more often.As your guide, you might want to remember this quote from famed football coach Vince Lombardi:“Perfection is not attainable but, if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”While not a “wish-list” for a client who does not exist, your personality profile of an excellent client might then include:

  • Open and receptive to new ideas – Even clients who possess a firm idea of what they would like their space to become can be open to a different approach to getting there. Always remember that the space you're working in belongs to them, not you and that the ultimate goal is to make them comfortable and happy. As long as this is top-of-mind for you at all times, being creative with your ideas for giving them what they want will be appreciated, rather than resented.
  • Positive mindset and attitude – Negative energy affects all who feel it. Working with clients who are constantly pessimistic or gloomy will suck the energy right out of you. Instead, look for people who are eager to work with you and who possess a positive outlook on the potential outcome. People like this are far more likely to accept a creative approach to reaching their goals and will be much more accepting of your ideas. You will also be better able to maintain your own positive attitude when working with them face-to-face.
  • Realistic aspirations, goals, and dreams – Finding clients who grasp the limitations of what is possible, for them and for you, may be one of the most important characteristics of your ideal client personality profile. These folks understand that working within certain parameters, such as budgetary limits, time constraints, and the size of the space to be remodeled, will determine the final product. The client who can accept all of these, and more, can definitely be placed in the “excellent” category.
  • Open about worries and fears – without being overly negative. We’ve spoken about client fear before but, the client who is open enough to share their worries with you will also be more accepting of your explanations and attempts to calm them. Simply be as open with them as they’ve been with you and freely share your thoughts and experiences with overcoming these fears with other clients. This will create a win/win situation for both of you.
  • Interested in the process – without being controlling or overbearing. Working with clients who are willing to learn from you can be energizing and encouraging. Since these folks enjoy the process as much as the result, just like you do, they have fewer fears to overcome. This will make the job enjoyable for both of you.
  • Likable and outgoing – Working with people you like makes any job more enjoyable and fun. The more you like the person, the harder you will work for them and, the fewer problems they will create for you.

Remember, your ideal client personality profile is all about YOU. It is an outline of the types of people you would MOST like to work with and, while not every client or prospect will match every characteristic you develop for them, it’s OK to be selfish and hope for the best here. After all, if you can’t enjoy the design work you're doing, and the people for whom you're doing it, what’s the point?Looking for more new designer marketing tips, design trends, products, and ideas? Get in touch with TD Fall today.

Online Marketing Tips - Do You Know Your Ideal Client Profile?

ideal client profileIt’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, for more new design trends, tips, and ideas? Get in touch with TD Fall today.