ideal client profile

Designer Marketing Tips – Who is Your Ideal Client (and what do they want from you)?

designer marketing tipsLike any business, there are certain things you need to do to market yourself as an interior designer. One of the most important designer marketing tips we can offer is that you must create an ideal client profile – a not-so-imaginary sketch of the type of client you would most like to work with.It should go without saying that, as a designer, you must identify your audience if you hope to give them what they want. Having said that, many business owners do not invest the time needed to do this. Instead, they hope and pray their products or services will somehow find an audience on their own. This is unrealistic and almost certain to result in disappointing leads and sales results.There is only one way to reach an audience that is open to your message: you need to know exactly who they are and what they want from you. Creating an ideal client profile will enable you to attract, connect with, and convert potential clients into paying clients – and fans of your work.Of course, this is going to take some research but, it should pay off in the long run. Keep in mind, your goal is to figure out who would benefit the most from your design services. This means you need to know what they like and dislike, how they spend their time, and what their other interests are. This will allow you to find them more easily, make deeper connections, and serve their needs better.Who Are You Working For – Creating Your Client ProfileHere is a list of questions to ask yourself about the audience you want to focus on:

  • Where does your ideal client hang out?
    • Are they at offline locations? Does your ideal client hang out at Starbuck’s, chatting with like-minded coffee lovers? Do they hang out at certain clubs or social functions? Do they travel to various business or design conferences?
    • Do they prefer online locations? Is there a “favorite” blog your audience prefers? What about online forums where they swap ideas or critiques of design projects they’ve seen or been a part of? Whose Facebook page is most popular with your potential clients? What other social networks do they love? Whose webinars are they unable to resist?
  • What does your ideal client watch, listen to, read? Those you hope to attract as clients may already be part of an audience for someone or something so, it makes sense to find out who or what they love to watch, listen to, and read. Like most of us, they’ll be happy to share the things they enjoy or learn from. Be open and absorb all they have to say – without judgment.
  • Who are their mentors and other influencers? You're going to find some trends among your potential clients; subjects, designers, and other influencers who will show up regularly in their comments and shares. Who stands out among your audience and why? Once you identify the Big Names in your niche, you’ll be better able to provide insight and value that meets or exceeds what they are offering to your hoped-for audience.
  • What are their other interests? Beyond simple stats (like age, gender, location, ethnic background, education level, and career), your ideal clients will also have interests outside your niche. What else are they passionate about and how do they fulfill that passion? A fully developed client profile has much more value than a simplistic one, enabling you to better serve their needs as their designer of choice.
  • What professional enrichment, trainings or events do they attend? Real fans (of anything) tend to invest their time, energy, and resources in more than their own design projects. Many of them will travel to see and meet their favorites in person. Others may invest in training to learn more about the subjects that matter to them. Attendance at speeches and seminars by well-known interior designers or trainers is an indicator that your future audience will be committed to the interior designer who speaks to their needs. Make that designer be YOU!

Remember, you are not a member of the audience you are looking for and it doesn’t matter what you think of the things they enjoy doing, or how they spend their spare time. This is all about them!By narrowly defining your ideal client profile, by putting together more information about them rather than less, you are much more likely to identify the perfect fan for your design services.Looking for more tips on interior design success, new home design trends, designer marketing tips, and product ideas? Get in touch with TD Fall today.

The Key to a Successful Design Business – Selling Value Over Price

successful design businessAt TD Fall & Company, our goal is to help designers by providing innovative solutions for their interior design challenges. We do this by providing you with access to outstanding products that will empower you to fulfill your client's dreams, enabling you to build a successful design business.Perhaps foremost among those challenges for most designers is the struggle with trying to convince their clients of the true value of buying a higher quality product that really belongs in their homes. From flooring to wallcoverings and from window treatments to upholstered furniture, many design clients become fixated on cost with little regard for value.There are basically two ways to handle this particular challenge:

  • Target better – Create an ideal client profile that is based on your market research. In a perfect world, you would generate a client list for whom “money is no object”. In the real world, however, you’ll need to be a bit more practical. A well-researched and thought-out ideal client profile is a tool you and your team can use to identify the specific segment of customers that will bring you the best business. Then, once you begin focusing on certain types of clients, you're likely to attract more of them. As the old adage goes, “Birds of a feather flock together”, and referrals from such clients will help to bring you more of your ideal clients.
  • Sell better – Known as “upselling” among professional salespeople, you must learn to create a compelling story that will convince your design clients to buy quality over price every time. Not only will this put more money in your pocket, you’ll also build your reputation as a designer who focuses on value, creating a greater sense of client satisfaction and trust, while increasing the odds of more of those referrals we mentioned above. Making an investment in a quality sales training program would certainly help with this approach.

Ultimately, your goal must be to sell the value and the benefits of your product or service to your customer. This can only be done by keeping your focus on explaining and expressing the impact of the choices they make on the client. If you focus on the benefits and value of a higher quality product, the price will become less and less important. If you don't focus on value, the only thing you can talk about is price – playing right into their perceived need to resist the more expensive options you present.Building your sales skills will have long-term benefits that are difficult to quantify; which is also true of researching your market and creating an ideal client profile. Both will generate increased confidence in your ability to “close the deal” with more prospects, even those who don’t match the profile.Regardless of your talents and skills as an interior designer, if you're a small business or solopreneur, you must accept that your ability to analyze your market and sell to a variety of prospective clients will determine whether you are able to build and sustain a successful design business.Click here for tips on Analyzing Your Market.Click here for tips on Helping Clients Focus on High-Value Improvements.Looking for more new design trends, marketing tips, and ideas? Get in touch with TD Fall today.