We have summarised Patricia's key advice on identifying and creating customer profiles for your craft business.
Why create customer profiles?
Developing a deep understanding of your target client groups and their needs saves you time, money and energy. By offering goods and services that your clients actually want, you have a higher chance of attracting sales. This knowledge means you can be more specific and targeted with your marketing efforts. Be sure to use your authentic voice as this gains better results than trying to be all things to everyone.
What are customer profiles?
Customer profiles create a more accurate picture of who your ideal clients are. Key information such as their demographics, location, lifestyles, design tastes, and publications they read, allow you to build a list of key places where you could place your promotion efforts. You can also consider what their values are, for instance, is buying organic important to them? Or are they more interested in a specific aesthetic style over material considerations? This concept is like unpeeling an onion, layer by layer to reveal a client biography.
Who are your clients?
It is key to establish if you want to sell B2C (i.e direct to consumers) or B2B (i.e direct to businesses such as retail shops and galleries). These two client groups can seem similar in their style and values, but the key difference is their motivation. Ask yourself, 'why do they wish to buy from me?’. A trade client may be looking for product to compliment their store whilst an individual may be shopping for a gift. It is also easier to find trade clients over private individuals. They are listed publicly on websites, have their own social media accounts and you may be able to visit their physical location.
What are you selling?
You must also consider what you are selling. Products, commissions, services and experiences may all attract a different audience, sometimes with crossover. Perhaps you have loyal seasonal clients, who tend to place a large order with you in one go at a particular time of year or more casual customers who like to browse before making a single purchase.
Creative work is often bought for very personal reasons and your clients are often a reflection of who you are. The clearer you are on who you are and what you offer, the clearer people will understand how this reflects their interests and values.
Have confidence in what you do, this will give your clients confidence in buying what you are offering.