Your go-to guide to mastering your in-person market experience
Learn more about the ins and outs of handmade business ownership with more in-depth lessons on our YouTube channel
Hi! I’m Lucy.
Chardonnay and vintage finds lover, founder of the handmade jewelry brand bel monili *and* your new guide to making your handmade business WORK online.
I’m just going to put this out there: if you say your products are for “everyone”, then you will never build a handmade business that will succeed.I know – harsh! But this concept is true for EVERY business. Your products will never be for everyone. And finding your target market is a must if you want to create a successful business that pays the bills.
If you’re just starting your craft business, this is the perfect time to figure out who your target market is. And if you’ve been in business for a while and haven’t figured out who your ideal customers are – you can do it now, and just go forward from here,
Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t easy! It’s not a quick job, either. You will probably start with an idea of your perfect customer and then refine it over time.
I call your targeted market your “Perfect Customer”, or PC for short. Some people call it a “customer avatar” or “ideal customer”, but they’re all the same thing. They are the people who will most want the products you’re selling.
Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
So if you’re in a bit of denial, now’s the time to have a little chat with yourself. Even though you make beautiful things, they are not for everyone.
If you love what you make, then maybe your items are for people like you. This is very common for crafters and handmade business owners. They make what they love, and in turn, their Perfect Customer is someone like them.
So you could start there, and use yourself as a model of your Perfect Customer. But you need to go deeper than just your gender, age and likes / dislikes.
Think about what problems your product solves. Yes, your handmade goodies solve a problem! If you make gorgeous jewelry, maybe you give your customers a way of truly expressing themselves. If you hand knit baby items, you give customers a truly special gift they can give friends or family with new babies.
Also know what makes your items different from your competitors’. Why should someone choose your painted pots over someone else’s? Is it your stellar customer service, or the glazes you use, or the way you package your items for shipping?
Knowing what problems your products solve and how they are different from the competition will help you find your Perfect Customer. This information will guide you in everything you do, from marketing to product descriptions, so your message is focused and hits the people most likely to want to give your their hard-earned cash.
If you’re already selling your creations, take a look at the people who currently show interest in them. Try to find out as much information about them as possible.
You’ll likely find some similarities among your customers that will give you a good understanding of who they are as a group.
Once you know what problems your creations solve, and how they differ from your competitors’ items, you can ask yourself some questions to start building your perfect customer.
And yes, you’ll have to make some assumptions – but you can always adjust later! The trick here is not to get too overwhelmed with getting this “right”. Just do the work the best you can, and you can always make changes.
Some questions to ask yourself (courtesy of Entrepreneur):
Also read my blog post on the three things you need to know about your Perfect Customer to help you create this view of your biggest fans.
Once you have answered these questions and solidified your picture of your Perfect Customer, you can start to speak directly to them. This means, your marketing materials should be designed to speak to your PC, as well as your website and the product descriptions you write.
By being this specific, you won’t alienate anyone who wants to buy from you, I promise! Instead, you’ll build an “army” of raving fans! Because you are so specific about who you’re talking to, and you know your creations will solve their “problem”, they’ll come running to you whenever they need you! Plus, they’ll be more inclined to tell their friends about you (and usually, their friends are just like them, aka your Perfect Customer!)
Finding your Perfect Customer is the key to creating effective marketing, which will ultimately increase your sales and bring you business success!
After running bel monili (my handmade jewelry business) for 10 years, I launched Bloom in 2019 to create a community where handmade business owners could learn, grow, and support each other in this wild venture of small business ownership. Welcome to Bloom!