Defining your Ideal Design Clients is as Easy as 1, 2, 3
Filed under Clients
When we first started our design businesses, we were tickled pink by ANY client who signed a contract with us. As our businesses mature, we realize that all clients aren’t created equal. Sure, the fundamentals are generally the same, but some clients and projects fall within our sweet spot while others just leave us sour. The goal is to gravitate more to those clients in the sweet spot.
Why should you strive to work with only your ideal client?
When you strive to work with only your ideal client, your mindset, focus and energy shifts to attract that client. This allows you to develop your niche and differentiate from the competition.
When you are clear about who you want to work with, what projects you wish to take on and the prices for your services, it will provide a layer of protection for your business that helps you say, “No thanks,” to clients that don’t suit your goals or business needs.
Nobody wants to take on a client or project they won’t make money on, right? But everyone does want to work with people who value their expertise, are excited to work together and who will readily give referrals.
And, there’s pretty much nothing better than working on projects that inspire you and get the good ol’ heart pumping with professional satisfaction.
- Loved collaborating last week under the master bedroom-to-be! Photo: Denise McGaha
If you lost that lovin’ feeling for your current clients, it’s time to figure out what clients you WANT to pursue and attract.
The little time you spend here answering these questions, whether you write down your answers on this worksheet (That’s what I do—I’m a pen and paper thinker) or ponder them in your mind, is more than worth it because it will help your business grow to the one you always dreamed of.
Step 1: The General Facts (and a Few Assumptions)
The first step is to look at the facts—the demographics of your ideal clients. Things to consider include:
- Household income
- Geographic location
- Education level
- Design stage: new construction, re-designing a room, remodeling an entire house, kitchen design, etc.
- Size of project
Step 1.A. is to step into the minds of your ideal clients to imagine what they say, think, do and believe. What are their attitudes, personalities, dreams, priorities, worries and interests? Think about their lifestyles. What problem can you solve for them? Ultimately, you want to determine why they would buy from you.
Step 2: The Products and Services your Ideal Clients Want
After you figured out WHO your ideal clients are, you need create the products and services that those ideal clients seek.
Since I’m a puzzle solver, I really, really like figuring out how to get the most VALUE from a home. So, to serve clients with that particular issue, I created a “Property Solver” solution that helps people who are at a crossroads determine if they should remodel, tear down or just sell their home. This isn’t for everyone, but it’s totally in my sweet spot and I LOVE it!
Here are a few things to ponder:
- What’s your ideal price point? High-end, budget conscious or somewhere in between?
- Do you prefer a particular area of a home to design—bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, living spaces?
- What’s your preferred design style?
- Who do you want as the decision-maker?
- Where do you want to offer your services—online, in a home or office?
- Ideal clients= Ideal results
Step 3: Step 1 + Step 2 = Step 3
Here’s where the magic happens! Review both of your lists to find the services and products that combine your IDEAL CLIENT and IDEAL PRODUCT/SERVICE. This is where you develop a business that rises above the competition to offer something truly special and just what your ideal client wants or needs.
Don’t get stuck thinking you must do something traditional! No way! This is YOUR business and you should think outside the box!
Passion for pillows? Why not?
Maybe you craft a Rent a Designer service? Heck, it can be done.
If you’re not in your sweet spot, it’s time to make a change to be the designer you always wanted and to attract your ideal client.
Say goodbye to accepting jobs that you feel you SHOULD take because it’s for a former client or “It’s a good job.” If the job isn’t in your sweet spot, then it’s not a good job for YOU! Your unhappiness and stress aren’t worth the money.
Don’t forget to get cracking on this Return on Interiors worksheet so there is no delay in making the turnaround in your business you crave.