Do you want to turn your handmade hobby into an online business? Do you have a handmade business, but want to take it to the next level online? In this blog post, I'll show you how to find your ideal customer - the one who will turn into a loyal fan and gladly pay full price for your products that were made with her in mind. Together we’ll explore common mistakes, debunk myths, and unlock strategies to help you define and connect with your perfect audience.
Don’t fall into this trap
When starting out, many people make the mistake of deciding what to make before they know who they're making products for. It's important to reverse this order and first identify your target audience. By doing so, you can tailor your crafts to meet their specific needs and desires. You’ll always know exactly what to make and what to say because you’re speaking to someone specific who you’ll come to know well. Remember, understanding your customers will be the foundation of your success.
The number one mistake crafters make when they start their own website
One common myth is that creating products that appeal to everyone will lead to more sales. While this may hold true at craft fairs, makers' markets, and even Amazon and Etsy, things work a little differently when you sell on your own website. Niching down and targeting a specific audience will make your marketing efforts much cheaper and easier in the long run. By narrowing your focus, you'll attract customers who truly appreciate and value what you make.
Tips for creating your perfect customer
To define your target audience, start by imagining the person you love to create products for. Picture the person who inspires you most—their demographics, interests, goals, and challenges. This exercise helps you understand their motivations and preferences, allowing you to create products specifically for them. This focused approach will set you apart from other makers and even serve as inspiration for your new product line.
What this looks like in the real world
As the founder of Cabooties, I went through a similar journey of discovering my target audience. At first, I started out with a very broad audience: babies. I made everything I could that I’ve seen babies use: bibs, burp cloths, diaper covers, baby carrier accessories, and the list goes on. After some trial and error, I realized that those run-of-the-mill items weren’t really selling well, but there was one thing my customers couldn’t get enough of: my soft-sole baby shoes. I realized that my ideal customers were busy moms who wanted the best for their children while also seeking solutions to simplify their lives. Baby shoes in general are pretty terrible. They’re hard to put on, fall off easily, and they often make it hard for babies to take their first steps. Without realizing it, I had created a product that solved these problems for moms, and they came back over and over again because the product I was making spoke to a challenge they faced. Once I gained clarity on my target customer,, my business began to thrive. Understanding your target audience will not only fuel your creativity but also help you build a connection with your customers on a deeper level.
The Benefits of Defining Your Target Audience
Defining your target audience will leave you feeling confident and inspired. Knowing who you're creating products for makes crafting, writing social media posts, and sending emails soo much easier. Every decision you make, from that initial trip to the craft store to putting the finishing touches on that social media post will speak to the needs and preferences of the customer avatar you create. This creates a powerful sense of purpose and direction in your business.
Are you feeling FOMO right now?
You might feel the urge to make things to everyone in order to maximize sales. OR you may be feeling that shiny object syndrome I see with many of my handmade clients - you want to sell everything you enjoy making. However, running an online business is cheaper, easier, and more effective when you niche down. By focusing on a specific, perfect customer, you'll stand out in a crowded marketplace and build a loyal customer base of raving fans that can’t wait to see what you make next.
Get Started: The Perfect Customer Blueprint:
If defining your ideal customer avatar feels overwhelming check out the Perfect Customer Blueprint. This free one-pager will guide you through the initial process of envisioning your target audience and understanding their unique characteristics. It's a great starting point to get clarity on who you're crafting for.
Go Deeper: Customer Avatar Workbook:
If you're ready to dive even deeper into defining and connecting with your ideal customers, you may want to check out the Customer Avatar Workbook. This comprehensive guide, provides detailed exercises, prompts, and tips to help you envision your ideal customer and develop a handmade product line they’re sure to love.
Choosing and speaking to your audience is a crucial step in building a successful online handmade business. By avoiding common mistakes (say no to shiny object syndrome!) and defining your perfect customer, you'll feel confident and inspired as you create and sell online.