Finding Your Target Audience
April 24, 2023
As a design business owner, you probably think a lot about attracting more of your ideal clients. And with good reason – catching the eye of more ideal clients helps you get the design projects you’re always dreaming of.
But it’s not enough to broadcast your marketing efforts to the largest possible group of people. Your marketing efforts are most effective when they speak to a specific group of people: your target audience.
A target audience is the group of customers who are the best fit for the services you are trying to sell. In interior design, you may focus on residential clients in a specific geographic location of your service area. So, your target audience may look something like this:
That doesn’t mean you decline clients who do not fit your narrow target audience criteria. It does, however, mean that you focus your marketing efforts on the audience most likely to have your ideal clients. That way, you will attract more ideal clients and be able to work on your favorite types of projects.
Benefits of Having a Target Audience
When you focus your marketing on a smaller, more niche audience, you get your company and message in front of the right people. Far from excluding potential clients, targeted marketing helps you find high-quality leads who are more likely to be your ideal client.
You may think of marketing as a broadcast to the masses. But marketing to your target audience lets you streamline your messaging so that you catch the eye of the right type of client, in the area you’re servicing, that is looking for the services you dream of working on.
Because your messaging is finer-tuned, your target audience is more likely to pay attention to it. And because it will speak directly to their needs and pain points, they’re more likely to become clients.
Target Market Segmentation
Marketers live by the mantra, “If you’re trying to market to everyone, you’re marketing to no one.” An interior design business is no exception.
Refining your target audience so that you can speak to them more effectively begins with identifying your ideal client. Imagine your perfect client’s demographic, geographic, and psychographic attributes.
For each attribute in the table above, aim to list as specific and detailed an answer as possible. The more specific you can be in creating your client persona, the more effectively you’ll be able to target that audience.
Think through the types of clients you’d like to attract and ask yourself questions about their demographic, geographic, and psychographic attributes.
Then, go deeper by asking how those attributes affect the clients’ decision-making process. For instance, a client in the location you service may be motivated to do a remodel because their kids have moved out.
And do not skip the psychographic elements! Knowing a client’s interests and passions can help you connect with them by identifying the marketing channels they’re spending time on, such as Instagram.
Identify Your Superpower
Next, spend some time thinking about you. To speak effectively to your target audience, you need to be clear on what you are really good at and what you love to do. Your superpower may be what sets you apart from your competition.
To find your superpower, ask yourself:
● What type of work do you love doing?
● What type of work are you really good at?
● What projects are the most profitable?
● Who do you love working with?
● What are you passionate about?
● What are you and your team the best at delivering?
You may be really good at specific areas of the house, like kitchens or bathrooms. Or it may be that you are exceptional at really understanding your clients and delivering a very custom solution. Whatever your niche, identify it, write it down, and refine it with specific details.
Use your answers to refine your service offering to provide a specialized, polished service to a precise, distinct audience. You’ll appear to be the right solution for your target market.
Identify Your Market
Just because you have a service you are exceptional at delivering, does not guarantee there are people that want and need it.
When you have identified your target audience, confirm there is a need for the services you want to sell. To do that, ask yourself:
● Who do you think would benefit the most from your service?
● Is this something they need and want?
● Are there enough people that want to solve this problem?
● Is this something they would pay for?
● What locations are you able to work in?
These questions will help you decide whether the service you want to sell will have prospective buyers.
Do Your Research
Identifying your market is essential, but it’s also crucial to conduct market research. If you’re trying to expand your interior design business, you need hard facts about who your ideal client is and the market you’re trying to reach.
Customer Development Interviews (CDI) give you accurate information about your ideal client and proposed target market. Identify multiple people who meet the criteria of your ideal client in your target market and conduct interviews with them to explore:
● What do they need help with?
● What do they care about?
● What type of companies are they buying from?
● What types of trips do they take when they travel?
● What do they do in their free time?
● Where are they hanging out or getting their information from?
In a CDI, you can learn whether prospective clients in your target audience are interested in purchasing your type of services and what outcomes they’ll expect in exchange. CDI’s are not sales calls, but most companies who implement them will get new business from them. The intention of the interview is to learn about the prospects’ wants and needs.
Focus Your Marketing Efforts
Start by creating a strategy to define how to position your online brand to attract your ideal client. Build a website that looks professional, tells your unique story, and sets you apart from your competition. Optimize your website content for SEO with keywords your ideal client uses to search with. Consistently market your business online using content they find engaging.
On your website and in your own social media feeds, offer content that is interesting to your ideal client and positions you as an authority. This will help you build followers that turn into clients. Quality is far more important than quantity, so if you have a small-but-engaged group of followers, continue to speak to them and offer relevant content. They’ll respond by sharing and commenting, and your followers will grow organically in time.
Avoid These Target Audience Mistakes
You should narrow your target audience enough for your interior design service to stand out. The larger the market, the tougher it will be to make your business distinctive and for you to stand out as an authority. Narrowing your market makes it easier to get the right attention from your ideal client and become exceptional at delivering the services you love.
—By Debra Scarpa, founder of Home Designer Marketing, a firm dedicated to
guiding designers to success with strategy, branding, websites, SEO, social media and more.
Photo: Adobe Stock/TS Photos
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