Identifying Your Perfect Millinery Client
The truth is that not everybody is a potential millinery client.
If you are already struggling for clients this is not meant to dishearten you, but rather to stop you from wasting time where you aren’t going to be able to convert sales and to start spending time on areas that will make a difference to your bottom line.
We’ve all had those clients who zap our time and energy, who don’t want to pay our prices and want something for nothing. Ultimately, although they are clients, they are not the ones we want to attract.
Finding and defining your ideal millinery client is about making sure that ‘most’ of the time you have clients that you love working with, and more of them.
So how do you find these clients?
Each of our ideal millinery clients will differ depending on how we like to work and who we like to work with. Identifying your ideal client using the 9 steps below will really focus your mind on when, and how, to target your millinery to the right market, so that you will get to work with people that you love working more of the time.
1) Think about the best experiences that you have had with your millinery clients – the ones who understand your brand, the ones who cheerlead for you, the ones who allow your creativity into the design process, give incredible reviews without prompting and never question your pricing.
2) Now think about who these people are and exactly what they do that makes you want to work with other people like them. What are the common themes running through these experiences? Can you pin these common themes down? Understanding them will help you draw a picture of who you want to attract in the future and how you want to work with clients.
3) Ask yourself what age these clients are, where they live, what their jobs are, what their disposable income is, how they spend their weekends and spare
4) Ask yourself how that type of person shops, is it online or in person, will they want designs drawn up, will they want to try things on to get ideas, will they make an appointment or want to just pop over when it’s convenient for them? What season are they shopping in and for what events?
5) Ask yourself how these clients come to you and become your customers in the first place. Is it through word of mouth, a google search, seeing you at an event or through your mailing list?
6) Look at your product offering and analyse whether what you are offering matches up to your client profile. Do you have the products that your ideal millinery client wants? Asking yourself the following questions will help you to do this.
- Will my target really benefit from my product/service? Will they see a need for it?
- Do our values match up?
- Do I understand what drives my target to make decisions?
- Can they afford my product/service?
- Can I reach them with my message? Are they easily accessible?
7) Ensure that your website, frontage and social media speaks to these and only these types of clients. Don’t worry about trying to appeal to everyone, the smaller the niche or niches you can carve out for yourself, the easier it is for those clients to find you, relate to you and want to come to you. People want to feel heard and have their problems solved. Is it clear that you can solve your ideal millinery client’s problem?
8) Be where your ideal clients are. If they play golf, hold an event at a golf club. If they are members of a ladies’ group, hold an event with that ladies’ group.
9) If your millinery clients aren’t online or on social media and don’t find you online or via your socials, don’t waste precious time and energy on your visibility there (have a website and social media pages, yes, but don’t pour your whole marketing budget into Google and Facebook ads if that’s not how your clients find their suppliers).
Create an ideal millinery client profile
Using my prompts to ask yourself 100 questions about your ideal millinery client will help you to create an image in your head of this person, perhaps even give them a name. Know how they spend their days, weekends and evenings, what magazines or books they are reading, what they like to watch on TV, what brands they wear and what skincare they use. Having the answers to all these questions and more will really help you to understand the psychology of your future clients and what makes them buy.
Think about related brands
Research to find out what other brands that your ideal millinery client buys and why they buy those brands. Is it because these brands are sustainable, luxury, or produced locally? Look at the marketing and their methods of attracting these clients. Is there any way that you can collaborate with some of these brands? Could your millinery complement them in some way? After all, they already have the audience that you want so it’s readymade for you.
Stop trying to market to everyone – it’s a waste of time and energy. The truth is, not everyone will get you, like your work, like your prices or like your processes. Just accept this and, rather than worrying about the people who don’t like your brand, focus on your niche. Identify your ideal millinery clients, the people who you do want to work with and who respect you, and create all of your marketing strategies with them, and only them, in mind. Of course, you may still end up with some of those difficult clients, but you will definitely be reaching more of the audience that you want to engage and less of those you don’t. Plus, you will be well on your way to understanding your business better.
About the Author
I’m Beverley Edmondson and I’m a milliner and business mentor. I work directly with milliners and creatives mentoring them to help them reach their business dreams. I’m thrilled to write for the HATalk Blog, sharing some hints and tips for growing your millinery business. I’m here to remind you that you can be badass at your creative business!
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