Handmade businesses can be full of fun and creativity. Other business types may struggle with creativity when they are trying to be too corporate, but you, you get to enjoy being an emotional person behind a creative brand. This means that business concepts like planning, research and marketing should be fun too.

Sure we still need to actually collect information like who our target market is and regular budget information and although I don’t know how to make numbers fun just yet I do know how to make determining your target market fun.

Finding your target market is important. Without knowing your audience you won’t know how to market to them or connect with them. You can guess but you may end up wasting time and money with that guessing game.

Here are 3 suggestions for using your creativity to determine the target market for your handmade business:

  1. Create style boards
  2. Google and Pinterest can be your best friend!

    Search in Google for clothing, furnishings, whatever may be complimentary to what you create then create Pinterest boards around the items that represent a piece you make or a whole line.

    This is a great visual way to not only become clear on the style of the people you are catering to but also a way for potential customers to see your items grouped with complimentary pieces.

    Just as a designer dressing up a home to sell, you can show people how to use your items so they don’t have to guess and wonder.

    At the same time you can then check out the styles and boards of anyone who follows or repins a specific board as a way to be inspired for more ideas.

    Market research at it’s finest!

    Here is an example of a style board I whipped up for this post:

    BONUS: Some clothing retail websites let you create collages with clothes they offer.

  3. Design for yourself and people you know.
  4. The fastest way to get started is to look at the styles of people you know.

    If you make jewelry or other fashion accessories maybe you can ask them to share their style choices with you.

    For home furnishings you can also ask for taste suggestions and look at their choices.

    Make pieces for you as well. In the style board above I started out with clothing that I would wear then branched out to pieces that looked good with my bracelet but weren’t my style.

  5. Go to shows, ask questions where appropriate and be observant.
  6. This doesn’t mean that you need to be at a show to sell your items if you aren’t ready but you can go to see who is buying what.

    Find tables with similar ideas or concepts as the items you create and observe.

    What do they sell that might compliment what you already create?

    For example; you may knit gloves and mittens but see that they have a large number of knitted infinity scarves that are selling well.

    Watching the styles of the people that are buying, their colour choices, what sells quickly, do they have kids, are all ways to learn more about your market without having to gamble on a table just yet.

    You can even strike up conversations with sellers and buyers where you see fit and comfortable.

    BONUS: This is also a great way to gage the success of a show before getting a table or booth.

I’m sure that there are other creative ways to learn who your target market is but I must say that these are my personal favourites.

You can learn more online once you have a clear idea on who you are creating for but these ways will help you pin down the details to create a full avatar or two (or three) to work with.

Have you used one of these ways or have more questions about them? Or have you used another way to learn about your target market?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

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