Designers often spin their wheels trying to figure out who will buy their design services. They often spend their time trying to market their services to people who don’t want help, or don’t think they need design services (even when we see that they obviously do.) Worse yet, there is a big group of people who want design services but cannot afford to pay. None of these situations will get your design business going and trying to build your business this way is an example of “thinking backwards.”
Instead of “who wants what I have?”, think about looking around you and finding out where there is a design based problem that you know how to solve. Here are some examples:
I know that in some areas empty-nesters, both professionals are moving back to the city and need help creating their new urban lifestyle. They have the desire for an all new environment, they have a double income so they can afford what they want and they have no time to do it themselves. They need help…you could solve this problem.
Here is another one; in suburban areas there are homes built in the 1970’s, 1980’s and even the 1990’s that are in need of remodeling. Homeowners are not selling their property now and buying a new; they are waiting for the market to get better. However they are tired of their old stuff and want new construction details and finishes in their homes. They know that the work must get done at some point and they are long time homeowners so there is plenty of equity in their property. These people want to enjoy their homes now. They need your help…You could solve this problem for them and have a good business too.
These examples each have 3 three things in common.
Step #1 Recognizing a Problem Exists. This potential client realizes that they have a problem that they cannot or don’t want to solve by themselves. They are actively looking for a solution to their problem.
Step #2 Presenting Yourself as the Solution. You know the answers to the problem and you can provide a convenient resolution and pleasant experience for the client.
Step#3 Receiving Payment. Affluent people are used to and comfortable with throwing money at a problem. They expect to and want to pay you for your design services and good solutions.
Look around you for design problems that need solutions. Check in with these 3 steps to see if you have found your niche market. Remember you must be able to answer yes to all three steps to have found your niche market.
Once you have found it, a niche market is a great way to profitably build your business.