Ilise Benun writes about why and how you should choose a target market for your creative business in her Freelance column (HOW March 2011). Still, it can be a daunting task to settle on just one or two lines of work. For more guidance on choosing a specialty for your firm, check out Ilise's DesignCast, co-presented with Peleg Top: Get Rich in a Niche: How to Find and Reach Your Target Market.
As a freelancer wearing all the hats in your design business, you can’t afford to waste a second or a penny. That’s why it’s important to streamline your marketing efforts — which means: focus, focus, focus.
Focus requires discipline, which doesn’t come naturally to most of us. Focus means committing and then recommitting every day. But focus doesn’t mean rigidity; in fact, it also requires flexibility so that as business conditions change—and they’re changing more quickly every day—your focus can shift naturally.
Focus on what? On what you’re trying to achieve (your goals), on how you’re going to get there (your marketing tools) and on who’s going to help you (your target markets).
So what does it mean to focus on a market?”
Here’s what it isn’t: declaring your target market today and revamping everything overnight. I’ve seen more than one designer choose a target market, spend time and money (lots of both) redesigning their website, creating a brochure, doing everything to get ready to present themselves to the target market—everything except the most important thing: assessing whether that market is viable. As a result, they abandon everything and revamp again in six months when they discover the market isn’t able to sustain their business.
MORE RESOURCES FOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS