creative talk: who is your audience?


Yesterday I wrote about asking yourself hard questions when you have an idea. My next business-y tip is in that same vein: It's another question, specifically regarding who your audience is. 

I make a lot of things, and a lot of times I make things or do things just for me. It doesn’t matter if anyone else likes them, although I do confess to wanting people to like what I do, just for selfish reasons. However, when I make something for my shop, I know that I need to think about who my audience is, and whether she would like what I’m doing.

Not sure if you know who your audience is? That’s ok — make them up and then, direct your efforts toward them. 

For instance, when I make my bags, I have a very specific woman in my mind. I know where she likes to shop, what music she listens to, what inspires her and so when I am designing, I am thinking about what she likes. 

What's easy for me, however, is that I have decided that I, too, am my customer and in that way, my audience is some one who is a lot like me. She likes simple, non-flashy, classic prints. She likes to be stylish and unique. She wants to buy handmade things on Etsy or in flea markets-- she doesn't want what everyone else has, but at the same time, she wants something that she'll love for a long time; she doesn't love one-time trends. She loves music that makes her feel good and long-winded coffee dates with friends and I can imagine her putting books in her tote bag and notes from her friends in her purse. This is the woman I have dreamed up in my mind that I design for. 

A lot of companies do this. They have names, even, for their personas and they talk about them as if they were a person. 

"What would Sue want? Where does she shop? How can we serve her better?" 

Putting a name or a personality to your customer or reader is not weird, but a solid marketing tactic that can really help you figure out your direction and go after it. 

And even better is if that person is similar to you. Like I wrote in a previous post, you want to feel passionate about what you do, and if you like what your audience likes, it makes it all the more easier. 

this post is the second in a series about creative business. read the previous one about asking yourself hard questions here and feel free to tell me what I should cover in the comments. 

xo, erika


  1. I've worked in several clothing stores that do this - giving different types of customers names and having items specific for those customers. It does really work.

  2. Great advice! I haven't had my Etsy shop for long and I'm trying to branch out a little, so this helps a lot.


  3. I read this and I thought about my own designs. A lot of what I make I definitely would wear/use, but some of it I probably wouldn't pick up in a store. And sometimes I'll make something that I expect no one to buy and then it becomes my best seller (such as a zebra print clutch...who knew??). But you're right...I think my audience is someone like me...or I like to think so.


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