Your Creative Business is Not About You

Jan 06, 2023
Your Creative Business is Not About You

This week I want to share a spark that will help you discover your ideal target audience so you can develop a business that helps people.

Many creatives struggle to connect their work to the goals and needs of their target audience.

There’s a common problem among many creatives wanting to start a business—they’re used to making work for themselves or a client, but they don’t often think about helping a target audience achieve a result.

It is not enough to think: I could teach sewing or show people how to fix their computers or design a logo. That perspective keeps the focus on you and your skills. Thinking more specifically about the people you are helping shapes how you structure the products you are developing.

This disconnect can make it difficult to run a successful creative business.

Creatives often struggle to bridge the gap between doing work for themselves or clients and helping a target audience achieve their goals.

Getting caught up in the creative process and losing sight of who you are trying to help without identifying them before you start is easy. However, doing work that satisfies your creative needs first isn’t going to sell unless someone else also sees value in it.

Identify your target audience and their goals and struggles.

The solution lies in understanding your target audience, and starting with their needs and wants is the key to the products and services you develop.

By taking the time to analyse who your ideal audience is, what they struggle with, and what they’re looking to achieve, you can create work that speaks to this audience and helps them reach their goals.

Seth Godin describes it as looking for a lock and making an essential fit instead of making the critical first, which is, unfortunately, how most creatives start their business.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another”— Charles Dickens

Create work that speaks to them and helps them achieve their desired outcome.

By taking the time to research the target audience first, you can create work that is tailored to their goals and focuses on providing actual results.

Making work that satisfies your goals is a hobby; doing work that helps other people is a creative business.

Here's the step-by-step breakdown of the process

Step 1: Identify your goals.

What do you want to achieve with your creative business?

Defining your own goals first will help you focus on finding an audience that aligns with them.

Step 2: Research potential audiences.

Chances are you can help many types of people, so find out more about the different groups and see which ones you can help most.

For example, a photographer can take pictures of puppies, weddings, babies, cars, houses, etc. Narrow in on the specific type of audience you align with the most.

Step 3: Create a buyer persona.

Once you have determined your target audience and their current needs and goals, look for patterns and shared characteristics among them.

Use the psychographic information you’ve gathered about your audience to create detailed profiles of your ideal customers and refer to them every time you develop new products and marketing content.

Step 4: Discover where they hang out.

Identify the places where your target persona spends their time online and offline. This could include social media platforms, forums, and events.

If you’ve narrowed in on a niche as a baby photographer, and your buyer persona is a first-time mother, you will need to join new parent groups on Facebook, for example.

Step 5: Talk to your audience.

Once you’ve identified where you can find your audience, start building relationships with them. This could involve sharing valuable content, participating in discussions, and offering assistance in your niche.

Pay attention to conversations and questions that are commonly asked. Their language can be repurposed in your marketing copy, and their problems can signal new products for you to develop.

Step 6: Adjust your personas regularly.

Monitor the effectiveness of your audience personas. Use data and feedback to refine your potential customer’s struggles and adjust your strategy.

People change, as do trends, so you need to update your personas regularly, and as you serve more people and get to know what resonates with them the most, you can refine your personas in more detail.


—Creatives struggle to connect their work to their audience’s goals.

—Understanding your audience is crucial for a successful business.

—Identify your goals and find an audience that aligns with them.

—Create buyer personas to better understand your audience.

—Find out where your target audience spends their time online.

—Regularly update your audience personas based on feedback.

‚ö° I hope this sparked for you why it is natural to focus on yourself when starting your creative business, but you will get the most benefit from your creative superpowers when they are used to help others. 

Please tag me on Instagram and let me know if you found this helpful.

Hubspot has a super handy free persona tool. You can access it here.


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