Today we’re going to be talking about the importance of a market focus as a print designer in the apparel space. The three main reasons to have a market focus have been outlined below to help you see how this can begin to shape your career and impact the success that you’ll find along your journey.
Starting a business, and freelancers, you are your business! Is all about playing the long game and I have seen proof of concept over the years that artists with a handwriting, niche and market focus… (A Design Niche) generate more revenue in their freelance business!
We will hear mixed messages and opinions about whether or not an artist should put all their eggs in one basket, and I want to be clear, that is not the intention of a market focus. More importantly we are talking about clarity within each ‘basket’ or niche you choose. Apparel print design, have a market focus. Art prints on Etsy, have a market focus. Non exclusive print sales on Patternbank, have a market focus. By creating and building brand around each market or identity you want to put out there you are largely impacting your growth and revenue for each stream of income. Even more so if they all align, but that is up to the overall goal of each artist.
#1 reason to have a market focus: It will create clarity around your creative direction and design process
Knowing your market will allow you to easily research the clients that you want to work with. This could be brands, stores or designers that you can study to get a better understanding of who their customers are. Once you can get in the mind of your clients customers and begin to understand what prints, colors and styles they gravitate toward you can begin to design in alignment to those needs. You can present your dream clients with your unique version of what they are looking for, when they are looking for it. You can begin designing AS IF you already work for your dream clients. And that really is what a market focus is all about.
#2 reason to have a market focus: It will help you to build brand with your handwriting
As you begin to understand the aesthetics of your market and what they are doing season after season, you will also begin to hone your handwriting. This will speak to and attract clients from that specific market into your sphere. You will start to build authority as a leader in that space by becoming a go to designer within that niche and really aligning to your dream clients on your social media platforms. Your clients will learn what types of prints and styles they can rely on you for and this will help you to build authority in that niche of the industry and allow your branding to evolve authentically. And this niche in the industry will feel so uniquely you, you will know you have found your place.
#3 Reason to have a market focus: It will make sales & marketing so much easier
Once you know your market, who you want to work with and what they want from a designer, you will know what to post, what palettes, who to reach out to and when. The confidence that will come from this knowing will propel you forward and make you feel unstoppable in your niche. Whether that’s working with you on a freelance basis, commissioning you for prints or making purchases from your online store!