Below is an excerpt from my book, “Made to Make It: A Guide To Screen Printing Success.” Learn helpful tips and tricks on how to run a screen printing business.
Finding the Right Customers
Probably the biggest question most beginning screen printers have is “How do I find customers?” The good news is that, once you know your niche, defining your target customers becomes a whole lot easier. If you’ve narrowed down your niche to say, something like, “organic, eco-friendly infant clothing,” figuring out your buyers and what motivates them to buy is the next step.
Developing ideal customer profiles (for direct sales/SMBs) or buyer personas (for channel sales/enterprises) is a critical component of a well-thought out sales and marketing strategy. In this section, we’re going to talk about your customer profile.
The “4 P’s” of Marketing
If it sounds a little bit like the famous “4 P’s” of Marketing (Product, Price, Placement, Promotion), coined in the 60’s by E. Jerome McCarthy, that’s because it is! We already talked about your product, when we discussed what niche is right for you. The pricing, placement, and promotion parts are pretty obvious—but where does the ideal customer fit into the 4Ps? Your buyer sits right in the middle of them! Knowing who your customers are will help you make smart decisions about what to sell; where to sell it; how to price it; how to position it; and how to promote it.
“XYZ INFANT APPAREL, THE #1 RATED ORGANIC INFANT APPAREL PROVIDER ON ETSY.”
In this statement, you are leveraging the credibility of one of your target customer’s favorite brands—Etsy—to build trust. You’re also giving your prospects access to your Etsy reviews. If you’re not “number one” yet, use this as an opportunity to engage with your customers, asking them to review your products online.
“WHEN (X CELEBRITY) WAS LOOKING FOR NEW CLOTHING FOR THEIR NEWBORN, THEY CHOSE XYZ INFANT APPAREL FOR OUR HIGH-QUALITY, ECO-SAFE ORGANIC APPROACH.”
Tapping into the brand power of a celebrity is another way to build trust. Of course, you would need permission, but if any authoritative figure or body uses your products, get that permission and tell people about it.
“XYZ INFANT APPAREL, THE ONLY MANUFACTURER OF BABY CLOTHES THAT IS CERTIFIED ORGANIC AND SCREEN PRINTED BY HAND IN THE USA.”
In this statement, you’re stringing together key aspects of your product that set you apart from the competition. Take your time with this approach, and be honest with yourself about what makes you unique.
And don’t be mistaken, you don’t have to stop there—you can blow this exercise out as big as you want. The point is to emerge with a good understanding of who you’re going to market to; how you’re going to market to them; what you’re going to say; and how you’re going to set yourself apart from the competition.
When approaching your differentiation statement, think of it as your value proposition, with an added injection of truth about what makes you better than the competition in the eyes of this customer. Your differentiation statements should use words that in themselves set you apart, like “the first,” “the one,” “chosen by,” “won,” “voted best, “music used.” etc.
Like what you read? Get more great business tips on running a screen printing business from my book, “Made to Make It: A Guide To Screen Printing Success.”