Skip to main content

craft & maker

Start a Handmade Business

Lesson 8 of 39

Building a Customer Profile

Kari Chapin

Start a Handmade Business

Kari Chapin

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

8. Building a Customer Profile

Lesson Info

Building a Customer Profile

Let's crowd source and ideal client somebody give me a what? A product idea or how should we do it? And I think a product idea product good. Okay, do you think that we could ask online to give us a product idea? I know that that will take a little bit to come through, but does anyone absolutely, absolutely was one minute and you will ok, so what we'll do is come up with a product idea and we will make an ideal avatar sounds for this person. Great. It does sound fun. So we're going toe scroll through here, and while we're picturing this ideal customer for this product that we're going to get, we're going try tio, connect this to our branding. So we're going to be thinking about what does this person want to look at when they go online? What is going to make them by a power? What do they need to see visually to make the connection, tio get their wallet out some good. And you guys, are you working in your workbooks? Did you look through the prom's? Just have a bunch of questions in here. ...

And I was thinking, I wonder if I could even answer all these questions about myself it's a lot of fun to think of this. So when we're starting going all right, we're going to read some often you was couldn't pick one that you want tio dio so we have a graphic posters on trend of baby clothing unicorn themed birthday items nature siri's greeting cards jodi says table runners gen star said many scrapbook albums copper and glass said artwork made of copper and glass fused glass well that's kind of interesting on benkei dawson six twenty said boutique headbands good one catherine baby bibs did we just overwhelm you with somebody like framed vintage map collections? Wow phantoms of steampunk clocks well bird handmade journal jennifer lynn says whimsical water colored encouraging word prints and then people are saying greeting cards anything greeting cards ladies, what do you think? Wait keep going like the journals, but on trend baby clothes on base three uniformed one I know rosalie wanted to write that down. I bet it was unicorn themed unicorn thie teams have less, I'll get one second they just keep coming though I don't know if you guys want us to keep going jennifer lee and it was a unicorn themed birthday. I don't well, you want to go with that one e o when is it going back to fears? One of the things that made me a sort of afraid to put a book out in the world was I didn't want to get bad reviews online? And I am very proud to say that I've had very few bad reviews, but the one bedroom I've had is really stuck with me and it wass there was not one single mention of the unicorn in this book, and they gave me three stars, so now I feel like I feel like all my project, I think that we're watching right now. So cornice, more unicorns, I get it so unicorn in a corn seems birthday products birthday item, right? Okay, so what kind of person is going, tio want to purchase uniform themed birthday party items? Well, I think you could go in to direct actions with this one, okay? Because unicorns air very on trend with, like, you know, sort of maybe more of, like, a like, hipster type audience. So, like, they're kind of the nahr wail of, you know, maybe, um I'm sorry about that in our wills are really did you know that I am not sure if I did I don't think I did, yeah, another an actual fish in the ocean, which I just thought they were imagined and unicorn animal yeah, they have a napkin that we could show people there needs to be okay, yeah, I think I thought they were just another fantastical animal no ma'am you could like you know are well you so well that sounds like a good I think yeah now so I feel like you could go in that direction and kind of like the ironic unicorn yeah where you could go more in the kid in according to ride kids who love uniforms so let's go on I think the trendy person there's more of a challenge yes you agree very small it's a niche market ok and maybe we can do some market research in our own studio audience so the parents of the child I think that that's like a pretty easy person to figure out they have a child who likes uniforms and they just want to not you know they're busy so they don't want to think as much and they just want to buy your party seems okay so the trendy person who was going to throw a unicorn birthday party do you think how old do you think they are twenty three twenty four twenty twenty three to twenty five twenty seven twenty eight okay that's a good age range since it was me by the way that's great we're so young andre do you think they're boy or a girl or a fellow or lady oh I think it could be either one I'm gonna say it's probably more likely a girl okay because I think girls in general are probably better it organizing themselves to throw themed party oh, that's that see that leave inside like may I feel like boys will think about maybe selling in a frenzy and party and then they'll decide not to at the last minute, and then I'll just never, never get around to that. Ok, so it is a girl because the girls more likely to go through the effort and time to create a themed party. So that's really good taking notes for my birthdays, you twenty five? Yeah, from twenty five. I want to be like quarter life, you know, horn. Ok, so what do you think their family life is like? I would say they oh, I'd say they're single, but but dating. Okay, thank you. But, david yeah, they are single but dating so that's going to help a lot right there from the get go because we know the kind of person you is single but dating like what they're going to be looking for in coffee, when we're writing to them, we know that they're going to be more open have a little bit more flexibility in their time, their money and what they're doing so that's really good. What kind of job do you think I have? Something in the creative worlds, like a, um, a graphic designer or a web designer, or, um something that would keep them were connected in some way yeah, something where they would be aware of the fact that unicorns are like kind of in the hand that's very good and what do you think they do for fun? Um let's say I think sure anybody does for fun I know library I bet they throw a lot of fun parties I bet they're the kind of person that you know like comes up with a lot of good ideas for themes like they're the fun one in the group I have a friend who has had to toast parties where she the's theme toast parties and she makes a bunch of bread and it's like hello kitty toaster thank you guys I want to go to a toast party. Yeah, right. Ok. So you think they throw fun parties I think they like probably ride their bike I think there's a brighter yeah, that sounds about right and they probably live in a city a city dweller yeah, I would agree with that. Okay? And then us they were having a fun weekend. What do you think they would d'oh? I think that they probably know all the cool stuff that's going on in their city okay says that be aware of the happenings they probably get like, you know, email newsletters every thursday evening about like, you know, art gallery openings and other weird theme parties you know so I e you know where they're getting information about that cool stuff to dio that's one more place where you know you could reach them if you were going to place an ad in a local publication and you knew that your ideal customer checked out the events page of the alternative weekly newspaper in your town that would give you some information about definitely where they're looking for information do I remember like about six years ago going to a mustache party where everyone had to wear mustache is so it's like I think it's that kind of person yeah who would do that even a party like it two thousand seven exactly well yeah I mean you were still in high school and see how everything within their holidays um they probably don't live really close to their family so I would say they go home to visit their family um and they probably make a lot of there their presence or they have intentions to make all of their president released they want to buy into the d I y catcher and beyond china's faras that goes you know unicorns and d I y like sort of norwell our national connected okay so this is really good stuff because then you could so giving the kind of person who would want to make their own guests you know giving them party planning tips or decorating tips if you were writing to them and the product description how do you use this product? Had a decorate with this product? How tio incorporate this into what you're doing, giving them some guidance? There would be one great way that you could use that information to know how to write to them. Who do you think they buy gifts for? And do you think they buyem for occasions on lee, or are they random gift? You know, they might be random gift givers, but just thoughtful little things, like not necessarily things that cost a lot of money. Um, and I think they're both kinds of gift giving, okay, good to know. Um, yeah, and I think going down that line of them being creative and wanting to do d I y like, maybe there's like d I y unicorn kits like, maybe it goes toward more towards, like, you know, that kind of thing rather than, like just pre made everything remaining everything? Yes, so they're flexible and how they're going to use it. So there's been tio, they're suggestible in some way, or they're just going to do whatever they want with the product, no matter what you say, totally unit like, just take it in their own direction, and what do you think they do their free time in the evening, and I think that this is a really important thing to know about our ideal customers because how they relax or how they spend that precious bit of time between work, dinner and bed I think it says a lot about who buys our stuff I think they probably go out a decent amount of time they probably work too much during the week because they're young and in a creative industry so they probably were kind of late but they get a lot of their free time, their social maybe they don't go out every night because they're probably creative in some way so they do something at home but you know, they go out a decent amount of the time and they like to be around people and they like to make in person social connection yeah, I would say they're definitely social because they like parties they like throwing a party because they're having a party, so they're having a unicorn party so we've already decided editor single and do you think this unit crump was so in our example of the young person they're not goingto have children, right? Right. Okay, do you think their pets? I think so do you think they have to? Miniature toxins may be on and say, by the way, by unicorn products for their toxins osteo my god, they have special little tiny acorns for them are their dogs and what do you think their house looks like? This is something I really like imagining about my ideal customer and one of the tips I'm going to give you at the end of this is I make secret pinterest boards and this is how I had to kind of you know I don't know did I maybe even learned that from you? I'm not sure but it's I make secret pinterest boards for all these people in like sometimes if I'm coming across the recipe or house or something that I think speaks to me like oh I could see the person who does that is the same kind of person who wants my books that I put them on the secret pinterest board and that helps me really visualize and collect this information without just, you know, sitting around for half an hour like what are they doing right now? You know, I can go back at that as a reference and I made some teo and you think you can have a lot more than three now they've eliminated made it yeah so I have tons of them now and I do them pre concept launch so that I can kind of figure out where I'm going with something before you talk about it with anyone and then obviously for us it's important to have some trade secret so you can't really put a concept brand's apology up on your public interest border it would be okay with you probably wouldn't go so well for ok right? Ok well I don't want anything to happen tio s so what what do you think they're home looks like um they probably within an apartment on and I think they have um probably a lot of like vintage stuff that they've maybe like hacked in some way like they haven't old coffee table that they've painted a really cool color or um you know, they're probably not like expert pollsters but they probably done some sort of cool job with like, you know, putting really cool pillows on their accounts or maybe recovering and old seat with you know really nice fabric that they found on say or something like that but that's good to know when you're coming says how are you going to photograph this if you can't like really throw a party to show off your uniforms seemed birthday products I mean knowing what that person's house looks like you know, you would know that having a cool painted table coffee table to do a display or to take a photograph is something that the ideal customer would relate to and somewhere in the back of their head would that be like thinking I table almost just like that you know? So you're really getting in there figuring this stuff out and just getting to know them better helps you with something as far out as as your photographs and they're probably not a minimalist in any way I weigh maybe they have intentions para peril paper says I love this made up person she sounds amazing a a never tio birthday yoon important theme party stuff I wanted hair like if we're doing a good job for them well we're actually checking back in fourth it was actually jennifer lynn who has the nightly doodles site but also has unicorn aspects of the pieces that she makes a swell all right all right jennifer this is you're looking ok. Ok, so what do you think they dress like on average this girl who's got a cool graphic design job and cluttered but very livable sweet apartment allowed I think that she had she loves color she loves print come she is comfortable with mixing prints and colors she has a really good um I for accessories probably she loved you know, like has great necklaces like people are always commenting on her necklace or her broach or her shoes or something like that like she always puts little twist into everything a little twist that is good to know so our anybody out there like seeing a connection between doing this kind of exercise and who's buying their stuff rosalee I'm interested to know what well how do you feel about it? Because your product is very specific it's for number one the person has to have a shower numbers like that have a sense of humor your what you make is really witty it's for somebody who is going to laugh and who want to take a chance on something new so what do you do what can you tell us about your ideal customer? What do you think are the top three things you know about them and anything I mentioned uh she's a lot like me girl yes well there is one and I've found that as I've aged so has my customer so I feel like it's people who have really similar interests similar sense of humor to me um we're probably more immature than they should be at this age why are you judging them? What else? I think they are a random gift fire so they don't buy gifts for special occasions so that could help you with your pricing knowing that it's like a spur of the moment gift right? They see something that speaks to them about their particular friend and then they buy it at but at that moment right? Okay, so they're an impulse purchaser you know that they've got twenty bucks or whatever it is fifty bucks laying around in the rocket. Yeah. Yeah, interesting because marlo what do you know about your ideal customer? Um well with thea my current line with the bridal, the rings and things like that it's a somebody going into probably a very young marriage going I have I've had a lot of recently customers who are e loping there like I need this fast because I sell sterling silver, customized rings and it's very a lot of last minute purchases, I think because the price is much lower than a gold ring let's say, um, and they're like, oh, you know, we probably should have some ring he's right on, then they contact me and I get a lot of express orders that way, so maybe somebody impulsive, you know? Yeah, that's a really interesting thing to knew about a wedding ring. I actually think I was your customer when I got married, because I have a sterling silver ring with words kind of printed into it, so yeah, maybe e want tio connect and see with nothing but it's an interesting thing that, you know, how there do you know anything about your ideal? Um, yeah, based on experience made a deal customer is a family person, they tend to be all female buyers that I've had for my hard work and them, they tend tio own their homes have kids, and they seem to connect on a personal level with the messages and the bold colors I'm putting into my artwork, so and they are comfortable enough to spend money on our work because it's not an expensive, so good so you know a lot about them and that can help you with your pricing you know that you should be talking to a woman you know that she's a homeowner so I mean that that can really help you when you're putting together your your offer or you're asked your customer yeah yeah. So back to our unicorn person what a special besides, you know uniforms yeah, this I'm sorry love unicorns thinking too yeah about unicorns is like they are unique so it's like this person thinks they're pretty unique and so when they're recognized as an individual uh yeah, I think that they're the kind of person who like their friends really admire some part of them you know that there they're able to like kind of put it all out there that there this you know, unique dresser and they have a really cool apartment and they think a lot about details and they think a lot about maybe other people's enjoyments like they are great parties so there you know, always thinking about other people so making other people feel good makes me feel good. Yeah, what do you think they worry about? They probably work too hard and don't make enough money if they work in the arts on their young um I think maybe just kind of like they probably have some excess essential worries that, like, you know, they were they're not sure exactly what they're doing with themselves, and they want to have some sort of amazing, like higher purpose in life, right, and have already missed the boat. Yes, because they're because they're artists. That's. What I was thinking about last year, when I was twenty three. Way, doing ok. Like you can't get on one of those, like, twenty under twenty lists. Sunny, more e. I worry about things like around. Fortunately.

Class Description

Most artists and crafters are easily inspired to create new work, but getting inspired to build a business that shares that work with the world can sound like a much more daunting prospect. Kari Chapin, author of The Handmade Marketplace and Grow Your Handmade Business, is ready to teach you everything you need to know to break into the online marketplace and share your work with the world.

Kari will help you determine the online sales venue that’s best suited to your handmade goods. You’ll learn about the pros and cons of both selling through an existing online marketplace (like Supermarket or Etsy®) and setting up your own independently-operated website. You’ll also develop the optimal marketing strategy for sharing your products with the world, from social media to blogging to branding and packaging. Kari will cover essential best practices for running a successful crafting business, including confidently setting price points, creating media kids, acting as your own publicist, and much more.

No matter what you make, this course will give you the confidence to see the things you have to offer as uniquely valuable to customers, the inspiration to take your work to new heights, and the foundation you need to ensure your business’s success.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Marlos Photo Notes and Light Box Instructions

Start a Handmade Business - Workbook

Karis Inspirational HD Wallpaper

Kari Chapin Bonus Starter Pack

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



Kari Chapin's course, Start a Handmade Business, was a game-changer for me. Her content was presented in such an accessible, engaging, easy-to-digest, and oftentimes hilarious way. At the same time, she did not sugar-coat things. Having a handmade business is a job and requires work. I love that she emphasized that fact. Not only did she give the nut and bolts of how to start a handmade business but spent a lot of time on the emotional component of being an artist trying to sell her work. Her guests (Skype and in-studio) were well-chosen and showed the rapport she has with her community. This showed that she lives what she teaches. The interaction with the studio audience and online community was integral to the course because it showed real-life examples of business owners at varying stages in their career. (I was so lucky to be one of the studio audience members. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity!) This class was a comprehensive look at handmade businesses that everyone from fledgling businesses to more established businesses can benefit from. I highly recommend this course! Thank you Kari for sharing your mind-blowing wisdom and warm and fuzzy heart with us! And thank you CreativeLive for having this awesome resource for the creative community! --Cathy Pascual,


Well, it's been a few days since the course and I am still pumped. Kari said a few things in particular that I needed to hear and I'm so grateful for that. I have been involved in the facebook group she put together and I am so happy about that. It's an awesome resource and my fellow creatives have been very helpful and encouraging. I totally recommend this course to any creative entrepreneur at any stage in their journey. Plus she is cute, funny and has just the right amount of snarkiness. I so enjoyed it!

a Creativelive Student

I loved this course with Kari Chapin! Her wealth of information delivered with such an honest and funny voice was refreshing and inspiring. I have accomplished things in the last few days that have languished on my to-do list for a year or more, largely due to this class. Kari is very down-to-earth and just plain adorable! I highly recommend this course for anyone creative who has or wants to have their own business.