Monday, October 1, 2012

Mystery Date

When Sarah & I started our businesses we looked forward to working with creative people.  When it came to Zelma Rose and Portraits To The People, we imagined the majority of our customer base would be creative, work in an artistic field, and like 90's hip hop.  Good thing we found each other, because we could not have been more wrong! That's not to say that all the work we did creating a customer profile, targeting a specific market, and understanding trends was wasted, not at all.  But, we were and continue to be surprised by who finds us.

This is my second venture into this mystery realm, and I was surprised to find that across professions, the experience has been pretty much the same.  When I started my private practice, I imagined my patients would be creative professionals, who also needed therapy.  Maybe they were graphic designers, writers, artists, all in need of a little mindful introspection.  I even targeted my website and advertising toward creative professionals, proudly listing my BFA, along with time spent working at CCA and FIDM as part of my resume.  I thought I had targeted a pretty unique niche in the therapy market.  My business plan seemed sound, I hung my shingle and waited.  To my surprise, I ended up seeing very few creative professionals.  If who I thought I would end up seeing made up 5% of my case load that would have been a lot.

We will dive deeper into this subject throughout the week, with both of us weighing in on some of the pleasant surprises along the way and how we have tweaked our marketing and messaging along the way to account for this mystery date.  Let us know about some of the surprises you have encountered in your business, we'd love to hear!




  1. So so true. Who we want to work with and who we end up working with is always so different. I'm just beginning to look at the target market for my new business. We'll see how well I do once I start selling.

    1. It's always an interesting experiment! I think the key becomes being flexible when we see trends taking shape.