Recently we discussed planting the seeds of growth by communicating locally, sending newsletters and emails, creating brochures and cards..you’ve revamped your profile page, Tweet regularly, and are on Facebook participating in groups or writing a Fan page..
But just who is your audience and are you tailoring your message to reach them?
I’ve scoured the net on the topic and have posted excerpts from an article by Keith Bond (contributing writer for Fine Art Views, which allows sharing), that addresses just that issue…
Do you know who your audience is?
Is it the audience you wanted?
What do they want from you?
Do you know what that is?
Are you giving them what they want?
Are you focusing your efforts in the right place?
- Who exactly is your Audience?
I am implying those who are actually becoming your followers due to your marketing efforts.
Who is joining your mailing list? Who reads your posts?
- Is it the Audience You Wanted?
Are you getting the right people to join your mailing list and read your articles?
Do you want collectors joining your list? I am sure the answer is yes.
Do you want other artists joining your list? I am sure the answer is also yes.
Do you want dealers? Probably yes.
Others? Sure, why not? But which ones are most important to you?
If you want to sell your work, then the collector must be the most important group
- What Do They Want From You?
This is the important question.
Do you know why people have begun following you?
Do you know why they signed up to receive your newsletter?
Do you know why they read your blog?
The collector is interested in your art. As one interested in your work, they are also interested in you. They want to know who you are and why you create. They want your story. They want your story and your art to enrich their life. They want enrichment.
The artist may or may not be interested in your art.
Many artists are also collectors and therefore may be interested as a collector. Put these artists in that group.
Many artists like to follow other artists they admire, because they are looking for inspiration.
Some artists are searching for networking opportunities.
Artists may also be interested in your views on art theory, art instruction, art appreciation, art marketing, etc. – but not necessarily interested in your art. Though, they may be interested in your workshops or instructional dvds.
The dealer could be grouped with the collector in terms of what they want from you. They are interested because they like your work, but they also are considering whether they can find a market for it.
The art professionals may be museum curators, teachers, perhaps art supply vendors, art coaches, art writers and magazine editors, etc. They have a variety of reasons for following you. Chances are, unless they are vendors, they like your work and want to see it and read your story.
Others – this could be just about anybody. Your parents and siblings and even long lost cousins might be in this list. They are fans and are rooting for you, but may not be collectors. Your neighbours or the parents of your child’s best friend may be cheering you on as well. Perhaps co-workers. These people have a variety of reasons for following you. Mostly, they are excited for you and wish you the best. They probably also are genuinely interested in your story and seeing your work. But they likely aren’t collectors. If they are, move them to that list. There are still probably people in this other category who aren’t collectors.
- Are You Giving Them What They Want?
First, let me ask you this question. Of all those who are on your email list, which ones are most important to you?
Are the collectors most important or the fellow artists?
Are they more or less important than your friends or the dealer or the magazine editor? Once you determine which group is MOST important to you, then ask yourself: “Am I giving them what they want?”
Remember, . The curator may sit on a board of directors and thinks of you when the need for commissioning an artist comes up. Your long lost cousin may have a friend or co-worker who is an avid art collector. The artist who wishes only to network may open doors to you down the road.
But, let’s assume for argument’s sake that the most important group to you is the collector.
Without collectors, you cannot make a living creating your art. This may not be important to you, but for argument’s sake, let’s assume it is.
Are your blog posts, newsletters, tweets, Facebook entries, etc. addressing the most important group – the collectors? Do you write about what they want to read?
- Focusing Your Efforts in the Right Place.
If collectors really are the most important to you, place your efforts here. Write blog posts that capture the attention of art collectors.
For example, don’t write about three different ways to mix a certain color. Instead, write about how your fascination with color is the driving force behind your experimentation with it and how it makes your artwork come alive. Then describe how those colors create mood and excitement and energy. (If artists are your most important group, then by all means, write how to mix that color using your three different formulas).
By tailoring your communications to your most coveted target audience, you will fulfill their needs. This will make them long term fans of your work. Others will discover you and your tribe will grow.
Put yourself in the shoes of those you MOST want to reach and ask yourself “Are you talking to me?” If you can answer “yes”, you are on the right track.
PS You can often fulfill the needs of multiple groups, even all of them in your posts. Just remember not to neglect the most important group, though. It is okay to occasionally deviate and write that post you really want to write about – even if it doesn’t give your target audience exactly what they want. But try to think about writing it differently so they will glean something from it. Remember, though, focus most of your efforts on your audience..
As always, your thoughts on this post will help me to make decisions about the posting of future articles in my journal…thanks so much…Janis