Published: May 24, 2016 12:00:00 PM

lindsey-painting-6.jpgWho are you talking to? You're preparing something creative, YouTube videos, free books, original songs, paintings, and in your obsession and self-centeredness, you only rarely considered its audience.

Or, perhaps you considered them for the wrong reasons: you imagined your parent, or sibling, teacher, or work colleague: opinions you value, or at least are familiar with.

Trouble is, there might be five to ten individuals on earth whose opinions on YOUR work that you could accurately guess. You guess them because you know them as people. You know them better than you know your own WORK. Considering you can guess them so accurately, their usefulness wanes, because it already lives inside you.

Whether negative or positive, the only audience you can consider are the people close to you.

You need a target audience. You need to know your target audience.

Why Your Marketing Always Needs a Target Audience

Art is a flesh trade. It makes the body sense of itself.

Determining who ought to feel the art posits a few questions:

  1. Why is it important this feeling be shared?
  2. Who would you like to feel the art's feeling?
  3. How do you lead them to that feeling?
  4. What would you like them to feel?

What is the feeling? Beyond just sharing knowledge, beyond the craft, beyond the words, what is the feeling?

For instance, each of Ghost Little's free books consider one of five different audiences and genre-tastes. The individual free books have varied feelings of excitement, dread, thrill, wonder, or thought baked into them at exact moments for exact reasons for their intended audience.

Art's spontaneity often prevents us from considering outright who we hope might interact with the end-product. Nevertheless, if your fairy-like muse came and sat on your shoulder mid-process, your muse who you trust implicitly, and the muse asked you who your work was meant for, I bet you'd have some idea.

The work might be for yourself, bored, hoping for a surprise. It might be just for your friends, to get a laugh. It might be for a rival, to make them admire your skill. It might be for work, your potential customers the target audience.

Among those, let's take the work example for a spin, considering all observers of art and product, are customers at their core.

Know your audience! Before you even get there, understand what you're sharing.

Why is it important this feeling be shared? Because you've done business with people in the past and seen how challenging a particular task is. This is you delivering vindication, via knowledge, via your expertise. This feeling is important because it's helpful. It improves quality of life.

Who would you like to feel this feeling? For the sake of the example, it's a business customer, or prospective customer. You have something to share that improves quality of life in a challenging area you are familiar with. The end.

How do you lead them to that feeling? Time to pick your medium. Written? Video? Music? Oil painting? What is the best vehicle for sharing this feeling? It might be a combination. Remember your audience. Remember your experience with them that fueled your drive to share this feeling, this solution. You need to know how to lead them.

What would you like them to feel? Elation? Empowerment? A sense of, "man, that was easy," or "wow, I wouldn't have been able to do that myself."

What do you feel when you look at a painting? When you hear a song? What is the sensation?

Certain stories in our library of free books have achieved unanticipated audience cross-over, for example, but that's more happy coincidence, and can't be something to rest upon.

Did I miss anything?

There's a chance your work might have reached your audience without pre-meditated planning. Sometimes you get lucky, or the product is so good that it hits a wide audience by default. The more specific the feeling, the more specific the work, the tougher it can be. Always consider the audience.

If you want to read more about Ghost Little's own growing library of free books and original fiction, mash the link and get yourself a taste of indie creative culture.

-- Alex Crumb
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