Artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, innovation, and honest sustainability.

The best and brightest artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, original thought, and honest sustainability.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Biz Tip: Know your audience

This tip is inspired by a recent exchange I had with a lovely artist that was interested in being featured on my blog. Her work was very cute, but unfortunately cute isn't the aesthetic that my readers are after, so I had to explain to her that I wasn't able to feature her. If I had, I would have been letting down my readers, as you all expect a certain style from me. It's what keeps you coming back, and I have to respect that.

So, the lesson for the day: Know your audience. Find your target. Pick your niche and stick to it.

Marketers are always yammering on about target market this and segmentation that and blah blah blah. What they really mean is: Know who you are, stick to it, and the customers/readers/followers that will love you for it will find you. "Finding your target market (and then chasing it)", is just a way to speed up the process. 

Why is it important that I know who I am and stick to it? Why can't I try out new things and see of they work?
Customers are simple beings. Put yourself in their shoes. If you were at a supermarket and they were suddenly selling puppies and hamsters instead of gum at the check-out, you would think that was weird, right? It may even turn you off from coming back to that supermarket ever again. They may have only been selling puppies and hamsters for just that one day to 'try it out', but their business might never recover. If people come to you for one thing, grow within that, innovate.... but never alienate. Never tell your customers (either flat out in a product description or blog, or subliminally by changing your style or wares suddenly) that what you used to do is crap and you're not doing it anymore. What will they then think of that thing they bought from you last year that they still love and cherish? 

How do I know who I am?

Ahhh, the real question. The simple answer is to ask other people. Not just one or two, at least ten. Ask them for the five words they would use to describe your work. Write down all the answers. Look for patterns and related words (like cute and adorable or sophisticated and elegant). The patterns are who you are. This is your product position (meaning the place where your work lives in the brain of a viewer). If you are cute, BE CUTE. Don't tell people you make sophisticated, elegant handbags, if everything you make has flowers and polka dots on it. They will get confused and in the world of buying decisions confusion = go elsewhere.

Know who you are, be who you are, and find like-minded/styled blogs to approach for features. They are out there.... you just gotta find them! 

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