Not Everyone Will Like What You Make

And that’s fantastic!

There’s a common misconception in people just starting out in business, that they must not narrow their market down.

Artists, in particular, really resist doing this.

They think that they can sell more art if they cast their net wider. Post everywhere. Be in every gallery, both online and offline. Really make people love them.

Sounds exhausting. I’m just tired thinking about it.

But the thing is, you can’t be everything to everyone. The one aspect that makes the world interesting is all the variety in it. We all love different things. We come together in various smaller groups to love the same things together.

Look at the success of comiccons. Tons of people go, but their market consists of pop culture and comic book fans with a passion for their fandom. They don’t target church ladies who prefer to crochet or Formula One fans, though some people may be into multiple things.

If comiccons advertised at day care centers, how effective would their advertising be? Sure, some parents of young children would be their target market, but most probably wouldn’t.

So they advertise in fan groups, in comic book shops, in costume and prop groups and so on. Where their target audience definitely is and they are more likely to get the conversion (people paying to go to the event) than anywhere else.

Make sense?

So let’s take it back to your art, writing or whatever. Take a hard look at what you make. Who does it actually appeal to? Can you tell?

Is your work full of dragons and contain a dystopian future? Perhaps we’re looking at young adult fantasy and fiction fans who are generally female and surprisingly in their twenties and thirties.

Maybe your work has religious overtones. So you want to see which is the most likely demographic in that group to not only appreciate your art, but also buy it.

Or maybe you want to take this from the other side: who do you want to work with the most? Which group of people do you resonate with already? Who lights your fire, speaks your language and is the group you’d hang with out of pure joy?

Make your work for them. Sometimes it’s a little tweak. Sometimes it’s making your message more clear. But you can adjust your work to match your ideal client/audience and… wait for it… sell more work.

When you embrace the idea that your work, whatever it is, won’t be liked by everyone (HURRAH!) then you can focus on reaching the people who will like your work and who will buy it. Ignore everyone else. If they like it, they will seek you out anyway with no effort on your part.

No more random tossing your stuff out there and getting rejection after rejection.

No more hoping that maybe something will sell if you try hard enough.

Choose your niche, choose your target audience, find where they hang out and show up with work they will love. The sales will become effortless in the process and your business will thrive.

Paula Mould

Paula Mould

Paula Mould is a fine artist, published author and business coach for Leigh & Paula.

She also swears, mostly on purpose.

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