Note: This post is for business-minded, entrepreneurial,
If you want to make a living at your art, you’ve most likely heard the term audience.
(Be forewarned: This post isn’t the usual “identify your audience” banter.)
Regarding your audience, a well-known speaker said to me recently,
“Too many writers make blogs for other writers. That’s bad.
You need to write to the audience you want to sell to —
those who will buy your stuff.”
I’ve thought about this quite a bit —
and I don’t believe the audience thing (or the whole social media thing) is that cut and dry.
Yes, as an artist of any kind, it’s important to build a social media platform.
People need to know you — who you are and what you do —
in order to like you, follow you, and buy from you.
(Buying is good. As we all know, this starving artist thing is real.
And I like to eat, don’t you?)
But there are many reasons to interact within social media.
Just think of the different social media outlets —
from Pinterest to LinkedIn,
Facebook to Instagram,
blogging to tweeting…
It’s not all about money.
Okay, I know —
Some blogs are clearly money-seeking ventures bleeding insincerity.
(Uhyeah, there’s enough insincerity and manipulation out there to
choke a dinosaur.)
Social media, once it becomes only money-and-sales-driven drivel,
turns us into takers
(and alienates people).
(we know this. we’re turned off by this. we need to avoid this. big. time.)
If we’re not careful, this Audience #1 — those who we intend our message to grip, grab, and bless the socks off — can become the Target Market that we hunt for the sale, with little regard for sincerity.
How does a healthy Audience #1 work?
* Passion. We have something we’re passionate about.
* Benefit. Audience #1 benefits from what we share.
* Follow. Because they benefit, they follow. We now have a Tribe.
* Connect. Tribes like your stuff. But they mostly like us. They keep coming back because of us — the authenticity, the passion, and the willingness to be real while sharing the transaction.
(so, yeah. be authentic, passionate, and willing to be real.)
* Buy-Sell Transactions. Yes, interacting with Audience #1 involves selling something. A book. A work of art. A film. Audience #1 is willing to pay for that benefit, follow, and connection — in a transaction.
With Audience #1, the benefit goes both ways.
It’s both a hard and soft transaction.
(Hard = money; soft = benefit sharing)
But your Audience #2 has a different kind of transaction happening.
Audience #2 is only about the soft transaction.
(We both benefit, and the benefit is intangible.)
How does Audience #2 work?
* Sharing Art. We create (make our art) and share it.
* Feedback and Support. By sharing our art, we receive feedback and support. while they receive positives from our art, too. Those with like minds cheer us on, keep us on our toes, and keep us sane. By sharing our art with those who wholeheartedly resonate, we form an intangible — yet highly beneficial — bond. And there’s something wonderful about resonating with a group, isn’t there?
* Personal Growth. Finally, that support feeds our spirit. Especially among artists, like-minded banter sharpens our thoughts and, ultimately, sharpens our craft.
What kind of audiences do you cultivate?
<<I contend that we need both.>>
when we aim ONLY for the target-market transaction,
the arrow may hit the mark, but we lose a bit of humanity.
(Not everything we do is about getting.)
(Balance your audiences.)
(We need a Clan, not just a Tribe.)
A Clan is your like-minded, life-minded people-group
bound by intangibles that matter.
Don’t think it’s a waste of time, to give freely to your like-minded peeps.)