If you were to write down who makes up the audience of your work is right now, who would be on that list? A great number of you might be thinking, "Audience? I have no idea. I don't have one." This reaction is normal but we are here to tell you that you DO have an attentive audience that is paying attention to your work. It may be 10 people, it may be 1000, but those people count, and you are an important part of their lives.
Defining your current audience is actually pretty easy. Let’s start with your fans, community, patrons, family, friends, curators, customers, collectors and all of the people who love you. Who are they? Write them down on a big list, and voila, you have your core. From here, it's time to grow, but this original list includes the people you need to hold onto and think about when you share your work online.
Now that you have realized that you do have a tribe that supports you, you realize that you want more. You want to build to a bigger audience of people who do not know you, and you want them to support your work. You want your work to be seen, respected and embraced. You want to stand out from the crowd.
Your work should definitely speak for itself, but there is more to your world as an artist or maker than what they see online. The inside scoop to who you are and why you make your work could resonate with a larger number of people, and it all starts with your unique story. How can you give your audience important insight into your work so they can connect with you on a deeper level?
Here is the plan.
It's time to define your IDEAL AUDIENCE. Who are the people you know of that you want to share your work with? Maybe you know them personally but maybe you do not. This could be anyone: a curator, a new buyer, someone with interests that are similar to yours. Who are your peers, related organizations, people and organizations that you admire? All of these people can support you and your work, and together you can make things happen.
Remember that the world is vast past your studio/office doors, and you will find your ideal audience. But to keep them around, you need to bring value to their lives by building your narrative and sharing your story in small pieces over time. The key here is time. Just as you build a friendship or other relationship over time, as people get to know you in small pieces, writing for your ideal audience functions in the same way. Sharing who you are behind the work is a wonderful way to cultivate your personal brand and let people in, so that they can know you, trust you, and support you.
Here are some ideas to try sharing with your ideal audience:
- Share moments of your past work or experiences in writing and images.
- Describe behind-the-scenes moments of your work.
- Blog about topics that are relevant to your work.
Remember to keep the information you share relevant to your work; don't go off topic or share too much personal information (unless that is a selling point to your brand.) The key is for people to get to know the amazing person behind the work and how you do it. Build your audience genuinely and organically so that you can make real connections, and continue to make your work, stand out, and shine.