Define Your Audiences

Teresa Cochran | In the Know, Reflection & Growth | July 15, 2020

Before you start reflecting on your art and writing about it—for this contest, your marketing materials, or anything else—you need to figure out who you are writing to. This post will help you define your audiences. Most products and services have more than one audience, so feel free to explore any that make sense for what you’re offering. Even if you give your work away, nobody ever hears your songs but your wife, or your funny cat videos are mostly for your friends, you still have an audience. As your goals for your artwork change, your audience might change, as well.

Ask yourself, “If anything were possible, what would I LOVE to happen with—and because of—this art?

Brainstorm what it would look like if your art was the wildest success you can imagine. If you would like starter ideas or an interactive worksheet, you can download the (free) Module 5 of the Choose Your Own Art-Venture eCourse Workbook. Remember that you can refine your goals at any time. Anytime in your whole life, you can change your mind and choose new goals.

But let’s start with the goals you have set for yourself right now. Who needs to know about your art to reach those goals? Those are your audiences.
Questions to Help You Define Your Audiences

No matter what your art (or business) is, defining your audiences in this way will give you useful information about who your writing, materials, and marketing should be trying to reach. Here are some prompts that may help.

  • Describe your typical customer and your ideal customer. How do they differ? 
  • Who does your art appeal to?
  • What “type of person” likes your aesthetic and approach? 
  • Are there regional sensibilities, professions, hobbies, subject matters, or passions that are associated with your work?
  • Is there a type of location (music festival for music themed jewelry, coffee shop, a dance performance in a historical setting) that highlights the appeal of your work?
  • Is there an appropriate middleman (museum shop, arts council, concert venue) who could serve as a conduit between you and the person who will love your art? If so, they are also an audience. What are they interested in?
  • Are there established distribution methods for your art form (film art house, galleries that have space set aside for installation art, galleries that sell original fine art or fine craft)? Who are the gatekeepers? What are they interested in?

Once you have a good idea about your audiences, try to think of each one as it might be personified in just one individual. Write a little sketch of who this person is and give them a name.

Once you’ve completed sketches of your sample audiences, then you have a real sense of who your writing needs to speak to. You are writing to engage … who? Give that “person” a name that brings to mind the “type” of person you’re targeting.

This blog post was drawn from Engage Art’s free Choose Your Own Art-venture eCourse and Workbook. Module 5 is all about reflecting and writing about your artwork, and it includes many worksheets to help you do the best job you can. Being able to express your intentions for your art—especially the theme you are working with to reflect the Spiritual Battle—is important for this contest. To learn more and download any modules you’d like (for free!), go here.

Submit Your Artwork Today!

Curious? Interested in submitting artwork to our contest? Know someone who might be? Through April 14th, 2022, the Engage Art Contest is open to the whole world! Get your foot in the door by claiming your Artist Page now!