Do you think you know your customers? The ones that have already bought your artwork and the ones who potentially might become your customers one day? And please, don’t say your products are perfect for everyone…
It is very difficult to promote your products and your business in general if you don’t know who your customers are. Some business owners resist the idea of defining a target market because they want to be able to sell to everyone. They feel such a definition would limit their audience and reduce the number of potential customers that might walk through their door. The truth is that business does not work like this. Without the knowledge of your customers you might be spending your effort on selling sand to the Arabs. Sometimes it might work but it wouldn’t make much sense, would it?
So. It has been decided, target market is something you must define before you can even dream of being successful in your business.
Everybody means nobody
If your products are for everybody, they are for nobody. Even Apple products don’t suit everyone, do they?
Same counts for your marketing activities: if your message is not targeted for specific audiences (your potential customers), it is very unlikely to be seen as useful or interesting by those audiences. Both your products and your promotional content have to be tailored to your audience’s expectations and needs.
Limiting your market might seem a bit crazy but in fact this way you can focus your efforts on the people that are most likely to spend money on your product. When you have your niche defined it will become easier to present the benefits of your products to the audience because your products fit their style and/or lives. The market will still be large enough to bring you a good income and you will be able to build up your position in that market as you are very clear on what you provide.
New business owners sometimes start with targeting everyone as they hope they eventually will find someone interested in their products. This is not the right attitude as the costs of the promotion will result in very little response. To make your marketing efforts successful you have to tailor your campaigns in such a way that they will reach those most likely to buy. As an artist you are looking for people who appreciate handmade AND can afford it. Don’t waste your time and money trying to reach those people who love your product but have no money. As much as they might love what you make, they won’t buy it anyway. And guess what? The ones who do have the money but are not too crazy about handmade (or your products in particular) will not buy it either.