You know, maybe what you should be is an anthropologist (seriously, read this email)
Tell me if this sounds familiar
Guy starts a company/creates a painting/writes a book/produces a film/creates a course.
The ‘thing’ is good – like, really really good.
Useful, beautiful, so very well made.
Worth good money, too.
Guy goes out and starts showing his thing to people.
Because, you know, if nobody sees it, nobody can buy it.
Shows it to 10, 100, 1000 people, and…
Oh they all laud him, saying it’s so well made, and how wonderful of him.
But no matter how hard he tries, there doesn’t seem to be anyone who actually wants to pay for it.
I’ll bet ready money that if it hasn’t happy to you, you’ll know someone who’s been in that situation.
And, I know how much it sucks – I’ve been there myself.
But, there’s a solution.
And it’s free, and it’s simple, and if you do it right, it’s a lot of fun too.
The solution is called listening.
And it ties in with that anthropologist quip in the subject header.
Of course I’m not suggesting a career change.
What I’m talking about is the attitude.
Because anthropologists study people.
They look at societies, cultures, and periods in history, in order to find out how these creatures work.
They observe, they listen (and read), they interview and compile input and data, all with the final goal to get their head around ‘what makes people do what they do’.
And if you’re in business, and you want to find takers but it’s proving hard, then the thing that would really help you advance, is adopting the anthropologist attitude.
Specifically, with regard to the art-buying public, and even more specifically, the kind of audience that will buy your art.
Because you can show your work to people until you’re blue in the face, but if you don’t know who your ideal buyer is, and what makes them tick, and what they are looking for in the art they buy…
Then you’re going to have a real hard time figuring out where to find those buyers.
Me, I’m not an anthropologist.
But I sure do have the attitude: I study people, every day and all day.
And that’s the only reason that I’ve been able to start three businesses.
And, yes, the first business failed and cost me $150K.
And you want to know why?
Because when I started that tailoring company, I had skipped over the first step:
Learning who buys fancy handmade suits these days.
If you want to grow your business, learn people.
Learn who are the people who will buy your work.
You could call it market research, but I prefer seeing it as ‘understanding who your audience is’.
Unfortunately, it’s not something I can help you with.
I can’t do your learning for you, and I can’t have your conversations for you.
It’s the kind of thing you need to do for yourself.
Something very useful: Seth Godin’s startup school course.
It’s not specifically for artists and creatives, but you’ll find REALLY smart thinking in it, that you can apply in your own business.
Here’s the link: http://www.earwolf.com/show/startup-school/
Hey, and if you already are clear on who your ideal buyer is?
And you want to scale up your existing success?
Then get in touch and let’s talk – see if I can help.
Also published on Medium.