Sunday, March 6, 2011

Directing your marketing to the right people

My business, which is still in its infancy, has me doing a lot of marketing research and planning, especially as I work on my business plan. As someone who is looking at marketing a unique product, to the fine art portrait market, and going for a niche portrait photographers generally aren't, I need to be as innovative with my marketing as with my product.

I want to very tightly focus my marketing as I am going for a very defined group of clients. While I expect most of my sales to end up coming from word of mouth, I still need to get my work out there in front of people and this is a prime way to market to specific groups. For an artist, getting the right people to see your work and ideally buy it takes more than just getting it in front of as many eyeballs as you can. The most bang for your buck will come from getting it in front of qualified eyeballs.

If you are a portrait artist and looking to make a living from your work, the people who can afford your work are the ones to show it to. Beyond economic stratification, your audience also needs to be refined by interest group, gender, age, profession or anything you can use to narrow down the parameters of your market and define who you are marketing to. To make your marketing very direct, pick a group with a common interest or characteristic (your theme), and create a body of work or curate one you already have, to appeal to that specific group. Have a show that will appeal to those people in particular, at a venue they already patronize and you have essentially a pre-qualified audience who will very much appreciate what you have to show them.

A specific example would be the equestrian community. Portraits of members of the community or their horses, shown at one of their clubs, would be a very strong draw for these clients. You would have very closely defined your market, given them an exclusive look at your product and whether they buy then or there, they will remember you when they are ready to get a portrait later. 

Now it's up to you to figure out how to do this for your business.

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