| A common mistake most artists make is to claim that they are not business people. Although I can contend that making a living from your art or music or film or book is not the first thing that enters your mind during your creative process, once the work is done, I will bet that it's at least the second! Can you imagine what it would be like to work on your art as a full time job; to make enough money from your art, music, film or book to pay your rent and bills? To do that, you must take on a seperate persona that is business minded; a persona that is willing to speak of your art in business terms. |
By the new definition as created by these changing times, mostly in part due to the wide spread use of the Internet, an artist or band is now, today, to be considered a sole-proprietor business owner, sales and marketing agent all rolled into one. Getting over this mental hurdle is the first step towards getting in touch with potentially milllions of Internet users who are waiting to fall in love with your art or music. All consumers, whether shopping for a new pair of shoes, a box of cereal or your CD, book, DVD, original painting or print all have one thing in common: they are looking for the best deal. Do not cringe at the idea of thinking of your art or music as a product because it is crucial that you understand that this is how your audience will think about it, whether consciously or subconsciously.
The term used by marketing firms and ad agents everywhere for knowing and understanding your audience is demographics. Demographics refers to the characteristics of the people that will respond the best to (and thusly buy) your "product". In other words, if you are selling men's athletic shoes, your demographic might be young, males between the age of 15 and 24, with an income between $18,000 and $34,000 a year, who have a keen interest in team sports. As a better example, the demographic for an emerging heavy metal band from Boston that's just released their first CD might be young, rebellous youth between the ages of 13 and 25, that make (or have parents that make) an income between $12,000 and $40,000 a year, and that have a keen interest in frequenting live shows by other local, east coast metal bands. Your demographics can also include a list of likes that your audience has that are similar to your work, such as popular bands that have a similar sound or style as you.
Continue to the next section: Protecting the Value of Your Work.