How to Make Money from Your Target Audience
And then, how can you make money from your target audience, which is, like, what we're getting to here, right? Like, how do I actually make money from these people, which is a really difficult thing to answer and I'm gonna try to answer really concretely by saying, first of all, you could have digital products. It depends on who your market is.
You know? It totally depends. So, you know, maybe, for example, your market is other photographers and you sell textures, or maybe your target audience is galleries. So, what do they wanna see? Well, obviously, they're interested in prints. You have to convince them that what you have to sell is the best. You might not believe it. You might know that there is no such thing as better and best. What's that rhyme? Good, better, best? Nevermind. Okay. So, but the point is that when you're creating a product for somebody that is going to either buy it or sell it for you, you have to convince them that there's something really unique about it and th...
ere are a lot of ways to do that. So, for example, I wrote mass production here, which is something that I don't personally do. But, there's nothing wrong with that. You know? I've been into many galleries. In fact, I've bought many prints from artists who don't edition their work. They produce as many as anyone wants. They usually have smaller price points and I've gone in and bought 40 dollar prints many times and I take them home and I display them and it's true that they don't necessarily always hold a place of reverence in my house, like I don't frame it and put it up on the wall and I'll never take it down, but I still love that art and it's still a way to go. So, how can you make money from your target audience? And it's important that we all answer this personally, that we all really think about how do I wanna do that? Who am I targeting and why would they pay for what I have to sell? It's really important to think about. So, now I'm thinking about a media content plan. How, exactly, are you going to market to those people? How, exactly, are you going to create the content for those people? So, first question is what do you love to create and this might seem really silly, almost. Like, you might be like well, I already know what I wanna create. Get past that. Tell me how to sell to these people. Okay, this is how you sell to those people is you're so in tune with what you love to create that other people feel that from you and I would honestly say that my career has been built on this principle, that I love what I do so much that I make other people love what I do because, trust me, there are a lot of people that don't like what I do. There are a lot of people that come to me, outwardly, as I mentioned, and say I don't like what you do. I hear it every single day, almost. And not in a malicious way. Not like people emailing me, like, you suck. You're terrible, but people saying, genuinely, I don't really care for your visuals because they're too dark for me, or they're too creepy for me, or, you know, just for whatever reason, but they say, but I connect with your passion, with you loving what you do and I hear this every single day and it's really important. You know, people ask me sometimes, how do you get a big social media following and it's not about that. I mean, the way that you get people to come to you is to show how much you love something. I mean, if I had to say my favorite thing in the world, it's telling people what I love and getting them to love that, too, in whatever way they can. So, I would say definitely don't skip over that question. And then, where are those things that you love to create being celebrated? Really think, like, okay, I love to create dark, creepy works. If I love dark and creepy things, what magazines out there are celebrating that? You know, what forums out there can I join to meet like-minded people? What galleries are putting, you know, really dark, creepy works in their galleries, because they're all out there. You know, we love to think that we're the only ones, you know, and we're so tragic, and, like, all this stuff. I don't really believe that's true. I think, really, that there's always somebody else out there with the same interest. Maybe not in the same way, not with the same experiences, but there's always someone out there who is just waiting to say me too, right? Like, you put a work out there and what do you hope people say? Me too. I identify with this. I understand what you're doing. That's what we're all hoping for. So, okay. I love dark and creepy things. I'm not the only one in the world who loves that. I mean, there are a lot of sub-genres of that, too, trust me, that I don't fit into and then ask yourself, how much of yourself are you willing to share. How much of you, who you are, will you put out there in what you do. In my experience, the deeper I go, the more I share, the more people connect. Because, we're all desperate for connection. I mean, it's like, we've got the internet. It's great. It's also horrible. People are jealous of other people. You look at other peoples' lives and you wish that you had that and you feel disconnected because you feel so isolated in your jealousy, in a sense. And, not always jealousy. That's a harsh word, but just in your envy and your desire to be someone else, do something else, connect with someone else. So, if I can go online and I can be a voice for people who feel like they don't have a voice, how wonderful to connect people that way. And the only way we do that is through example. You know, I can post as many inspirational quotes as I want, which I do post a lot of inspirational quotes, but they're not my words. They're someone else's words. So, yeah, you might connect to that quote, but are you connecting to me? Not necessarily, so I wanna put my story out there and I'm gonna get online and I'm gonna tell you if I'm having a bad day and I'm gonna tell you if a photo shoot failed and I'm gonna tell you if I'm experiencing some sort of trauma right now and you're gonna know about it because I think it's important that we know those things about each other and you might not. So, this question is for you to answer, you know. How much of yourself are you willing to share? And, I can't answer that for you.
And then, where can you find people with similar opinions? And it's, very likely, going to be the same place where your type of work is celebrated, could be very similar. But, where can you go? I hear from people all the time, saying there's no place on the internet I can go to find people who are like me, which is a crazy statement, crazy. Because, everyone is on the internet. There are forums for everything. I mean, all you have to do is go on Reddit and you know that there is a forum for everything and people discussing things that you can't even imagine people discussing. So, you know that there's a place to go. You just have to find it. It takes work. I mean, for example, I have a really hard time finding friends. Like, in real life, friends and is that their fault? Is that the world's fault because they haven't come and found me? No, it's my fault for not finding them. Also, I don't want them, but that like a whole other thing. We'll talk about that later, maybe. Creating a content creation deadline,
So, how can you make a goal for yourself? How can you make structure for yourself? And, again, if you're that person who puts your foot down and you say art is art and I will not be forced into creating. Good! Don't be forced into creating. But, if we're trying to build a business out of this, if we're trying to create something sustainable for ourselves, you might need a schedule. You might. I'm not saying you have to. I don't wanna scare you, but you might. And, there are lots of ways of doing this. I'm going to just simply say make your own schedule. My schedule, for example, is that I create about one to two times a week now. It used to be way more and now I don't put pressure on myself. But, I try to have, at least, one new thing to share a week, just per week. So, it might even be just, like, I'm sharing Instagram stories of shoots that I've done, not necessarily the shoot itself, but just something new. So, I'm trying to create new content every week, making sure that I do one to two shoots a week just because I think it's fun and I love it and it's good to keep up with your creativity. Your deadline, your guide, your whatever-you-wanna-call-it, to creating your goals may be very different, but making sure that you have that plan. And then, what other types of content can you produce? That's my plan for creating content is to figure out what other types of content you can produce. For example, we talked about behind-the-scenes material, maybe photos of you shooting, maybe photos of you doing weird things in trees. I don't know. I have a lot of photos of myself, lately, doing weird things in trees and that's fine, too, you know? Create that content. Put it out there. Show who you are. It doesn't all have to be serious, but it does have to be on-brand. That's the first time I've said brand, isn't it? This whole time. That's, like, a record because we're talking about branding without talking about branding. It's important that you know who you are, what you're trying to put out there, exactly what your art looks like, you know, who you're trying to attract to that art, but it's also really important to say, okay, this is my art, but this is who I am. And, that might be really different, as it is for me. People always expect that I'm gonna be dressed in black with mascara running down my face every single time I meet people. Also, people are always like, you're really short. I'm like, yeah. Okay. I'm different from my art. I recognize that I don't look like that person, necessarily, but both are really good to acknowledge. The fact that there is you, the persona and you, the art and they might not be the same thing. So, what other types of content can you produce that will either show who you are personally or what your art is like on a more emotional or technical level. I thought I'd just make a grand statement here and say that Game of Thrones is the best show ever made. I mean, I don't mean to, like, pivot, and throw you off, but it is. Do you agree? We got a no and, like, a I don't know if I can answer this question type of thing. So, listen. Which one of you thinks, like, yes, best show ever made? Thank you. Okay, we've got two people. This is good. Like, 50 % target audience? Yes! Okay? My point in saying this is not to say Game of Thrones is the best show ever made. I, personally, love it. I think it's fantastic, but my point is this, if that's my opinion, if I'm gonna, like, just imagine, I become a Game of Thrones artist. Everything that I make is Game of Thrones themed. Who is my target audience gonna be? People who love Game of Thrones, obviously. Nobody else. Everybody else is gonna be like, uh, yeah, I hate that show. That show is sexist, or whatever people say about it and I'm gonna be like, I love it. You're not my audience. You can move on. And, that's how we should approach our art is by saying this is my opinion, gosh darn it. This is my opinion, and I'm gonna put it out there and, this is how it is, and if you don't like it, then you're not my audience, and I'm not your audience, and we don't need each other. There are five billion other people who might be my audience and you are not them. So, just remembering, opinions don't always have to be bad. It's okay if you don't get along with everyone. This is a lesson that I am learning myself that I have not yet properly internalized. I'm trying really hard, though.
Bonus Materials with Purchase
Guided Daydream & Writing Exercises Workbook (Lessons 1-11)
Creating an Original Narrative Workbook (Lessons 12-18)
Finding Your Target Audience Workbook (Lessons 19-27)
Planning Your Series Workbook (Lessons 28-34)
Set Design Workbook (Lessons 35-41)
Compositing Workflow Checklist (Lessons 42-49)
Editing Workflow Checklist (Lessons 50-55)
Location Scouting Workbook (Lessons 56-60)
Stock Image Downloads for Practice (Lessons 61-72)
Organizing Your Portfolio Workbook (Lessons 77-81)
Pricing & Editioning Your Work Workbook (Lessons 82-89)
Writing Contracts & Licensing Images Workbook (Lessons 90-98)
Gallery Best Practices (Lessons 99-106)
Pitch Package Workbook (Lessons 107-111)
Writing Your Brand Workbook (Lessons 112-117)
Marketing Workbook (Lessons 118-122)
Social Media Workbook (Lessons 123-127)
Printing Methods Checklist (Lessons 128-133)
Self Critique Workbook (Lessons 134-137)
Bonus Materials Guide
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