Does the Whole World Think Like You?

We’ve had an unusually cool and rainy summer in Colorado. The other day, my friend was complaining about the weather, fully expecting me to agree with her, as I’m sure most people have. “Oh, I’ve loved this summer,” I said. “I hate being hot, plus I’ve hardly had to water.” She stared at me in disbelief.

This is a silly example of a much larger point. We should never assume that everyone thinks the way we do, even if our thinking seems to reflect the norm. There will always be those outliers, rebels, even malcontents who disagree with the majority. Sometimes, though, this silent minority can wind up being even more passionate about their opinions because they are different. And some of those people will be your most ardent fans and followers.

When marketing our products, our minds go toward the most obvious connections. And that’s not a bad place to start, but can you then turn things inside out?  Can you think of the people who would not normally be asked to pay attention to your type of offerings? If you can reach them in a way that appeals to their way of thinking, you might just be the only artist of your kind who has ever approached them. If you can make them feel noticed and appreciated, they might just buy your work because you didn’t assume they wouldn’t.

Notice, though, that I said reach them in a way that appeals to them. This is not about you trying to convince, enlighten or educate them. It’s about inviting them to see something in your art that matches their unique worldview. It won’t always work, but it’s pretty dang satisfying when it does.

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