Finding receptive customers

I was just speaking to the founder of Ratafire. Her vision is to help aspiring artists and researchers afford the time for creative freedom through ultra-low-fee crowdfunding and commerce. We were talking about how to recruit more artists into her community and platform. She is frustrated by the relatively high cost and low conversion rates of the “now-traditional” social media avenues (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc).

While her target personas definitely use those social media platforms, they’re rarely there while in the mode to learn or buy. Artists, like most personas, are complex and dynamic. The person you see on stage singing is very different from the same person reading the newspaper the next morning at the coffee shop. They are in different modes.

At a minimum, the artist persona has 4 modes:

  1. Personal Mode
  2. Creative Mode
  3. Performance Mode
  4. Business Mode

For the CEO of Ratafire, she wants to find artists in the Business Mode. But, most of the time they spend on social media is in one of the other modes – whether connecting with friends and family or looking for inspiration.

Most artists probably spend very little of their time in Business Mode. They’re in Business Mode when they’re buying supplies or equipment or when they’re trying to sell their work or find customers.

This isn’t just true of artists. I was having lunch today with a very successful retired professional athlete. I can’t imagine showing up in the locker room at halftime trying to sell him insurance (or almost anything for that matter). Not only would I not have made a sale, but I might have even been forcibly removed from the locker room! The same thing is probably true if I’d had stopped him in the airport when he was with his family. On the other hand, if I met him when he was visiting his accountant and I had a good product to sell, I’d have a great chance of finding a receptive audience.

My advice to this CEO and my advice to anyone trying to market a product or service is to not just figure out who your customers are, but also to figure out in what mode they’ll care the most about what you’re offering and meet them there.  Don’t try to sell to an artist before their performance or to an athlete during the game.


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