Ten minutes before typing this, I was standing in the middle of Times Square. It was a good reminder of the experience most of our potential audience members go through.
I was completely overwhelmed. The choices, the advertisements, I felt it coming from every direction.
Keep in mind, I'm not a country boy, I live in Chicago. I'm also familiar with a lot of marketing techniques. I knew what was going on around me but I still felt lost and confused.
And what did I want to do when I was in the midst of those feelings? I wanted to make the safest choice possible.
Why risk going to that fancy restaurant? I might as well go to that chain restaurant. The food may not be as good, but at least I know what I'm getting.
Why take a risk on some new and innovative art form? Why not go for that big, familiar Broadway show? I may not be thrilled by the experience but at least I will not be disappointed.
The reason I harp so much on making authentic marketing choices, building local relationships, etc. is because those are the sorts of things that help combat the natural instinct toward safety many people have.
So when you're imagining your future audience don't picture an "arts lover", picture yourself in the middle of Times Square. Feel what it's like to have an infinite number of choices. Embrace the fear of making a wrong choice.
Those are your barriers. That's what your art (and your marketing) has to overcome.