March 15

If you were to ask many creative pros in the midst of a project who they are making it for, their answer might begin with “our target audience is…” or “our most coveted segment is…” or “our demographic research shows that…” This is how we’ve been trained to think about targeting the work; it’s all about reaching groups of people who are sympathetic to our products or services.

That said, having a vague target in mind when creating something is often more distracting than helpful. Your aim lacks specificity and nuance. Groups don’t use your product or service; individuals do.

I often encourage people who make things to think about a very specific person they are making it for. Don’t envision a group, a demographic, or a psychographic but one real person. I’ve written all my books to individuals, pretending I was sitting across the table from them offering advice. Your intended audience for your work shapes how you make decisions and how you foresee that work finding its place in the world. Don’t allow your work to be watered down by a lack of specificity.

Creative work resonates most deeply when crafted for an audience of one.

Consider a project you are working on at the moment. Who—a specific individual—is a good intended audience for the work you are creating?

Related Articles