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Comic Writers and Artists – Do You Know Your Target Audience?

by philhampton on 20 December 2010

Stan made up his own catchphrases for his audience

When Stan Lee formed Marvel Comics, he certainly knew who his target audience were – adolescent males. Both the content of the early comics and the language that Stan used to communicate with the readership (yes, True Believer!) was designed to resonate with young bucks seeking adventure and wanting to be part of an exciting, popular gang.

Have you defined out your target audience yet? If not, how do you know that your creative output and communication (blog-posts, emails etc.) ‘hit the spot’ for your followers?

If you bumped into your perfect fan, one that would devour your work for at least the next three years, what would they look like?

Try defining the following:

  • Their gender (if applicable)
  • Their age
  • What are their favourite movies, TV shows, books and comics?
  • Do they play computer games? If so, which ones?
  • What are their hobbies other than the above?
  • What is their disposable income? Or do they on their parents to buy comics and related merchandise for them?
  • Do they live on their own or with others?
  • If they’re still a student, is there a certain ‘tribe’ they belong to?
  • If no longer in school, in which industry or industries do they work?
  • How large is their circle of friends?
  • What are their problems in life?
  • What compels them to read and enjoy your stuff?
  • What keeps them coming back for more?

Having completed this exercise, you should have a pretty good idea of your ideal customer. You could even give them a name, and draw a sketch of them to hang in your workspace.

Then, when you are writing your blogposts and emails, tailor your language to suit them. By doing this, your target audience will identify more with you and your work, and will be more willing to return to your site.

If you don’t even know where to start with identifying your ideal fan, try running a survey via the likes of www.SurveyMonkey.com. They allow you to run a survey with up to 10 questions free of charge. You just set up your questions, provide the survey link to your followers, sit back and analyse the results as they come in.

I appreciate all feedback, so feel free to post a comment below.

Good luck,

Phil Hampton

The Comic Academy

www.TheComicAcademy.com

Phil Hampton founded The Comic Academy to help comic and webcomic creators market their work and achieve success in the comic book industry. Get your FREE exclusive report ‘The 7 Steps to Comic Creator Success’ at http://www.TheComicAcademy.com

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

RobinofLeyLines September 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I’ve tried to guess-timate what my target audience is like, but for some reason my brain did not connect that audience with the way I write my blog posts. I’ve had a friend make suggestions on ways to change tone, but it was never specific enough for me to connect the dots. Reading article was a great “light bulb” moment for me! Thank you!

philhampton September 5, 2011 at 6:24 am

Hi Robin,

Thanks for the feedback. Glad you enjoyed the article.

It’s not the easiest of exercises to complete, but definitely worthwhile for the long-term planning of your site.

All the best,

Phil

Jerome Walford October 15, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Great article. As indie creators we often get lost in the art form. Thanks for posting this.
Best.
Jerome
Jerome Walford´s last blog post ..Sprint to the finish

Chris Johnson November 23, 2011 at 9:52 am

Thanks, Phil. Really great post. I agree with Jerome in that us indie guys do tend to work so hard at putting the stories out there, sometimes who they’re for doesn’t really come into the equation. If it does, it’s an afterthought.

philhampton November 27, 2011 at 11:13 am

Thanks Chris,

Yes, it’s great to be creating something that inspires you day after day, but it’s also good to have that target reader in mind, so that you can more effectively inspire and entertain them.

In doing so, they’ll continue to read your stuff and will glady spread the word about your work.

All the best,

Phil

Stephanie April 6, 2012 at 7:42 am

Great post Phil. I have found your site very helpful in my adventures of comic book writing and trying to promote them. I just wanted to thank you for your advice and taking time out to help people.

philhampton April 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Thanks Stephanie!

Glad you like the site. Keep an eye out for regular updates.

All the best,

Phil

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