TV commercials are an absolute annoyance until my brother-in-law speaks up during a break from the Bears game and says, ”Have you seen this?”
CNN is really just background noise in an airport terminal until I hear a wife say to her husband, “Have you seen this?” Then I’m interested.
This phrase, “Have you seen this?” is the essence of word of mouth marketing in 2015. Every hilarious tweet, meme, and viral video grows in visibility and popularity because it ignites in us the desire to share. It calls us to ask someone, “Have you seen this?”
When creating art that we desire to have the farthest reach amongst our tribe, we need to create with the desire of sparking this question, “Have you seen this?” Now, I’m not recommending that we sacrifice our message or our morals in order to create more share power. Plenty of people are already doing this, which means that eventually, the space will become overcrowded and boring. This is not an endorsement for creating clickbait.
We create art to make connection. Part of that connection is between the artist and her audience. The other part, and perhaps the much more common part, is the connection between audience member and audience member when art is shared. That question of “Have you seen this?” brings people together. It gives them a common experience that they can bond over for a brief moment in time.
Art connects people, and connection is made through sharing.
As you create your art, ask yourself, “Does this ignite a desire to share in my audience?”
Does it cause people to reach out and ask, “Have you seen this?”