True Supporters Can Make All The Difference For Any Independent Online Publisher
One thousand true fans can truly make a difference if you are online author, writer, musician or videomaker seeking to make a living inside the long tail. Contrary to what you may have thought or have being told, if you have real, solid value to share, one thousand true fans can make all of the difference in the world.
Me, sharing immediate feelings about the "one thousand true fans" meme, as I drive my two wheels to the office this morning.
"...there is a home for creatives in between poverty and stardom.
Somewhere lower than stratospheric bestsellerdom, but higher than the obscurity of the long tail.
I don't know the actual true number, but I think a dedicated artist could cultivate 1,000 True Fans, and by their direct support using new technology, make an honest living."
I strongly invite you to check out Kevin Kelly's own essay, which sparked my own enthusiasm and desire to share.
I feel strongly that what Kevin has written is absolutely correct, and I also feel that each one of you who is serious about becoming a true independent human, needs really to consider seriously following such a path.
What's a true fan?
"The gist of 1,000 True Fans can be stated simply:
A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author - in other words, anyone producing works of art - needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.
"A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce.
They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can't wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans."
But, read closely:
"To raise your sales out of the flatline of the long tail you need to connect with your True Fans directly. Another way to state this is, you need to convert a thousand Lesser Fans into a thousand True Fans.
Assume conservatively that your True Fans will each spend one day's wages per year in support of what you do.
That "one-day-wage" is an average, because of course your truest fans will spend a lot more than that.
Let's peg that per diem each True Fan spends at $100 per year. If you have 1,000 fans that sums up to $100,000 per year, which minus some modest expenses, is a living for most folks."
I myself, strongly motivated by the slowly but unstoppable demise of the dollar and by my desire to share even more of what I have learned about effective communication, am definitely set on such a path and with the precise goal of meeting that number before we move into 2009.
If I succeed, my life will have changed one more time for the good.
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