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Preview: Comments on: The Problem With 1,000 True Fans

Comments on: The Problem With 1,000 True Fans



THIS MACHINE MOCKS FASCISTS



Last Build Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2017 16:42:48 +0000

 



By: kinginascendent

Wed, 18 Jun 2014 12:40:39 +0000

Reblogged this on kinginascent and commented: This is counter to the Kevin Kelly article in the interests of balance.



By: the8020dude

Mon, 10 Dec 2012 21:36:31 +0000

As usual, I'm way late to these kinds of conversations, but being a true fan of Tim Ferriss in whose newest book I only recently learned of Kelly's article, I Googled it and found your site as well. For what it's worth, I'm someone who has exceeded his own success expectations in a very odd niche (writing and consulting for charter schools), and I think you're spot on. Building a base is a lot harder than Kelly's proposition makes it sound (though I appreciated his idea as a concept and I interpreted that you saw some merit in it as well. I did not understand the perspective of some of the respondents that questioned your willingness to work or compete for your success.) Here's how I think about the overall 1KTF proposition: 1. The long tail (which I first read about in Chris Anderson's book a few years ago) also offers creatives the possibility of producing lots of small works over time (for me that includes booklets, podcasts, videos, etc.), none of which individually is likely to be a blockbuster (save an occurrence of Taleb's black swan), but can cumulatively produce one's desired income goals, especially if the information is evergreen or the audience is. That has been my strategy thus far. 2. You are exactly right about the work required to FIRST build a larger, not-so-committed fan base over time in order to accumulate true fans. In this respect, I think it's generally better for creatives to apply Pareto's law to one's business model rather than a variation of Moore's technology adoption lifecycle (i.e., selling first to innovators and early adopters). 3. I'm not one who has historically been a true fan of any writer, but in the past few years, using Kelly's definition, I have become a true fan of Tim Ferriss, i.e., I read every blogpost he writes and if he's selling something, I'm buying it. I even buy other products he mentions in passing because of the value his ideas have created in my life (e.g., I just bought a Nike Fuel Band because he mentioned it in a You Tube interview). That said, I own all of his books, have purchased them as gifts for friends, would travel a reasonable distance to shake his hand, etc., but I doubt that all that adds up to $100 a year over the five years I've followed him. And while I'm guessing that he must have several thousand more "true fans" like me, I think his work still succeeds along a Pareto distribution rather than a long tail. (For example, the way he pre-sells blocks of his books using enticing offers, co-branding, etc., looks like a Pareto strategy to me.) In the end, I encourage fellow creatives to focus their attention on cultivating whatever daily inputs they have determined are force multipliers for them. That's where the real magic occurs.



By: Henry

Thu, 17 Nov 2011 04:54:13 +0000

One should go for just one or two UBER-ULTRA-MEGA fans, each willing to invest $50,000 or $100,000. Ask one's self how to offer that valuable of a service to someone wealthy.



By: gigolom

Thu, 20 Oct 2011 22:31:30 +0000

A good read. I came here as a champion of the 1,000 true fan concept and you raised some very worthwhile points to consider. I agree that Kelly does make it sound as easy as adding one true fan each day – which could happen if you already have access to tens or hundreds of thousands of people daily – but otherwise will require years of consistent effort to attain. However, I still think this formula is the best thing going and is a much better alternative than hoping and wishing to be in the right place at the right time with the right look and the right song to win the “rock star lottery”. If the concept empowers artists to endeavour to be self sufficient on their own terms then it’s worth it. Will it be easy to do? Heck no. As someone else already suggested WORK is involved while building up a relationship with the fans. As for putting out enough content to garner $100/year – therein lies the true opportunity. Think beyond the song or the book and wrap your head around some basic internet marketing staples like email marketing and up selling and I think there’s plenty of opportunity for the soul that is brave enough to attempt it. 1,000 true fans may be a moving target – but I still think it’s one worth aiming for.



By: jigolo

Thu, 20 Oct 2011 22:30:57 +0000

Linton Robinson: You seem to be making the same error that Mr. Kelley did in the original article, which is not to make any distinction between gross and net. Grossing $20k on a book (or a mug or t-shirt or whatever) is not nearly the same thing as netting $20k. I don’t have any problem with the philosophy of 1,000 true fans, as I’ve noted a number of times in this comment thread. Economically, it’s tougher than Mr. Kelley lets on.



By: Johnny Raymonds

Sun, 17 Jul 2011 17:22:08 +0000

I find the author of this article to be very defeatist and full of limiting beliefs. His argument seems to be "Its hard, I can't find fans like that, I can't compete, my art isn't compelling enough to keep them wanting more, and it costs money to make money." It seems to have more to do with his beliefs than the feasibility of 1KTF. From the article: 1. Gathering a thousand true fans is harder than it looks. Do you think its harder to get 1KTF or hit the NYT Bestseller List? Does this means its impossible? Are you not willing to do hard things to achieve your goal? 2. There aren't many people willing/able to spend a significant sum of money on a single creative person. 4 times a month, Madison Square Garden finds 20,000 people to spend well over $100 on a single artist. I consider that a lot of people. 3. You have to compete for true fans. Does that mean you can't win the competition? Do you not have to compete for normal fans? 4. “True Fans” may not stay true fans. The idea isn't to collect 1,000 points and then retire in Bermuda for the rest of your life. You have to keep making art and keep trying to get fans. 1KTF doesn't say anything about never having to work again for the rest of your life. 5. Just because a “true fan” spends $100 on you doesn’t mean you get $100. If you're selling digital products it most certainly does. But this is splitting hairs. He doesn't literally mean $100, 1000 fans, or $100k salary. Of course, he means making an average profit of $100 and reality dictates raising your price if there are costs involved. Does this really negate the concept for you?



By: John Scalzi

Sun, 02 Jan 2011 22:32:34 +0000

Linton Robinson: You seem to be making the same error that Mr. Kelley did in the original article, which is not to make any distinction between gross and net. Grossing $20k on a book (or a mug or t-shirt or whatever) is not nearly the same thing as netting $20k. I don't have any problem with the philosophy of 1,000 true fans, as I've noted a number of times in this comment thread. Economically, it's tougher than Mr. Kelley lets on.



By: Linton Robinson

Sun, 02 Jan 2011 21:48:05 +0000

OK, since there are "lots" of people who spend $20 on their favorites, let's just go with that. That's only one book, really. Maybe a mug and a T-shirt. So that's $20,000 a year. Tax free if you're smart and/or devious. Is that so bad? That's like $1600 a month. Minimum wage, but I've lived on less. Enough to keep you around until you can get a thousand more fans, and make 40K. The idea here isn't the math, it's the approach. The idea that rather than becoming a global superstar, you just start with yourself and gradually build out until you have a fanbase that can support you. (Or, I might add, leverage better deals). For the growing population of self-publishing, indie authors (and musicians and painter and crafters and what-not) this is kind of the only route available and it's helpful to see it as something incremental, rather than just floundering around wishing somebody would sign you up and give you a limo.



By: Mike from Indie Band Alliance

Mon, 08 Nov 2010 19:50:37 +0000

A good read. I came here as a champion of the 1,000 true fan concept and you raised some very worthwhile points to consider. I agree that Kelly does make it sound as easy as adding one true fan each day - which could happen if you already have access to tens or hundreds of thousands of people daily - but otherwise will require years of consistent effort to attain. However, I still think this formula is the best thing going and is a much better alternative than hoping and wishing to be in the right place at the right time with the right look and the right song to win the "rock star lottery". If the concept empowers artists to endeavour to be self sufficient on their own terms then it's worth it. Will it be easy to do? Heck no. As someone else already suggested WORK is involved while building up a relationship with the fans. As for putting out enough content to garner $100/year - therein lies the true opportunity. Think beyond the song or the book and wrap your head around some basic internet marketing staples like email marketing and up selling and I think there's plenty of opportunity for the soul that is brave enough to attempt it. 1,000 true fans may be a moving target - but I still think it's one worth aiming for.



By: Rodney Gagnon

Thu, 17 Dec 2009 03:53:25 +0000

Great emphasis on getting 1,000 fans is hard and takes a lot of effort. Effort expended on social media/self-promition comes at the expense of producing enough content for your fans. I'm thinking some coopetition must come into play to make the business model scale.