More than 50 million people worldwide consider themselves to be professional creators. Growth in this sector shows no signs of slowing down allowing creators to fully immerse themselves into their passion. While these signs are promising, it can still feel totally overwhelming to transition from a hobbyist to a full-time creator.
Luckily, this transition can be a lot less daunting if you frame your focus around earning just 1,000 true fans. Anyone can build a living carved around their passion with enough patience, practice, and vision – Below, we’ll break down why you only need 1,000 fans to build a business around your brand. Most importantly, we’ll share what you need to do once you earn those fans to build a sustainable business.
Why Are A Thousand Fans Significant?
In 2008, Kevin Kelly published a now-famed essay titled 1,000 True Fans. The idea was simple but in many ways, revolutionary. Instead of shooting for the moon to gain hundreds of thousands of followers to sustain your career, why not focus on bringing in a small number of dedicated fans instead?
The central idea is that if you are able to cultivate 1,000 fans who were willing to spend just $100 a year on your output (merchandise, in-person events, online experiences, etc.), then you can earn a cushy salary of $100,000 a year and sustain yourself as a creator. This model can be scaled up or down depending on your needs as an individual, but the point is that you don’t have to shoot for the moon to sustain yourself.
This essay makes an important point and showcases the power of quality over quantity of fans. Clout doesn’t always equal to conversions, but if you can build a small though dedicated fan base, you can certainly make the shift to full-time creation.
How Has The Creator Economy Shifted?
The creator economy wasn’t always what it is today. Here’s a couple of ways in which the creative economy has shifted, enabling more creatives to build their dream jobs:
- Self-Sustaining Platforms: Social media has brought with it a whole host of platforms where creators can create and distribute content through their own lens.
- Monetization of Creators: Creators have been given a variety of new revenue streams through viewership monetization, sponsorship deals, and access to dropshipping or low risk production models via the internet.
- Content Consumption: Content consumption has only become more integrated into our daily lives, making creatives all the more important.
@withkoji Even your grandma can rake in 💵💵 in today’s #creatoreconomy says @Jamal Haki #monetize #monetizetiktok #makemoneyonline #makemoney ♬ NBA on ESPN Theme Song – Instrumental King
You’ve Built A Dedicated Fanbase… Now What?
Chances are if you’re a serious creator, you’ve already put in the work to start cultivating that coveted 1,000 true fans – but where do you go from there? Once you’re ready to build your business, try out these 5 strategies:
1. Create effective fan funnels
It’s going to be a lot harder for you to create traction if you don’t have a succinct place where fans can interact with your content. Make sure you have an optimized link in bio that communicates your unique brand and connects all of your various social profiles.
2. Provide monetizable experiences for your fans
You need to find ways to provide valuable experiences for fans that can serve as passive streams of income. Whether that’s setting up a link in bio store with Sell Physical Products or monetizing an Ask Me Anything mini app, make sure you’re giving fans an option to contribute to your livelihood.
3. Build your community
The most successful creators don’t just build brands, they build communities. To do this, it’s essential that you create spaces where they can interact with not just you, but each other. Whether that translates to you livestreaming on Twitch or building a community on sites like Discord is up to you!
4. Take control over your analytics
Your data isn’t just a random string of numbers– it’s a valuable source of information that can help guide you towards giving your audience what they’re looking for. Use your Koji link in bio analytics to help you track where your audience is responding to the most, and what sorts of online experiences they’re engaging with. Your social analytics can also help you inform your content strategy to better connect with your listeners.
5. Keep up the connection
Earning your first 1,000 fans is just the start. It’s up to you to keep up the connection. One way of doing this is by building up your own email list. While it may seem old fashioned, email lists and other forms of direct contact with fans provide a personal touch to keep your fans engaged. Even just thanking your fans on a regular basis can help you build up a strong rapport.
There you have it– becoming a full-time creator isn’t a pipe dream, it’s just a matter of earning that relatively small though dedicated fanbase. Have fun building your audience and know that full-time creation certainly isn’t out of your reach.