“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.”
So says Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired magazine, in his latest essay 1000 True Fans.
It’s worth reading the full essay to completely grok what he’s on about. But in brief, a “true fan” is someone who’ll 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…
Kelly’s point is that the Internet allows you to find and stay in touch with True Fans cheaply and easily — globally. He gives some useful numbers to help think it through, and points to some examples which are already working.