Wednesday, March 05, 2008

True Blue

Regina Spektor
Joss Whedon
Neil Gaiman
Kevin Smith

What those four have in common is that I'm a true fan. I buy and see everything they do and I subscribe to their blogs and friend them on Myspace (or Facebook). I didn't realize how important that was (but had a notion) until reading Kevin Kelly's recent 1,000 True Fans post.

This is so, so applicable to non-profits it's scary.

Other than aim for a blockbuster hit, what can an artist do to escape the long tail?

One solution is to find 1,000 True Fans. While some artists have discovered this path without calling it that, I think it is worth trying to formalize. 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.

Non-profits must consciously develop their fan bases - and being a once a year donor isn't enough. By consciously developing 1,000 fans, non-profits will discover their voice and figure out new ways to reach into communities and networks to find lifetime supporters.

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