1000 True Fans from Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly, a writer and editor from the US, penned a wonderful blog called 1000 True Fans about 10 years ago now. Check it out here if you haven't read it before. Although I'm sure that many of you may have read it before, it's such an important piece that it's worth reviewing again here.

To be a successful creator you don’t need millions. You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of customers, millions of clients or millions of fans. To make a living as a craftsperson, photographer, musician, designer, author, animator, app maker, entrepreneur, or inventor you need only thousands of true fans.
— Kevin Kelly

Kelly discusses how we actually need much fewer people than we think to make a living. In my opinion, this is the source of great inspiration and hope for many a small creator. While it may be difficult to compete with big multinational corporations, it is easier for a smaller producer to please a niche group of fans. The idea goes that if the fans are getting more specialised attention, they love the creator even more and continue to buy from him/her. 

Years ago the problem was the small businesses and entrepreneurs didn't have the ability to communicate directly with their fan bases, whereas now they do. Email marketing is still the most effective form of online marketing and it allows us to build close relationships with fans. Also, services like https://www.patreon.com allow fans to financially support the creator through monthly subscriptions.

I mention email marketing here because it's a free and excellent way of gaining insights into whether or not what you're doing is of interest to a group. If it is, your email list will grow, and it's not - it won't. You don't need to risk anything in this endeavour. Build the list first and that will tell you if people are interested in what you're offering.

The key to entrepreneurship is not to take risks, but to mitigate risks.
— James Altucher