Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ready to Work Two Jobs?

I often encounter folks who've opted, or been forced, to freelance.

A great many share something in common: they don't want to work two jobs.

Unfortunately, that's what you have to do to succeed.

Because it ain't easy to cultivate "1,000 true fans." Else, we'd all do it.

Editor Kevin Kelly first expressed the idea a decade ago:

You can define a "true fan" as anyone willing to send you $100 a year for your product. Provided your cost of goods is low, a freelancer can get by comfortably with only 1,000 true fans.

And the money need not arrive in lump sums; it can trickle in (fans can subscribe, say, at the price of $8.34 a month for 12 months).

However you're paid, the bar to success is low, Kelly says.

"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."

Besides keeping costs low, the challenge freelancers face is difficult enough to put most of them off.

To succeed, you have to cultivate 1,000 solid relationships―both financial ones (no one else can profit from your work) and professional ones (fans must like and trust you).

It's easy to attract 1,000 or more fair-weather fans (just ask Paul Reubens). But you need 1,000 diehards.

And, although digital platforms that enable relationships with diehards abound, nurturing those relationships could kill you.

"The truth is that cultivating a thousand true fans is time consuming, sometimes nerve racking, and not for everyone," Kelly says.

"Done well it can become another full-time job."

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