The Creator Economy is rising, but challenges abound

“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” Kevin Kelly, 1,000 True Fans

At the heart of the creator economy (also dubbed the “Passion Economy” or “Hustle Economy”) is the ability of a creator to monetise attention and fandom. As described by Tim Ferriss in Tools of Titans, to be a successful creator you don’t need millions of dollars, customers, or fans. To make a living (defined as $100K a year), former Wired editor Kevin Kelly suggests, you only need 1,000 true fans that will each buy products from you for $100 a year.

1000 Superfans or 100 True fans?

A “true” fan (or “superfan”) is defined as one who would buy anything you produce – drive a long distance to see you perform, subscribe to your paid newsletter and set up a Google Alert with your name. True fans are assets as they are both s source of direct income and provide word of mouth (that attracts ‘regular’ fans). For superfans to effectively work, this means creating a relationship between the creator and the fans, and now the stars have aligned to make these relationships easier than ever to form and scale.

While some say that its 1,000 true fans needed, others say its much less. In the A16Z blog, Li Jin, one of the most prominent writers on the creator economy, said that creators can make a living with only 100 true fans, by segmenting their audience and offering tailored products and services at varying price points. I highly recommend signing up to her excellent newsletter for interesting takes on the creator economy.

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