While there I was also able to meet some industry leaders and pick their brain... ask advice and gather insight. One such industry veteran who I tracked down on the steps outside the convention center was Larry Weintraub. I had come across his name numerous times as he was an A&R guy for some of my favorite bands at the time and today. Between busy meetings and artist parties he took time out of his day to talk to a 20 year old college student and I never forgot it. Fast forward two years and I would meet Larry again in Hollywood while living out there. We have not really kept in touch but each time we have talked, it is always inspirational and fun. Larry now runs the company FANSCAPE and is an entertainment industry leader in marketing and promotion. Why am I telling you all this? Because one of his blog posts I have been reading over and over for the last week... 1,000 True Fans. In short, it details an idea posted on Kevin Kelly's "The Technium" blog.
"A True Fan is defined as someone who will 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.
He goes on to describe the financials:Assume conservatively that your True Fans will each spend one day's wages per year in support of what you do. That "one-day-wage" is an average, because of course your truest fans will spend a lot more than that. Let's peg that per diem each True Fan spends at $100 per year. If you have 1,000 fans that sums up to $100,000 per year, which minus some modest expenses, is a living for most folks."
This whole ideas has been on fire in my mind over the past week.... cause I really think I could apply this to my photography career. I will most likely post more about this in the future... but I am open to your ideas and thoughts. I actually sent Larry a copy of my new book and am going to follow up with him about maybe having him take on an author to promote. I would love any ideas anyone might have to promote and nurture 1,000 true fans of my work. Bring on the conversation... And Larry... Thank you.