Today we live in a digital era; this is the first time in history that you literally have access to millions of people at your fingertips. No matter what you’re into, whether it’s knitting, music, art, sculpture, no matter what it is, you’re able to find the community out there that would be interested in it just as you are.

With the internet, the ability to sustain your passion has never been easier, before it is all about networking and knowing the buyers, the gallery people, and knowing the right people. Well, today because of the internet, you can put your work out there, you can sell things online, you can stream music, there are many revenue streams available to sustain your passion and get ahead. Those brands who really understand this opportunity are the ones that crush and the ones who don’t, will get left out and keep wondering what they’re doing wrong.

There are only so many fundamentals that you have to understand, no matter what you’re selling, whether you’re selling your music, your art, trying to get booked, no matter what it is, what you’re selling and who you’re selling to might change, but how you do it is exactly the same and if you understand these fundamentals, you can really get ahead.

I’ve always remembered the quote, “Give a man a fish that you feed him for a day, but you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime”. We’re trying to change how we approach and help you as artists, sustain your passion. I’m sure you’ve seen a ton of different ads out there, of people trying to pitch you, this service, that service. For us the best way to teach is for you to learn to do it yourself, so before you become a ninja you must learn the fundamentals, so I look forward to cranking out more like this, so where we can better teach you how to how to fish, you know and being able to you know to see the successes as we’ve seen with some of our clients.

We are going to discuss two main fundamentals, but before we dive into the email, the websites, the technical pieces, all of the advertising want to stay at a high level and teach you the fundamentals before you become a ninja. The two things that we will talk about are one; understanding the fan journey, your fans journey through the digital world and the second part is about feedback loops.

Kevin Kelley always taught the concept, that if you’re able to build a community of 1000 super fans, you can sustain your passion and actually make a living. Hear me, I didn’t say become rich, but you’re able to sustain yourself. What that means is someone is willing to 200-drive miles to see you that will buy every iteration, every version you create. They are your superfans and you only need a thousand to be sustainable. I know that number seems big, but when you look at the number of people who play on social media these days it’s really not a lot and is very-very doable.

The Fan Journey

With that being said, let’s hop into this first section, which is the fan journey. The fan journey is the process of getting somebody who has never even heard about you to somebody who can shout to the world and promote you. When you understand this journey you can better execute your strategies. All these small pieces like emails, advertising, social media, websites, lead gen, and e-commerce start to make a lot more sense when you understand the 30,000 level view of what’s going on.

The first step is somebody’s who is introduced to your brand as a complete stranger, somebody who has no idea who you are, they’re attracted to the type of music you make, the type of art you create.

At some point, they become a visitor when they visit your website or one of your social media accounts. The goal is to convert that visitor into a lead.

A lead is somebody who you can constantly reach out to, your core audience you want to build. Whether that’s an email list, a text list, a push notification list, a messenger list, there are many different lists that we will talk about in the future, but build an audience that you continuously reach out to and eventually close that that lead into a customer.

That means being able to sell them a ticket, a piece of art, some kind of transaction that you can have a monetary value to that fan. A lot of you are going to be like, “Hey you know I’m not in this for the money, I’m not in this for the money.” I completely understand that and I’m 100% supportive of that and making sure that you’re your creative outlet stays with the right intentions, but with that being said, if you don’t mind I get a little real here for a second, but you need money. Whether you have to stop doing what you love because you have to go to your job or you can’t go to that event because of financial restrictions. At the end of the day, money does matter and it doesn’t have to be the primary motive, but it is a tool that is required to do what you love. You need to have a plan on how you’re going to your passion, so I just want to make that clear. I talk to many artists and I get it’s not about the money, but when you can’t pay your bills and you can’t afford materials and then at the of the day, it does matter.

With that being said, after that person has transacted with you, you continue to provide value. At that point, you can continue to share content and provide them value. They want to stay connected to you and your creations. That person will eventually end up being a promoter, they will share your stuff on social media, they will get to share your creations to their friends. Their friends close that loop and are no longer a stranger, but now a visitor.

So, once you are kind of on really understand this process, then your strategy and how you implement going forward, makes a little more sense. And so, this is kind of the first system that you know you like to talk about and just because once you understand the high level

Feedback Loops

The second system is that brings all this back together are called “Feedback Loops.” This is a very important system that into plays and that you must be aware of because a lot of people are perfectionists, but one thing I really realized in this world, is it’s not about perfection, it’s about progression. Being able to measure that progression is what enables you to receive feedback and continuously improve what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.

Feedback loops are how any system in the world operates when it comes to technology, the water system, even your own workflow as an artist and how you go about your creations; you’re subconsciously doing a feedback loop. You have an idea, you build that idea, the byproduct of that implementation is your product.

From your product, you get feedback as data. With that data you can measure quickly if this is working, if this is not working, that is what people like, this is what they don’t like. Even from the fan journey perspective you know, “Okay I’m getting a bunch of leads, why aren’t they that turning into customers?” “It’s not the matter of what you’re doing but how you’re doing it.

From that analysis, you come up with ideas, different solutions, different experiments that you want to try which will complete the loop and you create a new iteration of your product and repeat this process over and over again.

When you use the linear fan journey and incorporate the feedback loop within those different sections, you can start to really have a good idea of the value of your brand, why you are or are not getting traction, and what to prioritize. Once you know what section of the fan journey is the bottleneck you can focus on that section. You might assume that you need to turn ads on when you might be getting enough traffic, you just need work on converting that traffic or maybe you’re doing really well at converting, you just need to focus on getting more traffic.

Once you understand those two concepts, the balance of the fan journey and the feedback loop, you’re able to really put a plan in place and take action.

If you would like to see more content like this, please join our email list, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, tweet us, Facebook message us, DM us on Instagram, we would love to hear your feedback.

Comment below what the most frustrating part of this whole digital world that you can’t really wrap your mind around, so that way we can better help you sustain your passion.