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True Fans

The idea of true fans comes from Kevin Kelly1โ€™s essay entitled โ€1,000 True Fansโ€; I first became aware of the idea while reading Tribes by Seth Godin.

A true fan is someone who cares deeply about you and your work, and is willing to put in effort to support you. If the goal is to generate a livable wage off of your creative work, then the average person needs, at the time of writing, about $100,000 per year coming in to do so2.

Kelly outlines a few required criteria for 1,000 true fans to be enough:

  1. You need to create enough that you can make $100 in profit from each person. What you create has to be good enough that theyโ€™re willing to part with their money to support you.
  2. The connection must be direct; they must pay you, not another company. A music label will keep most of the profit.


  1. How much money did a two-letter domain name cost him?! โ†ฉ

  2. $100,000/year will fluctuate depending on where you live, what your lifestyle expectations are, inflation, and countless other factors. โ†ฉ