If you’re looking to make a living with your craft (musician, painter, photographer, etc.), you need just 1,000 dedicated fans, according to the 1,000 True Fans theory.
The theory says that to make your art your day job, you don’t need to be discovered on YouTube or win The Voice. You simply need to earn and keep solid fans.
The point of this strategy is to say that you don’t need a hit to survive…[the 1,000 True Fans theory] is an alternate destination for an artist to aim for.
A True Fan is “someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce” and “will drive 200 miles to see you sing.” The basic concept is that each true fan will spend a certain amount of money on you on a consistent basis, which then gives you a steady income. For example, a True Fan may spend $100 per year to support you. If you have 1,000 of those fans, that comes out to a $100,000 salary for the year.
And 1,000 is not that big of a number. As the theory states:
If you added one fan a day, it would take only three years. True Fanship is doable. Pleasing a True Fan is pleasurable, and invigorating. It rewards the artist to remain true, to focus on the unique aspects of their work, the qualities that True Fans appreciate.
So, as my song states, work hard. Keep chuggin’ away, do things to secure your fan’s trust, and soon you could be swapping your office chair for a stage.