It’s Time to Stake Your Claim

  • June 21, 2012 by Corbett Barr

It’s been an incredible couple of weeks for newsworthy crowdsourced fundraising campaigns over on Kickstarter and Indiegogo:

Great for these guys, you might be saying, they each already have big followings. But what if you’re just “joe creative” off the street?

Crowdfunding is like social media. If you already have a huge following, it’s easy to get your message out. If you don’t have a following already, good luck standing out from the thousands of other projects out there.

Without an audience of your own, you shouldn’t expect miracles to happen. If your content and your story is outstanding, you might get lucky and have a viral campaign on your hands.

But wouldn’t it be better if you knew there was an army of true fans waiting to support whatever you came out with next?

That’s how Adam Baker was able to raise over 100k for a first-time film. He spent the past three years building a following as a blogger and making relationships with other people who have followings. His supporters were there for him even as he made the big leap from blogging to filmmaking.

It’s always best to build an audience long before you need it.

If your creative project is ready to share with the world and you’re just now wondering how social media or crowdfunding might help, it’s too late.

It doesn’t have to take a decade or more to build a following that will make a difference when it matters most. Adam Baker started Man Vs. Debt just over 3 years ago. Matthew Inman started The Oatmeal incredibly less than 3 years ago.

If your reaction to hearing about the success of these fundraising efforts was “it must be easy when you have all your big-name blogger friends promote for you,” I want you to think about it again.

You could be only a year away from sitting in that privileged position yourself. Most of the “big name” bloggers and social media people you know now were nobodies not that long ago.

This is still the wild west. It’s time to stake your claim.

Start building your audience now, long before you need it.

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.

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Joseph June 21, 2012 at 10:54 am

Love it. Dig your well before you get thirsty.

Aurooba June 21, 2012 at 11:13 am

Love that metaphor Joesph!

Thanks for being so encouraging, Corbett. I recently started to take my blogging seriously, and in fact, took a page out of your book, and currrently blogging daily for 30 days. It’s been amazing so far.

Love the advice you give. :)

Joseph Ratliff June 21, 2012 at 11:07 am

Truer words have never been spoken Corbett. This whole “digital world” is still in its infancy… but not for long.

If you want to make your mark, build your legacy… whatever… do it NOW.

As that Mountain Dew commercial says… it’s time to “Dew you.”

Alexandre B June 21, 2012 at 11:11 am

Hi Corbett,

Building an audience is definitly THE thing to work on if you want to make it online (it’s still true offline).
An audience is what make things happen, so you have to take care of it and respect it.

All the best

Erick Widman June 21, 2012 at 11:18 am

It’s a great time to be alive. It’s remarkable how “the little guy” who works hard and produces something lots of people value can become a big guy surprisingly quickly. I think you are exactly right about this being the Wild West. Yippee kay…

Andrew Youderian June 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Well said, Corbett. Many people assume success just “happens” to certain people. What they don’t see is the immense amount of work that was almost always put in behind the scenes. Everyone had to start from scratch at some point.

Your post brings a quote from Neil Patel I read yesterday…..

“What we do accumulates; the future is the result of what we do right now.”

Tysen June 21, 2012 at 8:12 pm

LOVE it! As always, thanks for the fantastic post.

Sheyi | June 22, 2012 at 3:11 am

With the advent of paid advertising now, one can build a loyal follower base within a short period of time. I have seen some people without website build loyal customer base onfacebook and twitter alone – so it is high time we start looking at building loyal customer base first before giving them what to buy.


Mike June 22, 2012 at 8:39 pm

My goodness, I like this post. Now, back to blogging…

Motyar June 23, 2012 at 6:03 am

So I should take blogging seriously!
Thanks for sharing such a great idea Corbett.

Chad June 25, 2012 at 10:12 am

Love this. We are knee deep in the exact point as above. We launched a Kickstarter and are struggling to get the attention it needs. Lots of time left, lots of plans for momentum. It’ll be a neat test.

Lilian June 30, 2012 at 9:19 am

Thanks! This is a great advice/kick in the butt to keep the momentum going. There’s no better time than now and also other excuses that we often give ourselves are not reason enough.
Better to celebrate our little victories and achievements on every step ahead..

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