WHY YOU NEED A GOOD $1 KICKSTARTER PLEDGE LEVEL

It seems silly to have a $1 pledge level, right? I mean how much is $1 going to move the needle? You would need 100 backers to make $100. That’s insane.However, there’s a great reason that the $1 level might be the most important level of your whole campaign. It all comes down to a marketing tactic people have been employing forever. It’s called the tripwire offer.

The tripwire offer is the one that turns free customers into buying customers. See, tons of people will take your free information, or free content. However, a very small percentage will even consider paying for it.

That number? 3%.

That’s right. Only 3% of people who you offer something to for free will consider paying for it. That’s not actually pay for it, mind you. It’s just that they are open to the idea.

Additionally, most people won’t go from not paying to paying hundreds of dollars for your product. They need to be eased in first. Thus, the tripwire offer.

It’s much easier to convert somebody that pays $1 into somebody that pays $10 than it is to convert somebody that has never paid for your work to pay you $1.

Why? Because their credit card is already out, so it allows you to upsell them on the spot. But, people won’t pay even $1 if it’s not worth it for them.

That’s why the $1 pledge level is so important. It gives them something to buy for cheap, see the value in what you are giving them, and consider buying more. If you give them a lot of value at the lowest rung of your funnel, there must be incredible value all the way through.

This doesn’t have to be something that’s labor intensive on your part, either. In fact, it shouldn’t be. It should be something they get, like, and want to buy more.

If you’re making a book, maybe write a short story in the world and give it to anybody that pledges a dollar to whet their appetite. If you’re making a tech product, maybe make a wallpaper of fun SWAG that people can get digitally and can easily be scaled.

The point is value at the lowest rung of the pledge level means value all the way through, which makes people inclined to pay for your higher tiered products.

Hope that helps. Make sure to check out www.freekickstartercourse.com to get your journey off on the right foot.

SO YOU WANNA SELL MORE AT CONS

Historically, I have done very well at cons. We've increased our sales every con we've ever been to, and every year our revenue exceeds that of the previous year, mostly from cons. That being said, most people hate cons. I thrive on them. I love meeting the fans, selling the fans, and making deals. Of course I'm a salesman by trade (and a right good one at that) and a business owner by blood, so it comes a little easier to me than it does to other people. But anybody can sell, they just need the tricks. I'm not going to overload you right now, but here are a couple of tricks you can employ RIGHT NOW to make you sell better at whatever convention you attend next. BEWARE, some of this flies in the face of what you've been told your whole life.

1 - ENTHUSIASM. WHERE IS YOURS? I know you're passionate about your product, otherwise you wouldn't have driven for hours, paid a booth cost, and outlaid so much money in order to get to a con. So why aren't you showing that enthusiasm to your customers? At least 60% of booths look like they would rather me die than buy. They don't smile. They don't engage. They just let the product speak for itself. Boo on that.

2 - PEOPLE WANT TO BUY FROM VENDORS THEY LIKE. At the end of the day, I can buy a button, sticker, or cool plush toy from any number of vendors. There are a half dozen that sell what you brought, so why would I buy from you? Because I like you. I can't tell you how many sales I've made just because I made a connection.

3 - BUNDLE. This is what flies in the face of what you've been told about not lowering prices or giving deals until the last day. Screw that. You know your profit margins and you have a willing, interested client in front of you. If somebody is tipping over the edge, make it worth their while by throwing in something with their purchase. I usually throw in a copy of my book Paradise as an incentive. If it kicks somebody over the edge, I made more than enough to justify the loss in profit. Everybody wants to know they got a good deal.

4 - DON'T LET THEM LEAVE. Here's the key. If somebody leaves your booth, they aren't going to come back. They will find something else they like and buy that. There is very little chance they will swim back upstream just to see you. You have to do whatever it takes, within reason, to make them buy from you and at LEAST leave an impression. Make they join a mailing list or something.

5 - ENGAGE WITH PEOPLE WALKING BY. The people walking through your area are perfect consumers. They want what you are selling. Why are you letting them pass without saying hello? Engage them, ask questions, seem interested in their lives. These are just a couple tips from me to you. By using them you will increase sales because you'll have more quality foot traffic asking about your product. Hope it helps. Make sure to check out freekickstartercourse.com too in order to start your journey on the right foot.

THERE'S NO EXCUSE FOR A BAD WEBSITE DESIGN

I have no programming skills at all. I can't tell HTML from a Hat Melon. It all looks like translating English into Spanish into Farsi into Aramaic to Hieroglyphics, running it all through a cheese grater and then having your cat reassemble it. That being said. I designed and built this website.

And this one.

And this one.

And a few dozen more over the course of my life. I built a photography website, and my production company's website, websites for each of my comics, and many others that no longer exist. And I did it without writing one line of code. I created them by modifying pre-designed template on "what you see is what you get" website builders. I've used them for YEARS, and they've only gotten better with age. Let me say it again. I am a crappy web programmer. I'm an average designer. Website builders do most of the work for me. And they make me look good. Below I've ranked all the ones I've ever used. Some are expensive and lovely (like squarespace) others are cheap and utilitarian (likehomestead). Either way, I suggest you host multiple domains through somewhere like mediatemple which will give you free emails and such, but only if you plan on having many different websites which point many different places all with several email addresses a piece.

GODADDY - 2008

I don't have much good to say about godaddy, except that it was very cheap. I got my $5.00 domain and an email address, but their templates were garbage and you had to know HTML in order to make any changes. Who has the time to learn that jive. I quickly transferred my domain away from there.

SCORE: 2.5/10

HOMESTEAD - 2008 - PRESENT

I still host my personal website www.russell-nohelty.com through Homestead, but I've moved everything else off their site. There was a time I was hosting 10+ sites through their service complete with domains and email addresses. Homestead is okay at best, but for a while it was the only WYSIWYG builder that didn't suck (or use flash which to me is the same thing). Their websites are simple and offers full customization, but it's not easy to do advanced functionality on them, nor link them together, nor create multiple subdomains (though it is possible). I found it incredibly hard to host a web comic on their site, and multiple web comics was impossible without paying more. Homestead will make you pay more for more pages, more domains, or more bandwidth. Still, if you only need 5 pages and <25 MB storage without web store functionality $6.95/mo isn't a bad deal.

SCORE: 6/10

WIX/WEEBLY/SQUARESPACE - 2013

For a while in 2013 I was trying out lots of website companies. It was when I was initially fed up with the simple design of Homestead and wanted more. I tried Wix and Weebly, along others. I'm linking the original Squarespace in here too, as I tried it during the same time and hated it. My opinion has changed though. All three site melded together for me as they both had clunky interfaces and insisted on moving between pages with fancy wipes and other bull. I don't need that. I need simple, elegant and effective. These three were nothing I wanted. Combined I was only with them for about a week before I transferred back to Homestead.

SCORE: 1/10

SQUARESPACE - 2015

Squarespace should buy Gimlet Media a big old pizza (or maybe a drink. I suggest a gimlet). It's only because of listening to their podcasts that I tried Squarespace out again. I hated them so much the first time, but their new sites and developer mode convinced me to give it another shot. Thank God I did. I love it now, which lends so credence to not listening to a word I've said so far in this blog, I know. Aside from being on the expensive side, it has everything that I want. ecommerce included in the price of admission, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited pages, custom templates which allow multiple web comics. I built out this template for Wannabe Press using developer mode, but 90% of it is just plug and play. My other website is about 99.9% plug and play. I can't tell you how thrilled I am with them both. They make me look like a genius.

SCORE: 9.5/10

BONUS: MEDIATEMPLE - 2015

So Mediatemple isn't a website builder as much as a girdserver to collect all your domains and email addresses. They do link to Virb, which I haven't tried but looks like a very good cheap alternative to Squarespace. Mediatemple takes a little more advanced hand and more patience. It meant for people who manually update DNS settings, change nameservers, and create email addresses. It probably took me a good week or two to get this one down, but when you're managing 5-10 websites this is a great solution. It's again very expensive ($20/mo), but it gives you unlimited email addresses for that price, which is great.

SCORE: 8/10

Unfortunately, I've never used the big boy on the blog when it comes to web comics Wordpress.org(NOT wordpress.com). I looked into it several times and almost all my friends use it to host their websites...I just didn't like it enough to even try it. I kept downloading their builder and it never loaded right on my PC. I figured if it was that complicated just to set up, it must be 10x more complicated to use. So I opted for other things. And that's it. Those are all the ones I've tried. Any of them would help a crappy website look professional. It would help your website too. There's no excuse.

Hope it helps. Make sure to check out freekickstartercourse.com too in order to start your journey on the right foot.

Miniseason 1 - Ep 3 - Launching a Kickstarter: Launch Day

This is an extra special launch day episode. Extra long too. Throughout the day we come back to talk about what's happened at that moment, from pushing the launch button through the next morning wrap up. This is a RAW episode, as I'm pretty much just stream of consciousness throughout, talking about things. I may have repeated myself in different segments, but if you want to know what it's like to launch a Kickstarter, this is as real as it gets.

THE BEST WAYS TO GET FREE ADVERTISEMENT FOR YOUR BOOK, NOT GUARANTEED

There is a time and a place for paid advertisements. You are going to draw a lot more eyeballs onto your work with some good paid advertising that you ever will with free advertising. That's not to say that free advertising isn't worth it though. It's absolutely worth the time, energy and growth you can see over time with your comic. It just won't happen all at once. You'll get a little trickle. There are a few ways to make advertising work FOR you in the best ways possible. There are some things you should be doing for free even if you pay for advertising. These are the best I've found.

1. Engage with your Facebook friends and twitter followers (and Instagram, and Pinterest, and Google+ too). The #1 way to build a loyal following is engagement, and the best way to deal with engagement with people. It's the #1 stat Facebook uses when they determine who sees your posts. And the best way to build engagement is to talk to your friends on facebook and twitter. Like their photos, retweet their stuff, actually, you know, give a shit and show it. Then, when you post something, they will like it too and you'll build a little community online just for you. Important: Please don't pretend to give a shit. Actually give a shit.

2. Tweet at people on Twitter that you don't know. When you see something cool online, tweet at the person that's sharing it and try to engage in a discussion. Again, it's important to actually give a shit or two about what's going on. Nobody likes a liar.

3. Find a famous person in your niche and like their followers. It's a way to introduce yourself to those followers, who already like somebody else doing what you do. Maybe they will follow you back, maybe they won't. But hopefully they remember you. Only do this with 20-100 people a day though.

4. Post free ads on Project Wonderful. It's actually wonderful. I hate giving up this secret because if more people know about it, less promotion sites will be free. But I love giving it up, because it will help you gain more web traffic, and I want you to succeed! Basically, you can create and bid on all sorts of advertising on project wonderful, including sites that have free advertising. It's a bidding system so you'll be outbid a lot, and you can only keep free bids up for 2 days, but it's a great way to build your brand for free.

Man. I feel like I barely scraped the surface of free promotion. I could go on and on forever. Maybe later.

Make sure to check out freekickstartercourse.com too in order to start your journey on the right foot.

Episode 3: The Salvagers Kickstarter and Building a Media Brand with Bob Salley

Bob Salley is universally adored in the indie comic scene, because he is already ready to help. Seriously, if you find him online and ask him a question, Bob will open up like a geyser. I brought Bob on for two reasons:

1- He's in the middle of his next Kickstarter and since he's done a bunch of them I wanted to see how they've changed over time.
2- I wanted to see how he built his brand as on of the good guys in comics, where saying his name or the Salvagers to just about anybody will elicit a positive reaction.
Enjoy the episode. Also, please go to Kickstarter and find the Salvagers issue #5 in the comics section. Bob also has a website at http://www.salvagers.bigcartel.com/, as well as a facebook page for The Salvagers. He's also on Twitter, but as he'll talk about...that's not his strong suit.

Ranterlude 1: Laying Track Even When the Chips Are Down

Today, things didn't go my way. Our website team didn't deliver our website so I had to go about creating a site from scratch. I talk about it here as a way to discuss getting through the hard times when the chips are down, and how you can keep laying track even when things don't go your way. 

This isn't an official episode of The Business of Art, so there is no intro music. However, in an effort to help out creators, as is my mission, I need to tell you everything.
 
The good news is our site is finally live. You can go to www.kickstarteruniversity.com and see all the great courses we have to offer and the fruits of my work. 

Episode 2: Killing it at Live Shows with Gene Hoyle

Today we talk to Gene Hoyle of Nerd Nation Publishing. Gene has a history of podcasting, which is why he makes me sound so dang good. We dig into creating a comic book, making something that lasts, building on Kickstarter success, building an audience, and much more.

Gene is a great guy, and he taught me there's a huge indie comic scene in Florida that I didn't know about. I might be making my way down to Magic City Con or another big con in the future because of it.
There aren't any show notes for today, except to check out Gene's company on Facebook @ Gateway Runners and @ Nerd Nation Publishing.

Miniseason 1 - Ep 1 - Launching a Kickstarter: Two weeks out

Since we're launching a kickstarter in two weeks for My Father Didn't Kill Himself (www.myfatherdidntkillhimself.com), and because I have a kickstarter training academy, I thought it would be fun to do little mini-episodes to show exactly how we go about doing a kickstarter.

Today, we're talking about prepping a Kickstarter through Facebook events and landing pages. If you like this, check out www.kickstarteruniversity.com.

Episode 1: Building a Sunday Comics Empire with Marc Goldner

Today we talk to Marc Goldner of Golden Bell. He gives us an incredibly amount of insight on how to run a comics company. He recent Kickstarter raised 1700% of it's goal, and now he's back with a follow up Indiegogo.

We go deep in this one. It's long, but worth it. We talk about everything from creating an ideal client avatar, to how forming a Kickstarter doesn't mean you're going to come out in the black, even if you go way over your goal, and even how we are artists devalue our own work. You can check out Marc's Indiegogo campaign at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-sunday-comics#/. It's already raising money even though the original campaign just finished. We also talk about Backerkit in this episode, who I absolutely love. www.backerkit.com. You can check out Golden Bell on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/TheSundayComicsPaper and on twitter @thesundaycomics.

Episode 0: Who I am and Why I Started This Podcast

In this episode we interview...me. I talk about why I started this podcast, give a history of myself and my companies.

Basically, this podcast is for anybody who's a creative or business owner, bootstrapping their company, and trying to figure out how to bring more business into their art and more art into their business. I bring on people every week, except this one, who are growing their business one person at a time, utilizing social media in cool ways, and working at their passion as a career. If you want more information about my companies, Wannabe Press is the publishing company (www.wannabepress.com). That's where we published Ichabod, Katrina, Gumshoes, Little Bird, and others. Our consulting practice wherein we show people how to treat their passion like a business is Kickstarter University. You can sign up for free stuff there @ www.kickstarteruniversity.com

How to Make Sure Your Kickstarter Gets Off On The Right Foot (with lots of money and backers)

***RESYNDICATED FROM BLEEDING COOL*** Last year, my publishing company Wannabe Press (www.wannabepress.com) ran a Kickstarter for our first book Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter. It was a long row to hoe, but we funded and even hit a stretch goal! Yay! 162 backers and 150% of our goal. Yaay! We delivered, shipped and funded everything. Then, we readied ourselves for the second project, KATRINA HATES THE DEAD, which is live now. Check it out! The most important thing we’ve learned in launching two Kickstarters is that first 48 hours are critical, just like when a child goes missing.

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Seriously, once the project launches everything is over. If you’ve done a good job of pre-launch then everything will be gravy, you’ll have a great first day, and things will fall into place. If not…well let’s just talk about how to make sure you eat gravy.

1. Start talking to people early and often.

Your marketing needs to start six months before a campaign begins. You need to start telling people about it, asking what they think, sending them previews for your campaign, and pumping them up. Also, you need to see if your project is a good idea. If people respond positively, then you’ll know you have something. Make sure to write down people who are interested, and start a mailing list. This never stops. You have to keep on them throughout the campaign and beyond too.

2. Grow your fans now to pay off later.

You need more Facebook fans. You need a bigger mailing list. You need the biggest, best social media presence ever. You need more twitter followers. You need to hand out fliers at conventions, to meet people all the time. The more people you have, the bigger your potential audience in the first two days. And the first two days are everything

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3. Keep people updated.

As you near the beginning of the campaign, send out mailing list and social media updates more often and more vigorously. Make sure to tell your followers what you need. So often people do promo without a “call to action”. Use things like “THE FIRST 24 HOURS ARE CRUCIAL”, “BE SURE TO BACK EARLY”, and other things so people know what you want. I kept getting this comment when I talked to people about the campaign; I knew exactly what you wanted from me. People want to help, but they aren’t mind readers. They are also lazy.

4. Make early bird perks.

I’m not a fan of lowering your perks for the first 50 people or things like that, but I’ll gladly give perks for fans that back early. For both of my projects I gave an early PDF to everybody that backed on DAY 1 so they didn’t have to wait until the end of the campaign. For Katrina, I also gave away sneak peaks of other projects and a pdf of my first novel. People love free things.

5. Let them in on the fun.

When you finish your campaign video, or the preview page, send it off to the people that want to support you. Let them make notes. Ask for their feedback. Let them in on the experience. Make them want to support you by tailoring the campaign to address their feedback.

6. Create Facebook events and invite everybody to it.

Only 5% of your friends will see Facebook posts, but with an event that number goes up a lot. Additionally, you can share events on groups and boost events with ads in order to invite people that aren’t your friends. When you create an event, make sure they know what it means to say they are GOING (By going it means you will back on Day 1) and MAYBE GOING (By saying maybe you agree to help promote). I like events because people can leave whenever they want so I feel like I can spam the crap out of them.

7. Make sure people know when your campaign launches.

It seems so simple, but people always forget this. It’s not enough to make a social media announcement, you need to personally tell all of the people that are interested exactly what you do. That means emails, Facebook messages, Twitter direct messages, Instagram posts, and very detailed instructions about how to set up an account, how to find an account, and how to pledge. You need to stay on them. If they agreed to pledge, they should pledge dang it! You didn’t force them say yes.

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8. Remember that people are active on different forms of social media. It’s not enough to be active on one platform. Audiences are segmented and you need to be where your audience is, bugging the crap out of them to pledge.

9. Include a link to your Kickstarter in EVERY post. Again, make it easy. Somebody may want to back you, but they won’t go to Kickstarter and type in your campaign. You HAVE TO make it easy. So, so, so, so easy. Here’s an example: Don’t forget to back our new Kickstarter. The first 24 hours are crucial.https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/russellnohelt... #horror #comics

10. Make it easy. I know I’ve been talking about it, but it warrants its own point. You have to make it easy for people to help you. They (mostly) aren’t going to go out of their way to help you.

11. Post every time somebody backs you. This makes people think they are backing a winning, and it reminds them to back your project every time it comes up on their feed. It’s a no lose situation for you. Remember to include a link. Like this: Thanks Becky! You rock! Join us now!https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/russellnohelt... #horror #comics

12. 33%. The golden rule is if you hit 33% of your funds on Day 1, you’re nearly guaranteed to fund. Don’t get on me if you don’t fund, though. 25% is good, but 33% is the magic number I’ve always used. The biggest things to make sure people know you’re about to launch, that you’ve launched, and what to do when you’ve launched. You have to plant the seeds in their head so they are ready to back on Day 1, and you have to make it easy for them. People want to help you. They just want to not do things more. Don’t forget to check out our campaign:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/russellnohelty/katrina-hates-the-dead-print-run

See how easy I made that? You don’t even have to scroll up.

Make sure to check out freekickstartercourse.com too in order to start your journey on the right foot.

WHY HIRING A KICKSTARTER COACH ISN’T AS CRAZY AS IT SOUNDS

On the surface it sounds like of nutty, right? You don’t have money for your project, which is why you’re on Kickstarter to begin with. So of course you can’t afford a coach or a class to help you make your project a success, right? Honestly, I know how you feel. That’s how I felt before we designed Kickstarter University, but what I found was most people can’t afford NOT to hire one.

Why?

Because over 60% of Kickstarters fail.

Here’s the thing though, they don’t all fail in the same way. Some fail in the inception stage. Others fail by writing a poorly worded campaign. Still more fail by not driving traffic to their site, while other are successful, but they’ve spent so much money on stretch goals they end up in the red. All of these are failures, but there’s no catch all way to figure out what YOUR problem is. As a coach and instructor, here’s exactly why it’s worth it to get into a course that can pinpoint your issues and make sure you are set for the future.

No matter how much research creators do, there are critical mistakes which set them up for failure.

I was talking with a creator the other day, who was asking me why he wasn’t getting backers even though he was spending money on Facebook ads. I looked at his campaign and saw it was a mess. His video didn’t focus on what made his project different. His campaign was clumped into hard to read paragraphs, and his rewards were confusing with no core offer he was driving people to buy. And we figured that out in a couple of minutes chatting over Facebook. Now, he can take that information back and design something that works, without having to waste more money in a campaign that wasn’t designed properly. How many hundreds of dollars does he save with that knowledge? How many thousands of dollars more in pledges will he get? How many hours in lost time will he have to spend with his loved ones?

You can build coaching or classes into your budget!

That’s right. When you build a budget, you can add a line item for coaching to make sure you make enough to cover the cost! Is it guaranteed you’ll make your budget? Of course not. But coaches are very good at what they do. It comes down to this. You are trying to launch a career. 90% of people on Kickstarter aren’t thinking of their passion as a lifetime hobby. They want to succeed on such a massive scale they can make their passion their job. In business, almost every high powered executive or sports star has a coach advising them to make the right moves, find what’s broken, cut down wasted time, and make their business more profitable.

Studies show coaches get 5x return on investment.

That means even if you spend $1000 on a coach, you can expect to return $5000 in both increased revenue and decreased time loss. It might not happen on your first campaign, but you’ll build a solid foundation you can build on forever, replicate forever, and reap the rewards of somebody else’s pointed knowledge. Kickstarter is a great way to turn your passion into a career. However, you have to know the pitfalls. You have to know where to spend your time. You have to know what maximizes your dollar spent. You need the kinds of strategic planning only a coach or instructor can offer. There’s a reason universities exist, and courses are ubiquitous. It’s so that people can learn from somebody that’s been through it before and improve themselves.

Hope it helps. Make sure you sign up at www.freekickstartercourse.com and learn how to crush it on your next kickstarter

AUTHENTICITY

People ask me all time how I’m able to build such a strong connection with my audience. Is it because I have so much content, or because I launch multiple books at a time books so quickly, or because I've been doing this for the better part of a decade so I knew people. The answer is yes, yes, and yes.

But more, it's because people think I am authentic. I speak what I mean, I am not afraid to show my flaws, I geek out on stuff, and I'm not a perfect little package.

People like people that are true to themselves. Even if not everybody likes you, that's okay. You're not here to please everybody. You're here to find a group of like-minded people that share your vision.

When people start out they are so scared of showing themselves are fragile, or new, or flawed. But that's what people like about you.

That's what makes you unique. That's how you will find your audience. Not my audience, mind you. There may be some overlap of people who like my stuff and yours, but we'll also have people that like my stuff and hate yours, or love yours and hate mine.

And that's okay. There's 400 million+ people in this country and 6 billion+ in the world. There's room for both of us to be authentic and find people that share our minds.

But you have to put yourself out there. That's the hardest thing in the world to do. Open up to strangers.If you can, though, the results can be magic.

Make sure to check out freekickstartercourse.com too in order to start your journey on the right foot.

THINGS I WISH I ONLY KNEW WHEN PLANNING MY CAREER

We can't look back. We have to be sharks, who can't look back because they have no necks. Trust me on this. I did the research. I actually love where I sit right now, minus a few hundred thousand page views a day. We have a great audience, amazing comics, and a real community feel. But it took a long time for this to happen. It took many starts and stops, many thousands of dollars pissed away that I won't ever recover, oodles of failed businesses, abandoned projects and neglected ones galore, and a distinct lack of planning in building my personal, and business goals. So in the first part of an ongoing series, if I knew then what I knew now what would I do different to plan my career:

1 - Focus on a niche and genre. My writing has always been all over the place, which has been beneficial to me as a jack of all trades, but for a long time I was a master of none. Writing everything helped me figure out my voice, how to write, why I write, and what I wanted to do. I recommend doing a little of everything when you start, but when I focused on my professional career I should have picked a lane and became a master of it. Why?

  • Finding a building fans is very hard, and they are unlikely to follow you across genres and mediums.
  • Companies want to see a lot of work in a specific category in order to hire you. If they like one of your scripts they'll ask "what else do you have like this?" If you've got nothing except something in a wholly different genre and tone, that's a problem.

2 - Start small to grow your fan base. Once I settled on my niche and genre, I would start cranking out small projects and submitting them online, posting them to my website, and doing everything I could to prove I was a good writer in that genre. People are much more likely to read a few page short story or comic book from an unknown than a 400 page opus. I thought short stories and one offs were a waste of my time. I was wrong.

3 - Start a newsletter immediately. I would have started growing my mailing list from the moment I started. I wonder sometimes how many tens of thousands of potential fans I lost in my life because I didn't get their email address.

4 - Examine my audience and my "competitors" critically from the beginning. It took a long time for me to go to cons and examine what other writers were doing, and more importantly WHY they were doing it. It's so important to see what they are doing, how they are selling, and why they chose to write the project they did. Right now, I have a glut of content that I've created over the years. It's in every genre and medium. I've got children's books, middle grade mystery, sci-fi, horror, etc. Had I known then what I know now, I would have made sure everything pointed in one direction, so that all my fans would want to buy everything I put out, instead of growing multiple audience bases simultaneously.

When you do that, something has to fall by the wayside. It's a sad part of life, but it's a true one. You can't focus on all the things all the time, and in building this comic book company, my other projects fell by the wayside. I still love them, but it's too hard to promote everything at once.

If I could do it all again, I would fix that by planning better. Make sure to check out freekickstartercourse.com too in order to start your journey on the right foot.