I get excited about any comment I receive from my posts, especially a positive one. In fact, sometimes I catch myself refreshing the replies section of my blog, secretly wishing that perhaps a new comment was posted.
Why is it so? I’m I so narcissistic that I need reassurance from others that I’m doing OK? Or is it something more universal, perhaps applicable to many people?
On the one hand, yes, my ego gets a dopamine boost from a positive comment and makes me very happy for a second. But on the other hand, I think my longing for reassurance stems back from my want to belong to something bigger than myself.
You see, maybe there are artists who can live and create in a cave, in total seclusion from the world but that’s not me. I get inspiration from the world every day. I get inspiration when I see something beautiful or when I see something annoying too.
So I want to belong to a community, preferably to community of other artists. Typically what communities do is they support each other, elevate their dreams and motivate each other to push even harder to reach those dreams.
Communities don’t have to be big. Groups larger than 150-200 people split into smaller segments. That’s how tribes always operated.
We live in an age of digital tribes where every artist should lead their own tribe of fans who are eager to hear from them, like Seth Godin writes in his book.
It’s an endless cycle. An artist and members of community feeds of each other. An artist gets positive feedback loop and inspiration from their fans and fans also get inspired. They feel the power of coming together for a cause.
Kevin Kelly wrote an article about the famous concept of 1000 true fans that every artist should read. The basic premise is that an artist can make a living if they found 1000 people who want to support their art with $100 per year. Do the math: 1000 fans x $100 per year equals $100000. Maybe you need more people who support you with a smaller amount, or less people who support you with a larger amount.
It doesn’t matter. The point is that this number is finite, an achievable one, not a billion, not a million, not even 100000.
By generously sharing your art and the process of creation online, little by little you will find your tribe of true fans who will buy everything you create, they will support you on Patreon, they will upvote you on Steemit and they will spread the word for you. And so your community will grow.
A word of advice - make sure you acknowledge and reward the members of your community because they also need to be appreciated. Don’t take their support for granted because they will leave to find other artists who appreciate their support more. I’m talking from experience about this after I chose to continue to support some artists and non-profits but not the others.
Respond to their comments, acknowledge their names on your blog or a podcast, help them feel to be a part of your tribe.
This morning I responded to Carsten who gave his donation to Ausra and me for inspiring him to improvise, record his improvisations and post them on YouTube with our Secrets of Organ Playing blog and podcast. After I thanked him for his donation I asked how his organ playing was going and he wrote back with a long story and even musical examples which Ausra and I are going to discuss on our podcast in the future.
Another subscriber, Dan, wanted to pass his message to one of my students, Jeremy, who was playing Toccata by Boellmann and suggest him a new one to learn. I forwarded his message to Jeremy and wrote back to Dan thanking him for his suggestion and again asking how is his organ playing going at the moment.
There were a couple more subscribers who wrote me their thoughts after reading/listening to most recent Secrets of Organ Playing podcast episode about learning to do full pedaling on the organ. Again I thanked them for their feedback and answered their questions.
This was all done this morning, before I even wrote these words to you. You see, how my community is inspiring me to create and how we help each other grow.
I hope you can do the same.