Social Media for Creatives: Five Exercises to Power Your Freelance Career | Andy J. Pizza | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Social Media for Creatives: Five Exercises to Power Your Freelance Career

teacher avatar Andy J. Pizza, Illustrator, Designer & Podcaster

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (1h 32m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Social Media Simplified

    • 3. The Journey of the True Fan

    • 4. A Mythic Moment, Part 1

    • 5. Exercise One: Identify Potential Fans

    • 6. Exercise Two: Build Brand Awareness

    • 7. Exercise Three: Increase Engagement

    • 8. Mythic Moment, Part 2

    • 9. Exercise Four: Earn Subscribers

    • 10. Exercise Five: Convert True Fans

    • 11. Mythic Moment, Part 3

    • 12. Final Thoughts

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Conquer the overwhelm of social media and harness its power to build a thriving creative business!

Let’s face it. Social media can be pretty daunting, especially for creatives hoping to navigate emerging platforms, conflicting advice, and the dreaded algorithm to somehow earn a living online. Enter creative mastermind Andy J. Pizza, back with another inspiring and insightful class that lays out a new approach to social media success: a step-by-step process that's effective, manageable, and even fun. 

Built on Andy's experience as a multi-hyphenate creator, this framework removes the pressure and transforms social media into a tool for achieving your goals—whether you're hoping to go freelance, build your brand, or just find a community that's obsessed with your artwork. 

Hands-on exercises will help you focus your efforts on the platforms you already use, and navigate new ones strategically. Together with Andy, you'll work through:

  • Identifying and engaging with the right audience
  • Creating content that your supporters loves
  • Turning casual followers into official subscribers 
  • Building a loyal and profitable fanbase

Plus, Andy challenges the myths of social media success with fantastical examples that prove you don't have to go viral (or even be on TikTok!) to get the most out of today's online world.

Regardless of your medium, platform, or follower count, by the end of this 90 min class you’ll unlock a healthy, positive approach to social media that spares your mental health and gets you one step closer to building the creative career of your dreams! 


This is a class for any creative practitioner looking to build a fanbase and steady stream of income online. Apply the lessons to your medium of choice, whether that’s illustration, photography, design, writing, or music. While Andy focuses on platforms that are relevant today like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter, the process is designed to fit whatever platforms you use (and ones that are on the horizon). Download the board game, and worksheets in the class resource section to follow along. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Andy J. Pizza

Illustrator, Designer & Podcaster


Andy J. Pizza is an artist and designer creating work that is always evolving, but forever rooted in whimsical narrative and modern graphics.

Andy is the creator of the Indie Rock Coloring Book and the daily NOD drawing project, as well as a collaborator of the Color Me _______ Exhibition with Andrew Neyer.

He has worked on projects for Sony, Google, Smart Car, Urban Outfitters, Real Simple, Wired Magazine, Starburst Candy, Brisk Iced Tea, The Economist, Bloomberg, Converse, Yo Gabba Gabba, NYLON Magazine, Little White Lies, Shaun White, and Poketo.

Check out his work here on his website.


Watch the first episode of Unmaking the Myth with Andy below.


See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction : Are you sick and tired of social media? Are you sick and tired of the way that it makes you feel? Are you sick and tired of waiting for someone to give you the opportunity to do something creative? With this process, you can make that creative stuff right now. Hey, I'm Andy J. Pizza and I'm an illustrator, podcaster, and all-around storyteller. This class is about how you as a creative can approach social media in a way that's really effective for your creative practice and doesn't sacrifice your mental health. Conventional wisdom says that to win on social media, you've got to go viral. You've got to have a enormous following. You've got to be posting day and night. In this class, I want to show you why that is not true. In my experience, social media is the best tool that you have for directly connecting with your audience in a deep way and that direct connection is the most stable thing to build your creative practice on and you can do that without anybody else's permission. We're going to work through five exercises that are going to help you use social media to take people who don't even know about your creative work and guide them into becoming a true fan. All you need for this class is a creative practice, whether it's music, film, illustration, writing and the only other thing you need is your phone. By the end of this class, I hope that you're not just excited about social media but ultimately empowered to go onto these platforms and make creative work that makes a difference to your every day. I'm sick of talking about social media, let's actually do it. 2. Social Media Simplified: I am super pumped that you've joined the class because my hope is that you will start in a pace like, "Social media," and you'll leave being like, "Okay, let's do this." I'm super glad that you're here. I want to start with why I think social media is so scary and panic inducing, I think it's because we just think about it all wrong. We're thinking that social media is about new followers, not just new followers, lots of new followers, millions of people. How do you appeal to millions of people? That's panic inducing because that's literally impossible. You cannot appeal to everybody at the same time. I want to show you that that's not what social media is for, and that approaching it that way will not get you the things that you want to get from it, which are a stable, creative career, meaningful connection with your audience. Stephen King talks about how good novels are really just a love letter for one person. That's a manageable thing that you can do and if you knew that social media was about a meaningful connection with one person, just a few people. How would that change how you felt about it? Can you just feel your body relaxing? I can, because you know that you can do that with your creative work. That's what we're going to do in this class. The best model that I've seen to explain how to approach your creative career through this deep lens instead of the wide, is Kevin Kelly's 1000 true fans. You don't know Kevin Kelly is a co-founder of Wired Magazine and he posted this little article. It's really small, about 1000 true fans and how in today's world, this should be the focus of the creator. Instead of what we used to have to do, which was appeal to millions of people, sell millions of things super cheap. We can now focus our energy on connecting to just a 1000 people. All you need to have a thriving creative practice is to have a 1,000 people that are willing to spend $100 on your work every year. That's what makes a true fan. That's how he defines it. That's what we're going to build our approach to social media on. How can we deeply connect with just a 1,000 people that are going to be crazy for the value that we have to offer through our creative work. That is the task. In my experience, social media is the best tool we have for doing this because it gives us direct connection to our audience without anybody else's permission. We don't need any gatekeeper saying, "Yeah, you are worthy, we'll put you in front of people. If you learn how to give value that people are looking for on social media, that bedrock of the foundation is so stable. It's such a good place to build your creative career. I'm a huge comedy nerd and I'm always listening to comedy specials and comedy podcasts and one of the things that I noticed that really got stuck in my head was I kept comparing comedy actors on podcasts to stand-up comedians. I was really struck by how comedy actors, even the most famous, the most successful, when they're on the podcast and they start talking about their career. There just seemed to be this level of anxiety because their whole well-being relies on being picked. It relies on this small group of people, these gatekeepers that cast them in the movie. As soon as those people think, "Yeah, they're not relevant anymore," their career could be gone overnight. Compare that to stand-up comedians. Stand-up comedians have this thing where they will say the most extreme things and they can do so because they've built their career not on appeasing these elusive tastes of these gatekeepers, but instead, they've built it on knowing how they do what they do. Knowing how to give their audience, their true fans what they want. The stand-up comedian is a guide. When that person enters your auditorium, they are in a bunch of different moods and your promise is, by the time you leave, you will have laughed your ass off. You would have had an experience, you would have felt something that you expected to feel. When you have that experience, and practice, and tool belt in your creative practice, nobody can stop you. Nobody can say, "No, you're not cool anymore." As long as you know how to create value for your true fans, you will have a practice and social media is a place where you can get better at that and you can build your entire practice there. It's been completely true for my illustration practice. Back in '08, my career just completely tanked. My whole career was what they call B2B. It's business to business. I had to wait for clients to give me opportunities. If they'd quit doing that, my career disappeared overnight and that's what happened in the recession of '08. Now, fast forward to what we just went through with COVID and yes, the economy changed, but I'd actually diversified my practice to be yeah, I still do client work, but I also have other buckets that are me making stuff directly for true fans. It meant that I could weather that storm really effectively. These practices don't just work in theory. I know them from personal experience. This is why I always recommend creators, sure, have a part of your business that's B2B. But if you really want to have a creative practice that can stand the test of time and make it over the long haul. I think you've got to have a B2C, you've got to have a business to customer directly, making value for people and getting good at that. When you start doing that, it's going to be tough. It is a difficult thing to learn. But I promise you, if you get good at that, you can stay relevant. Your creative practice can stay strong over the long haul. What is B2C all about? What is it about to be a business that serves customers directly? Well, what it's about is taking your customer, taking your true fan on a journey from where they are and bringing them, guiding them along to what they want. That's exactly what this class is. It is just the process of how you take people who have never even heard of your work and bring them along until they become a true fan. 3. The Journey of the True Fan: Wow, a board game. That's pretty cool. Well, it's not just cool, its also, yeah, we were looking for an excuse to make something super cool like this, but really, we made it because I think it really illustrates a different way to approach social media. I don't know if you've seen Bob Barnum's latest special Inside. There's a song in there where he says, the Internet is a little bit of everything all of the time. I think that's why social media makes our minds melt as creators, as we feel like we have to be in all spaces, at all times, doing all the things. When really, I have found that it's much more effective to think of social media more like a board game with distinct phases or seasons that you work through. It's not just, you got to show up all these places, you got to do all this stuff, doing it all the time in order to succeed. If you will break it down, you can even break it down in chunks of time and space. In terms of time, I like to approach social media in a way where I'm not always focusing on achieving the same things. As you look through this, you're going to see, it starts with identifying who am I trying to connect with, moving through connecting with them for the first time, then getting a deeper layer of connection and trust, all the way to really getting them to subscribe to what I do, and then ultimately become a true fan. All of those things are equally important and you don't need to focus on them all the time. You can actually say, you know what? For the next couple of weeks, I'm just going to be thinking about getting new followers. While I'm speaking of that, this section right here, that's the section on new followers. I think seeing it in this way really indicates how much it's just a portion of what you're doing on social media, it's mapped the whole game. There's a whole bunch of other things that I would argue are even more important to be focusing your time on and then we'll get to those later. But not only that, the board game really illustrates how you can separate how you spend your time, but also, which spaces you show up in and why. The fact of the matter is, I feel like we're trying to accomplish all things on every single space on the Internet, every single app, every single platform on social media, we're trying to get brand awareness, engage, and get subscribers, and connect, and sell. I heard a musician on TikTok recently, be like, TikTok's the new end-all be-all, essentially, I just haven't figured out how to sell tickets to my shows here. I think that really illustrates how we think about all of these spaces that we have to do all things, but they're not all good at every single thing that you need to do on the Internet. What they're good at actually changes over time. When you learn these different phases, you'll start to recognize not just where is a good place to get brand awareness right now, but also when those apps quit being the ideal place for brand awareness. We're going to talk specifically about these particular platforms. But, it's really evergreen principles because, right now in the engagement phase, we have Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. But eventually, you'll want to show up differently there. When you realize that these are the things you're looking for, you'll be able to recognize it as things change. The first time I started thinking about social media in this way and really dividing up my efforts in time and space, it was the first time where I thought I can actually do this. This is something that I can do, not just right now, but over the long haul, I can get into a rhythm that feels really great. Now I'm not saying that at any given time, you'll only be thinking about brand awareness or you'll only be using this particular app, it can be more organic. But I think taking a moment to really take it in, in this linear way, watching the journey of a audience member go from not knowing who you are to becoming a true fan in this visual way, hopefully helps you feel like this is much more manageable. For me, this class is really for two types of people. The first one, that I had in mind were people who are just like just sick and tired of pitching their work to gatekeepers. People that are sick of waiting for one day, maybe I'll get to do something creative and they're just constantly pitching and proposing the idea of creativity and waiting for someone to give them permission. I have experienced that and it is really soul crushing for the creative to just be constantly in a state of waiting for the moment where you get to be creative. If you approach your creative career through this lens on social media, you don't need anybody's permission and you can do this stuff right now. The second person is the person who sees that in the future and just says, I don't want that, I want to adopt a new model of a creative practice right now. I feel like in my own life, I've seen the ways that I am resistant to new models, and I try and figure out what is that all about, because creativity is all about doing fresh new things. Why do I always want to do it the old way and I can't speak for you, but for me, I think it's just grounded in my ego. I want the affirmation and the accolades that my heroes got, I want the same awards. I want them to be like, you're good at this, I want that so bad and social media doesn't really come with that. There's no Oscars for best post on Instagram, that just doesn't exist. I think there's a part of us that just feels less than without that external affirmation. But if you are someone who is in this, not for your ego and not just for journaling creatively, there's a space for that, but if creativity for you is about connecting with others, it's about making something that's in your heart and connecting with other people's hearts and minds, this process is for you because you can do this right now. We're not going to actually play the game in the class, this is an illustration. But I do think of it like, every time you post on social media, it's another roll of the dice. You can get better and better at advancing, the more that you've played. Essentially, what we're going to do is we're going to break it down in turns. We're going to break it down into individual sections. Each different section works differently. In each lesson, we're going to zoom in and really focus on what to do there. We're going to go through specific exercises. Grab a pen and paper or print out the worksheets in the class resources. But ultimately, all you need is your phone. Are you ready to play this game? Wow, wow, slow down. Before we get into the fun, I just want to leave you with a little idea, something to keep in mind as we're moving through this whole process. 4. A Mythic Moment, Part 1: Welcome to a mythic moment with me, Andy J Pizza. I want to tell you a story and it's really about how it's easy with social media to fall into the trap of trying to use your art to get famous, making art all about being well known, and it sucks because art's not that good at doing that first of all, but it's even more of a bummer because when you're distracted doing that, you miss out on what art is really good at. There once was a hero that slayed terrible beasts and the townspeople would cheer as he returned from battle. One of those townspeople was a little boy who said to himself, "Wow, it must feel so amazing to be that well known." But then one day, the hero went to slay the biggest nastiest beast who had ever tormented the town. The hero gave it everything that he had, but alas, he did not slay the beast, he was the one who was slain. When the boy heard the news, he mourned, but then it hit him. "I will train and I will slay that terrible beast, then I'll be the most famous hero of all, and it will feel so amazing to be that well known." As he trained, he learned more and more about himself and his hidden talents. From the battle of the giant land worms, he realized his timing was impeccable, he hunted the flying monsters and found that he had some serious ups, he took down the monsters from the sea and discovered his incredible aim. With every beast in the land besides one defeated, he knew it was time to slay the hero killer. With a surprise attack, he came at the beast with everything that he had, he launched, he fought, he's swung his mighty sword, but it wasn't enough. Lying on the ground with his last breath, he whispered, "I guess I'll never know how amazing it feels to be well known." "Be well known?" the beast that no one even knew could talk, said, "Ha! You didn't even know yourself enough to know that you could never beat a beast like me." But then, it hit him. He did know himself. He knew himself very well. He stood up with incredible timing and serious ups, he lift twice as high as the beast, and with the precision of a hawk, he aimed, he slashed anyone, but he did not return to the townspeople. Instead, he decided to save other lands from their terrible beasts, and he didn't need those townspeople to know about him either. Why? Because slaying that hero slang beast showed him that he had already found what he was looking for from the start. He now saw that he knew himself very, very well, and it really did feel amazing to be that well known. I can't just leave it right there, I got to make sure I land this point home. When we use art to be well known, to try to get famous, we miss out on its greatest gift. What art is really good for is knowing yourself. It's an amazing tool to not just express yourself, but to excavate the self and get to know yourself on the deepest levels. In this class, I don't want you to just think of yourself as the hero, I want you to think about yourself as a guide. There's this amazing TED talk by Nancy Duarte on how to give TED talks and she says, "One of the greatest mistakes that public speakers make is thinking that they are the hero." The truth is that the heroes are in the audience and the person on stage is the guide, and when they embody the spirit of the guide, it goes so much better. Your job with your art is to find things out about yourself that you can't find any other way. But that's not the end of it. After you've found all these treasures, it's your job to put it into the work and give it to your audience so that they can find something out about themselves that they never knew either. When I was growing up, I didn't really know who I was, I was trying to form this identity, and if you asked me at the time, "Who are you?" I'd be like, "I don't know, but I can tell you I'm a Modest Mouse fan." That's one of the coolest things that art can do. It can be shorthand for identity as people try to figure out who they are. You'll notice in this class, it's not the journey of the artist, it's the journey of the fan. You've already found all of these gems, you found what they're looking for, it's your job to guide them towards it. 5. Exercise One: Identify Potential Fans: Time. For the first turn, we're going to talk about your target audience. This is really important because this introduce a shift in perspective on how to approach your practice overall, not your social media that I think is pretty huge because this is the journey of the true fan, not your journey. You are the guide, you are guiding them towards something that they're looking for. Just think about it through the lens of any creative work that you consume. Do you go to the concert for the benefit of the musician? Are you there for them or are you there for the way that they make you feel? That's what we're doing. We're going to start with, who are these people that we are trying to guide? The reason is because it's way easier to guide them when you know what they're looking for. When you know, who is this person? What do they want? I always go back to the Stephen King idea of every good novel being a love letter for one person. He says when he sits down to write, every single book is for a different individual, a specific individual. Now I'm not a crazy reader, I'm a simple idea in a boy. When I hear this, I think of course, of cornhole. I don't know if you've ever played cornhole, but in cornhole, it would be crazy if I was like, all right. Take these three bean bags and throw them at the hole. You'd be like that cannot be the most effective way to do this game. Of course, not. You're going to throw one at a time. You're going to limit it down to something precise, as precise as the science of cornhole. It's very precise and that's what this does. It helps you get really specific and really precise in your efforts. I see this in my own creative practice. I do a lot of public speaking and I've noticed that when I have a friend in the audience, that's the time when I get the most ideas because I have a sense of the common sense of taste that we have, and I know how to light that up. Some of my funniest ideas have come from just trying to make that one person in the audience laugh. The beauty of aiming for that one person is, guess what? They aren't the only person with that sense of taste. If you hit that one person, there's almost certainty that you're going to light up 1,000 other people's taste for your creative work. Now it's time to do the exercise. We're actually going to choose your character. We're going to define who is this person? What do they want? What are you guiding them to? Let's really paint a picture in your mind so you know exactly who you are leading through this process. It's time to choose your character but you might be thinking, "Eddie, I don't have this super sweet huge board game at home." But in a way you do have it in the class resources. You can actually print out your very own board game so that you can work through it on your own at home. Also in the class resources, you're going to have these two. This is what you need for the first exercise. We're going to start defining who is this person? You can really know them as you're working them through this journey. I want you to think about it like a three circle Venn diagram. As you're doing this, I just want to address that we are eliminating people as we move closer to this, and at first you might have a feeling boiling up and you are like, "Oh, no, I'll take anybody's money." I promise you that eliminating people from your target market is a good thing. It's a big, huge part of the process in getting precise with how you're showing up for those people. That's how I want you to think about it. This is what we're going to actually be working on. Let's define your ideal potential fan. For me, I have a few different types of true fans in my audience. I have stuff for my invisible things project or my general illustration practice. Then I have true fans that fall into podcast listeners. For this exercise, I'm going to focus on my podcast audience and just work through this worksheet. Who they are. This is just like, who are they on a fundamental level? I know I'm making a podcast for people who are creative. I also feel like just by that, I know that they probably in one way or another feel like weirdos. Often, these highly creative people, they felt a little bit out of sorts and knowing that changes the way that I talk and what I talk about on the show. It helps me be precise in my language. What do they want? This is how we're going to start eliminating people because not every creative person are the people who I'm talking to. The people that I'm talking to, I know they want to take their creativity and they want to make it a career. They want to do this for a living. They want to do this all the time. They want this to be their life's purpose. These people are people who see creativity not just as self-expression, but connection. They see this creative act as a means to feel less alone in the world. Those are the people that I'm talking to. Then this last layer for the podcasts, what do they believe? Again, as I'm working down, I can just sense, I can just feel myself losing audience, eliminating people as I'm getting more specific which is exactly what you want. You don't want to appeal to everyone. You don't want to go wide. What do they believe? For me personally, on my podcast cover art is this hand in the air holding a pencil sword. What that is, is that's me being precise, speaking to my audience because they believe that creativity, the reason they want to do it as a career, the reason they want to spend their life doing it as much as possible is because to them it's a calling. This is what they believe. They believe that this thing is in their bones. It's what they're doing on the planet. There are some people watching this class might be like, screw that, man, have this nihilistic approach to the world, they're like, there is no purpose. Maybe that's the kind of message you want to bring your audience to. That's totally fine. But for my podcast, I'm speaking to people who see their process as a journey, a personal journey. Everything is epic, the stakes are high. You can get a lot more detailed with this if you want to. The more specific the better. Remember, we're trying to eliminate, we're trying to whittle it down to one person that you have in your mind. But once you have that, you can take this and let's just make it a little bit more visual. We're going to try to take this into that and then even more visual with just this little avatar. When I'm thinking about my podcast audience, I'm thinking creative, I'm thinking career, I'm thinking people who think this is a calling, that's who I'm thinking about. Once you have this, then you can actually make your piece. This will be in the class resources so that you can cut it out. It'll be a little bit smaller so that it fits on your board and you can make what I did. Here's my little podcast listener. He's got a little pencil, he's got a little creative flare going on, and he's got a backpack because he's going on this as an epic journey. With this Venn diagram, like with the list, you're going to feel like you're eliminating people. Essentially, you're going to get to this space. It might even feel like there's nothing made for this person. I always talk to creative people and they'll tell me like, "I can't do that. Nobody does that in my industry." I always instantly I'm like, "Yes, that's exactly right. That's the point of you doing it." That's the hope of creativity is that you'd be doing something that nobody else will be doing. Hopefully, if you address this really specifically, there won't be a preexisting community, it'll be your job to create that community. That community is your true fans. You've seen me do this and you've watched this process. If you're still stuck, let me give you a little shortcut. One really quick way of eliminating people and getting closer to your precise target is realizing that the end goal for most creative work results in gathering your audience in a room. If you are a filmmaker, your hope is that one day it'll be at a movie theater where all of your fans are there. If you're a musician, the same is true with a concert. If you're a public speaker, if you're an author even on your book tour, you're hopefully gathering people. I think it's a weird counter-intuitive way to approach this by saying, "Who would you really not want in that room?" When I get reviews on the podcast, we've been really fortunate with our reviews. We have really good reviews, but sometimes we get a really nasty review and I'd click on that person just out of curiosity, and I would see the podcast that they loved. I was like, " Oh, that's not someone I want in my room." If they loved that podcast, I hope they hate my podcast. You know that's true. You don't want everyone in that room, just sit around and think, who are people who I really hope they don't show up to my events? They exist. Think about all of this, work through these worksheets and I will see you in the next turn. 6. Exercise Two: Build Brand Awareness: You have thought a lot about these potential audience members, but unfortunately, they haven't thought of you at all because they don't even know you exist. That's why we need this first phase of building brand awareness. What does that mean? It just means getting these potential audience members to know that you exist. I really think it's important to mention that this little section right here, of brand awareness, I think a lot of creators think of this as the only purpose of social media. One of my favorite things about this board game is that it really shows you, this is just one piece of the puzzle. Getting new followers is just the start, but let's talk about how to actually do that. How do you get people that have never heard of your work, to hear about your stuff? The key is getting people to share it. When they share it, then other people hear about it, but also all these apps have a bunch of fancy stuff that knows when people are sharing your stuff. You have to be good at making shareworthy stuff. The good news is, great art is shareworthy. To get to the bottom of what is shareworthy? We have to talk about one of the most important things in the universe, hot dogs. Why are we talking about hot dogs? Well, hot dogs are the key to understanding value. My experience, one time, I'm walking at a Home Depot, and I just get blasted in the face with this amazing aroma. I look over and there's this Home Depot employee grilling, showing their beautiful grills off by cooking these amazing hot dogs and just giving them away. What did I do? I ate one of those hot dogs, that's for sure, but it was so good, and I couldn't just keep it to myself, I had to call my brother and be like, "Bro, free hot dogs at the Home Depot." Why? Because they were given away free value. When you encounter something that really hits you and you know that it's valuable, your instant feeling is, I've got to share this with people that I love, that I know would love this thing. That's what I did with the hot dog, and that's what I do on social media all the time. We got to talk about how do you deliver value on social media? Marketers are always talking about that, if you ever dive into that world, but what does it actually mean? What is value? Luckily, we have people at Ivy League Schools doing tests about what are the core human drives? What are the types of value that they're looking for so that we can identify them and deliver them on purpose? As an illustrator, this used to be really unclear to me. As I decided, I don't want to just see if I'm good at illustration, but I want to make sure that I am a good illustrator, I realized I didn't know what good illustration was. This is a question that I've been working on for a long time so that I can determine the value that I can show up and deliver so that I could make shareworthy work. You're probably asking yourself, what are the types of value? Well, luckily, I actually have the five types of value from that study in this box right here. Let's go through them right now. The first type of value, and this is probably one that you as a creator are going to be thinking about to some degree because a lot of creative work is about feeling. It's about making people feel stuff. People want to feel stuff, and guess what? They don't want to just feel good stuff. Think about how huge horror movies are right now. We want to feel fear, we want to feel life, we want to feel bad. We want to go through the whole spectrum of human emotion. If you as a creator, can get good at delivering a particular type of feeling on demand, you will be trusted for your value. This is one of the ways that you can show up on social media. Can you show up and give someone a particular feeling? This is one that I think about a lot when I'm thinking about invisible things. For me, the primary feeling that I want people to come away with with that project is the feeling of mystery. With my podcast, I'm really primarily, although lots of the things I do, I'm trying to hit a few different touch points. But with the podcast, I'm primarily trying to help people to learn something. That's a primary core human drive that you can address. If the mechanics of getting someone to feel something on social media is a little daunting to you right now, this is a good place to start. Even just sharing a fun fact every day is a good place to start, and as an illustrator, I've done that. The third one is bond. People are driven to bond with each other. This is a big one for me. Probably, it was a bigger focus earlier in my illustration career. I think I really was trying to tap into subcultures like indie rock music, and the band posters, and how all of these things made us feel connected to each other. I wanted to create illustrations that almost became like a logo for our group of people. When you would see the t-shirt that I'm wearing, you'd know, "I'm one of those people," and it create this bonding moment. That's another thing you can do. You can help people bond. How can you tap into shared tastes, shared experiences, hashtag relatable stuff with your posts. The fourth one, collect. This one is interesting because as people, we're just driven to collect things. We have this thing of I've got to amass stuff. I don't exactly understand why that is. You might be thinking how can you amass stuff online? But guess what? All the things that we save on Instagram, all the pin that we pin on Pinterest, it's like a virtual collection and we curate those just like we do our own house. How can you tap into our innate drive to collect stuff that says something about who we are. I think that's what collecting is about. I think it's about identity formation. How can you make things that people want to add to their digital collection? Last one, protect. People are driven to protect what they already have. They're driven to protect the things that they love. This often takes the form of social justice art. How can you create things that help people advocate or articulate their feelings around a topic that matters to you and to this person right here? If you do that well, they will share it. We've talked through the different types of values. Now, what I want you to do, get your little board game, and I want you to put one of these things, your primary type of value, right in this box right here. My person I chose, is my podcast listener. I'm going to put Learn, right in that treasure chest at the end. I challenge you to get more specific. For me, It might be learn how to build a thriving creative practice. That is the thing that I'm trying to deliver. Now, I know we're down here in the awareness category, but I want you to put this in the box because all along the way, you're going to be giving them little tastes. You're not giving them the grill, you're not giving them the whole hot dog farm, you're trying to just give them a taste of the thing that they want so that they can learn to trust you as a provider of this thing. My hope is when someone is done with my podcast or my classes, that they will have the treasure at the end. They will have learned how to effectively build a creative practice. But in the meantime, while I'm just trying to get the awareness, I'm just giving them tastes of that along the way. If you're unsure of the type of value that you want to deliver, one of the easiest ways to hack this process is to think of you in the past. I have a friend who has this incredible, renowned poet named Morgan Harper Nichols. She says that whenever she's going to make a piece, she thinks back to her college self, who is in this dorm room that had completely blank walls, which is crazy because she's such an art fan. She thought what does she wish was on that person's wall? What kind of art would have really meant something to that person? What would have really been valuable to younger Morgan in that place? Then she makes that piece. Let's bring this back to time and space. How does this actually play out when you're making stuff for social media? An effective use of your time is posting shareworthy stuff on the right platforms. The second thing is also, I just want to add this idea of pod swapping. When it comes to podcasts, I've noticed the most effective way to get people who have never heard of me to hear about my podcast, is to just go on other podcasts. There's a thing that gets thrown around in that podcast world called audio drives audio. If I'm trying to get new podcast listeners, it's hard to do that on Instagram. The same goes for Instagram. If I'm trying to get new Instagram followers, one of the easiest ways to do that is to do a post swap where I'm actually collaborating with another illustrator, making something together and posting it on both of our feeds. That's the most effective way beyond just making shareworthy stuff. That's what you're going to be spending your time doing in the weeks, months, that you're working on brand awareness. But we also want to simplify things and not just try to do everything all at once, everywhere. What are the spaces that it's a good idea to focus on brand awareness? I think three places that are good for organic reach, which is a fancy way of saying getting to people that have never heard about your stuff. TikTok, Clubhouse, and also YouTube, all have an algorithm that delivers up content that people have never seen, from creators they've never seen before, that they might like. It's tailored to this specific person. These places are good place to try to do that. Now, you might be thinking, "I don't think I want to do TikTok." Well, that's okay. Don't get too bogged down with the specificity of the apps I'm mentioning. I'm mentioning them not so that you will show up and kill it and crush it on all these specific places, I'm mentioning it as an example to show you where things are right now, how you can compartmentalize your efforts in ways that are actually effective. So much frustration happens when you show up to the wrong spaces and spend your time doing the wrong things. If you're trying to use the wrong apps for the wrong goals, you're always going to feel like you are failing. Separating out your efforts in this way is a much more effective tool that will have you feeling like this is actually worth my time. Now, it's time to actually play the real game of social media. Remember, that every post that you make is another roll of the dice, and you're going to get better at doing this. All along the way, you're going to build up your expertise on how to deliver value to these people. Don't sit around in your realm, thinking what do they want? Go try it, start posting stuff. The more stuff you post, the better you're going to get at actually providing for what they are looking for. You've done step 2, now, we're going to talk about something I think is even more important, engagement. 7. Exercise Three: Increase Engagement: You have taken your little potential true fan all the way through the oceans of brand awareness. Now they know you exist. This is so exciting, but that's when the actual work starts. I think a lot of people think that social media is just about getting people to know you exist and getting new followers. But the real work, the real point of social media is this number 3, engagement. Not just getting people to know about you, but getting them to trust what you do. Marketers talk a lot through the lens of dating, try to love, but it's accurate. You meet somebody they know who you are. The next phase isn't marriage. It's not true fan time. You get to know each other. You get to have some coffee. They get to see like can I trust this person? That's number 3. That's where we're focusing on engaging with the people that have shown up. What is the forest of engagement? What is this whole section about? It's about how you continually show up with that value that you got them interested in at the start and show them this isn't just a one time thing. I'm not a one-hit wonder, I'm not a one pony. I can show up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and continually provide this type of value to you. This is not about getting new people. It's about serving the people that are already here for what you do. There's this article on Harvard Business Review where they talk about how it is 20 times more expensive to sell to a new customer than it is to sell to a previous customer or someone who is already a customer of what you do. Yet we spend this entire time on social media trying to get new people to hear about us for the first time, trying to spend all of our energy right right here instead of just focusing on really serving the people that have already given us our attention. I have this really good reference that totally explains the point of this engagement section. Unfortunately, it's about a chicken sandwich that is just super controversial. We're not going to name them. But just take the reference, take the good, leave the other stuff you don't want. Let's go back to the chicken race, the chicken war of the '90s. If you didn't know it was neck-and-neck between the people we're talking about and Boston Market. Boston Market was just spreading like wildfire. They were open up shops in every town. This chicken sandwich company was taken a meeting like, "What are we going to do about Boston Market?" Everyone's like, "We got to open up new shops. We are going to open up more shops." The leader of the business pounded his fist on the table and said, "No, we're not going to race to get bigger. We're going to focus on getting better. If we are incredible our audience will demand that we get bigger." If you focus on deeply connecting to the people that have already given you their attention, they will take care of the rest. If you focus on the deep, the wide will take care of itself because when you deliver that value, they're going to tell other people about those amazing hot dogs. This is what social media is made for. It's what it's good at. Is actually connecting with people. Guess what? You don't need a class for that. You're a human. You already know how to connect with people. When you realize that social media isn't just about getting new fans, new followers, you realize it's really just about showing up and connecting through my work. You're going to realize that you are totally capable at crushing this. When you shift that perspective, you're going to feel that anxiety around social media dissipate and you're going feel empowered to actually succeed. That is the hope you need to continually show up. Please focus on engagement over all other things. If you don't get anything else from this class, take this away. You're probably being like, "All right, you've convinced me it's really important that we need to engage. How do we do it?" Let me tell you. We have a worksheet in the class resources. How are you going to actually engage with this audience? Well, you're in luck because every time you have rolled the social media die as it were and posted a new thing, you're getting data. It's going to help you figure out what's working. What should I do more of? How do I build this trust in an effective way consistently? Whenever I talk about jumping into the insides of your social media and looking at the trends of what's worked in the past, I feel a little bit of tension enter the room from creatives and I get it. I'm not telling you to just do what they want. I'm not telling you to pander to an audience. I'm telling you to look at the things that you've done that you feel are really authentic for you. Things that you loved, that were also well-received and try to figure out why did that work? What connected so deeply with these people? Anytime people are still not convinced about this, I like to talk about stand-up comics more than any other creative that I can think of. They know their target and they're really good hitting it and hitting again and again. They have a really rigorous process on how to get good at what they do. One of the things you see with stand-up comics over and over again is this idea of riding on stage, which is taking things that mean a lot to them and then testing them out in real time in front of audiences. Which is what you've been doing. This whole time you've been posting on the Internet, you didn't realize you are riding on stage. These are your digital clubs, so to speak. What you can do then is do what stand-ups do when they stay in a joke. If you've ever been to a comedy show, if one of the jokes really strikes a nerve, the comics not going to just move on to the next thing they planned. They're going to sit in the joke for a bit. They're going to add new material. They're going to flush it out. They're going to dive deeper and see if there's other layers. That's what you're doing when you're doing the engagement. In this exercise, we're going to talk about a practice I've personally used to increase my engagement with my audience. Here's what I want you to do. I want you to go pick out your three top posts on whatever platform you want to explore; could be Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. What I want you to grade them on isn't likes. It's really easy to get distracted by likes and get obsessed about it. But it's my experience that likes don't really tell you much about engagement. The psychology of why you like something, it usually has less to do with some deep connection and more with just like that's relevant or just a passing reaction or impression. We're looking for something more than that. We're looking for how opposed connected in a big way. Much so they're like, "I have to remark upon this." That's comments. I don't want you to do is I want you to go find the three top posts based on comments. Once you have those three posts, I want you to fill them in right here. Then we're just going to take a few notes to try to learn from them so that we can bake some of this stuff in, into our future posts to make them more engaging. I'm going to do that right now. I've went back a bit in here and I'm looking at a few posts from a few years ago. I want to compare two similar posts that had completely different engagement. This is an extreme example to prove a point, but I think it illustrates it pretty well. Here's a post that I did. It was promoting the podcast, but it did feature these mysterious characters in a poster-like design. That post got 12 comments. Not terrible, it's pretty good. Then a few weeks later, I posted my first invisible things content. Has similar characters, mysterious vibes, but it uses grid layout and it was more like a diagram. That post got 351 comments. Of course, I took note of that. Now, the ebb and flow of comments is not always this extreme, but this paints a pretty clear picture. I wanted to dive deeper into why did this strike a chord. I want to compare those posts, but also I want to dive into the actual comments. There's a bunch of really good ones, there's a lot about like, "Can I buy it on a shirt? Can I buy it on a poster?" There's ones about, "Can I please write this book with you?" There's people that are like connecting with another level where they want to collaborate. That's a totally different thing. Ultimately, my favorite comments and the ones I want to know are, this helps me see the world differently. I think that why that's such an important thing to know and what I learned from that was, I think this worked because it was the first synthesis between the stuff I was doing in my illustration career and the stuff I was doing on the podcast. It was just weird synthesis of feeling and learning. Two types of value fused because the previous illustrations were just mysterious vibey feeling based and this mixed that with something that was more like a diagram, something that had a component of learning. I'm going to write that there. A synthesis of feeling and learning. That's just one post for me, but I've done this process a whole bunch of times and it has led to posts on my Instagram that are actually even more successful than that one. Ones where I tell personal stories through comics. Ones where I explore different types of diagrams. But ultimately this has informed my practice in significant ways that have not only helped me connect deeper, but actually feel more satisfied in the stuff am making knowing that I'm getting through. Let's go back to the board game and talk about what we're doing in this time and space that we're focusing on. What are you doing? You're spending time trying to stay in the joke. How do you take the places where you hit home and you really deliver that value and do it again and again and get really good at it and continue to connect in a deep way with your audience. In terms of where you're doing it, where's that focus? The ones we have here right now: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, you really want to engage where the majority of people are. We're talking about apps that are in their peak maturity. Where there really grading your performance based on how well you connect. These places right now work really well. But remember all these principles are evergreen. Even if some of these disappear, other ones will easily fit into these boxes and you can shift your strategy accordingly. Next step, we're going to go to four; earning subscribers. But before that we got to talk about, he who has not been named. We're talking about the algorithm. How does the algorithm fit into all of this? We're all panicked about it. Well, come with me if you want to live on social media. 8. Mythic Moment, Part 2: Welcome to another mythic moment with me, Andy J. Pizza. We got to talk about the robotronic elephant in the room, we got to talk about the dreaded algorithm. Now, I'm not going to tell you how to outsmart the algorithm. I don't know what the algorithm is. In fact, I don't even know what an algorithm is. I don't think that anyone can really tell you what the algorithm wants or what it does, because the truth is, it's like this proprietary IP of giant tech companies and they do a lot of work to make it their secret sauce. I'm finding it all a bit spooky. I'm finding it a little bit worrying how superstitious we're getting with the algorithm, this whole thing of like first you got to make a post and you got to leave it in your drafts folder for 72 hours and then if you post it on the midnight of the third moon. It's just this feeling weird to me and I wonder if we need to step back and just reassess because it feels like to me that we're devolving into an ancient inhumane society. You got to approach the altar of Instagram at this particular hour, you got to say the prayers exactly right, "Hashtag, bless this post, hashtag, please don't hide this post in the algorithm." That's okay, I could take or leave that. To me, I'm more worried about the human sacrifice, not that kind of human sacrifice, but there you go. I just mean the way that we sacrifice human connection all the time to make sure that we're appeasing this mysterious algorithm. If I don't post at 8:37 exactly, I might as well not post at all. We're all becoming robots trying to be disciplined and post at the right time every single day and appease the robot algorithm. There you go. What is it? But more than that, I feel like we're all becoming so in tuned with that rhythm that we're getting out of tune with human rhythms. Instead of trying to find what taste Instagram has or TikTok has, I've been trying to show my friends and family my stuff before I post it. If they feel like this is a breakthrough piece, I don't have to put so much weight on whether Instagram thinks this is a breakthrough piece and so every time I feel the urge to appease this robot overlord, this murky hidden mysterious thing. I'm trying to make it trigger this mental capture, the thing where it's like, which of these is not a sidewalk? What the heck does that mean? I try to picture my mind like, no I'm not going to do your bidding and I try to click that little mental box in my mind and certify that I am not a robot. 9. Exercise Four: Earn Subscribers: You've got a good thing going on. You've been engaging with these people. What happens next? Well, hopefully you've had some success, you've had some things go right, and you're going to move over into the mountains of subscribers. Why does it matter? What is this section all about? It's about getting out of the fickleness of social media. It's about how do you escape how often changes are made to the way that you can interact with your audience? If you keep in this zone, in these previous zones only, your whole career will be at the mercy of tech companies and their bottom line. You've got to move them beyond just followers and make them subscribers. You want to get your true fans in a place where when you make something, they definitely see it. That is essential because it's so much more of a stable foundation to build your practice on. We're talking about podcasts, email, blogs. These are all things that people can subscribe to and they're getting every single thing that you're putting out there because they want it. Let's talk about the exercise. Now, warning. We're going to talk about marketing terminology. We're going to talk about lead magnets. I know it just doesn't sound that nice, but I promise that it's nothing weird. It's just essentially how do you entice your followers to go from those platforms and subscribe to these other platforms that are a little bit more in your sandbox, a little bit more in your control? How do you do that? You do that with something called a lead magnet. What a lead magnet looks like is it usually has to do with some kind of micro commitment. Either a micro commitment of money or a micro commitment of time, but it's basically them taking one step closer in the path to becoming your true fan. One way that they're going to start taking that relationship further, other than just passively consuming your content is actually becoming a customer. Now, just like a relationship, you don't want to be like spring on a proposal out of nowhere. That's just a bit too much. You don't want to start with hey, would you like to spend $100 on my creative work before they know that they can trust you. Think about it in just practical terms, the first time you buy something on a website, it's a little bit scary. You're like, I don't know if I want to spend that much money here. I don't know if I can trust it. One of the ways around that and one of the ways you can get them used to it is a micro commitment of money. You can do this with what the business world calls a loss leader. Now, you might not know this, but I know that you want to. Let's talk about chicken again. Let's talk about how Costco gets you through the door. They do so by selling chicken for less than a profit. Did you know they don't even make a profit on their chicken? They sell it so cheap that the people will come in the door because they know lots of people want chicken. But once they have you in there, they're giving you samples of all kinds of stuff, and now you're three carts deep in bulk. That's how they do it, by a loss leader. A loss leader is something that you sell, not to turn a profit, but to create a relationship. I had a buddy who is a musician and a tattoo artist and I suggested to him what would it look like if you sold temporary tattoos? You don't even have to make any money on it. You could sell them super cheap for the cost of a stamp. But what does that do? It gets them in the website, purchasing something small, getting comfortable, and getting closer to being to a place where they're willing to spend a bigger amount of money on your creative work. Let's talk about a micro commitment of time. It can be money or time. Time looks like an event, it could even just be a virtual event, it could be a virtual workshop. It could be anything where people are saying, "I will be here then." When you do that, that just gets them one step further and a deeper relationship to your creative work. For a musician, it can be a show, it could also be a virtual show. It could be even just an Instagram live, but it should be something in which you create a lead magnet. In order to sign up to this event, they have to subscribe to one of your channels. That's how you get them to become a subscriber. Let's just break down this idea of lead magnet a little bit more because all it really is is something that you're giving to your audience in exchange for their email address or their subscription. It's just a way of enticing them to take a one step further in this journey to becoming a true fan. It can be a cheap product, it can be a virtual event. It could even be a PDF, some information. But ultimately, it's just something that's maybe similar to the value that you've been providing all along the way, but just a little bit more. For the exercise for this one, it's pretty simple. We're just going to look at what works really well, take it one step further, and deliver this through one of these subscription channels. Let me give you two examples of how I've done this. When I was showing up on Instagram, giving creative career advice, that was working really well. I can write in the caption right there, but at the end of the caption, I will put hey and I dive deeper into this on the podcast, a place where they can subscribe. If they get to the bottom of the caption, you can sell hard. They are interested, they want more. You can go ahead and say hey, go subscribe to my podcast. Don't worry, anybody that's down at the bottom of your caption is ready to hear that. They're looking for how do I get even more? An example from Invisible Things. We just recently took this stuff off of the social media platforms into live events. We put on some virtual events for parents and kids to actually do a workshop around Invisible Things, which was a micro commitment of time. This exercise is really, a brainstorming exercise. We're just going to think about the value that we've been providing all the way through. Think how could we, with a product or an event, how could we enhance that value? How could we give them more of that and come up with some specific ideas? For me, it was a creative career podcast and a kids workshop. For you it might be something totally different, but ultimately, try to figure out what micro commitments you could ask your audience to take next. Take what you've learned so far and brainstorm how you could enhance it. How could you give them more of what they want? What could you do that you can't do on these previous platforms? This section is the most fun for creators because this is where you can go deepest with your audience. This is where you can do the deep cuts, this is where you can put the medicine in. You don't need the sugar to make it share worthy and make it appeal to a bunch of people. Once they're subscribing, they want you, they want what you love the most about your work. You can be fully yourself in these spaces. That's what you should be spending your time on in these platforms. Now, let's talk about the spaces that you're going to be focusing on once you get to this section in the journey. We're talking about e-mail, YouTube, and podcasts. These are all things that people can subscribe to. They're not determined by, they're not interfered with by an algorithm. If they subscribe on these places, they will see the stuff you put there. That's the essential part of this. I want to just talk about podcasts for a second because I feel like as creators were really overthinking podcasts. We think every new podcast has to be This American Life, or Radiolab, and just this enormous production. But the truth is, for most creators, what podcasts are, are just blogs to point out. They're just you creating blogs that can be consumed in a more intimate way, in a deeper connection way with your audience, and also in a way where they can do the dishes while they consume them. If you have been interested in podcasts but you're like I just don't know if I can do the commitment, this is a great way to connect and resonate with your audience in a totally personal fashion. Go and brainstorm, how are you going to get these followers to turn into subscribers? How are you going to entice them off of those platforms and into your own sandbox? Then once you do that, I will see you in the final turn. 10. Exercise Five: Convert True Fans: You've done it, it's time for the final turn. It's time for this little guy to go from the mountain of subscribers to becoming an actual true fan. This is where it happens. What is this stage all about? It's about turning the subscriber to a true fan by creating an offering that has $100 or more, that will make them officially a true fan of your creative work. Remember, what does that mean to be a true fan? A true fan is someone who loves your work so much. They're willing to at least spend $100 on your creative work every single year and when they do that, you've got 1,000 people doing that, you've got $100,000. That is not too small for any of us as creators. When we get to step 5, it will break down if you don't have an offering worth $100. We all liked this idea of, "I will need 1,000 people to love my work in a deep way." That's true. If you make sure that there is an opportunity for that person to buy into your work at this level. Now, I just want to address the elephant in the room. Creative people are not always comfortable selling things. I get it, but I just want to remind you that the thing in this chest, the value that you're trying to provide, it's stuff that they want, and there is no guilt in selling when you're actually delivering something that people genuinely want. Think about the things that you are a true fan of, and the way that you've been super grateful to engage with that creative work at a deep level and buy in, and go to the show, and get them merch, and embody it, and use it as shorthand for who you are. I want you to feel confident about making stuff for your true fans that they really want. Let's talk about what we're actually doing in this final phase right over here, the time and space. What are you spending your time doing? You're spending your time with a launch. One of the ways that creators trip up selling stuff online is, they're selling all the time. The first problem with that is, you're constantly asking from your audience, which can be a little bit of a problem. The second reason is, there's no urgency for anybody to take action right now. That's the beauty of setting it up in phases. Is that, you're only in this sales mode for a small period of time and you can be really clear, and you can give them incentives saying, "Hey, we're only doing this right now." It gives them a reason to go to the platform where you're offering this thing and make a decision right then. This is why you'll hear marketers all the time talking about launches. For a long time, I just want to mention, when I would hear marketers talk about that, I think that does not apply to creativity, nobody is doing any launches. But in a minute when we talk about spaces, we'll talk specifically about how this happens all the time in the creative world, we just don't use the term launch, probably because it's gross. Sounds like a weird launch that's just disgusting. But yeah, that's what you're going to be spending your time doing. Also, I want to add right here, something that I heard a marketer say, Gary Vee, he wrote a whole book about it. It's called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. The idea really is give, give, give, give, ask. Here's what I'd like to point out. All along the way, we are giving value for free. I know as a creator, I get sensitive to ask anything of anybody, especially ask them to spend their money, but Gary Vee says this and I have experiences in my own practice. If you are generous this whole way round, people are looking for a way to give back. You don't even have to suggest. You don't have to be like, "You could also buy something." You could say, "Hey, I made this thing, I would love it if you would support it." You could say it right on the nose and you'd be blown away by how well it's received, if you're being generous the whole way round. Let's talk about space. The space is online where you are achieving this launch. I'm really excited about this part, because I feel like there's a lot of confusion around this and I think we can help you get some clarity on where to make these sales depending on the type of creativity that you do. Because I meet a lot of people who will think, "I know the solution. All I need is a Kickstarter, I need a Patreon, or whatever," and they go into it without really figuring out whether it's going to work for them, and it ends up being this massive failure and they give up and they forget the whole thing of making money online with their creative work. Here's what I want you to think about. I have three spaces right here. First one is Patreon, we have Big Cartel which is a online marketplace where you can sell your physical goods, and then we have Kickstarter. Really, they go in order based on how regular or how many things you're going to be making. Patreon is super good for serial content. If you're making something all the time, reoccurring, Patreon is a great way to find your practice. That's things like podcasts, it's things like online webcomics, it's things like a YouTube show that happens every single week. Patreon works super well for serial content, and if you're not making stuff on a regular reoccurring basis, Patreon is not going to be the best place for you, because that relationship needs to have some really clear expectations for people to buy in there. If you're not going to do something every single week, then maybe you want to think about a limited series. So still more than one thing, but not things happening over and over. For that, I've seen some really interesting things done recently with this, where they're doing a drop. They'll say, "Hey, I'm making a line of ceramics. There's going to be 50 pieces. That's all there's going to be. This is when I'm going to open sales, this is when sales close. The time and space to act is within this framework." A place like Etsy or Big Cartel, that works really well for that. But still treating it like a launch is going to create a sense of urgency, so people know when to shop. The last one, Kickstarter. Kickstarter works for people like musicians and filmmakers whose piece of work is really one big thing, an album or a movie. Kickstarter works super well for just one big thing. All right, let's now work this out on paper exactly how you can make this offering. In the class resources, you're going to find a worksheet like this where you can actually break down exactly what you want to offer. Because here's the thing. For some people, like a painter, they might actually have just paintings that are worth 100 bucks. That's easy, this whole thing is one thing, a painting. But for musician, it gets a little bit trickier and this process can help you break that up. This is how it can look for a musician. We have 20 bucks for a copy of the album on Vinyl, 30 bucks for fancy hoodie. These are true fans remember, a T-shirt, it's not enough for these people. Ten bucks for stickers, maybe some temporary tattoos, 20 bucks for the live event, could be virtual, could be in-person, and then we'll just pretend like this whole section equals $20, and that is of course, to have your name in the thank yous of the liner notes. It's not divided perfectly, but I can tell you, the math checks out, that's 100 bucks. You might be saying, "But Andy, these things cost money." You're right, they do cost money. I'm not saying you have to stop there, you can also put VIP passes, there's all kinds of ways that you can provide an offering of this nature to the people that are all in and want as much as you will give to them. Remember, this is an opportunity that you're giving to the people that want to support you. In fact, often in stuff like Kickstarter, there are people that will show up and support you at higher price points if you put them there, just because they want to support your art, just because they're that much of a true fan. So do not be ashamed of creating these opportunities. These fans know that this support means that you get to keep creating. For my favorite bands, I would support them in this way if I knew it made the difference between whether they had to quit or keep going. For me, this isn't just theory either. I've done this in my actual practice, so with the podcast, there was a few years where I kept getting approached to turn the podcast into book format. The things I wanted to do, no publisher would let me do them and the deals and the structure, none of it was working out in a way that felt like I would be able to provide to my audience what they actually wanted and an opportunity to support me at this level. So we decided to just launch our own book on Kickstarter and it was incredible. I was so blown away by the power of a true fandom. We launched this little handbook and we got 10 times what we asked for, and it became one of the most successful books that I ever made, and I've published something like 10 books with actual publishers. This is the power of a direct connection to your audience, but the most important part is that you realize that this whole thing only works if you take it the extra mile and actually give your true fans an opportunity to support you at this level. In my experience, this is a revolutionary way to approach your creative career. I'm really excited to live in a time where this is possible. I'm really excited to live in a time where you don't have to wait for some gatekeeper to say, "You've got it, kid. You've got what it takes." You can say that to yourself. Go look in a mirror and say that to yourself, because you do. You can do this, figure out this process, find good examples in your industry, of people doing this well and learn from them, and go take that information and implement it in your own practice today. 11. Mythic Moment, Part 3: Hello, and welcome to a mythic moment with me, Andy J Pizza. Before you in this class, I just want to encourage you not to go back to the models that were making you really anxious around showing up online. All of those behaviors for me are automatic, they're my go-to, and I can easily fall back into trying to appear wide, trying to get famous online, or use social media in a way that makes me miserable. I just wanted to share one other thing to help you remember to approach social media in a way that works for you and works for your audience. One time when I was really little, I went into my mom's room and she had this table, but the table legs were different, they were making an x and it had this shiny object on top of the table. Now, I'd seen that object before, but I'd never been left alone with it when it was hot. I knew it had to be cold. "Hey, don't you wonder what my cool steel feels like on your face?" "Oh, hell, yeah." I have no idea why I did what I did next. I don't know if it's growing up in the Bible bell, growing up in the church, but there was always this phrase thrown around, you heard it all the time, had no idea what it meant, but it hit me in that moment. This is my chance to become a legend in the church world. That's right, I turned the other cheek. Fast forward to me now, it's easy for me to look back at little Andy be like, why would you go in for a double dose of the thing that just burn you. But every single morning I wake up in a room with a table with a shiny object on top of it that just burn me the night before. What do I do? First I had to do in the morning is reach for that thing before I even open my eyes, and so I say this because I don't want you to return to the burn. I want you to learn from the burn, learn from the ways that social media use to burn you. Don't go back to comparing yourself to others, trying to beat the algorithm, trying to be famous. Learn from those things. Remember, let's go deep, not wide, and maybe this experience, this relationship you have to that shiny object of your phone and social media as a whole can be something that serves you instead of you serving it. Nice. [inaudible] That's it, give me one of those. 12. Final Thoughts: You did it. You took the stranger, the person who didn't even know you existed all the way through the entire process and now they're a true fan. You did it. That's it. Not exactly. You go through this whole process and you've got 10 true fans. You're like, man, this is a whole lot of work for 10 true fans. But guess what? You do it again, and it compounds at the end of the second time you've done it. Now you've got 30 true fans because each one told three more people. Do it again. You've got 90. You do that five times, little over a year, you've got 800 true fans, you're almost to 1,000 in just a year and a quarter. You keep doing it again in two-and-a-half years, if you dedicate yourself to the process, if you keep going, if these true fans tell three other more true fans, you can get yourself to almost 200,000 true fans in just two-and-a-half years. That is the magical power of the compounding interest of the true fan. I just have one more thing. There's just one more thing I want to leave you with because I do get super motivated about the 1,000 true fans and a $100 a year and all of that stuff. That is motivating. As a creative person, my primary motivation doesn't come from money. I'm not really super driven every day to wake up and get that bread. That's not my thing. For me what's even more helpful than that is to remember the moments that I had becoming a true fan. I like to think about which artist or am I really super grateful put in the extra work to make sure that that word got to me. That's what you're doing. You're not just playing a game. You're not just making some money, you are making human connection and this is just the process to do it. I'm sure all this stuff gets you excited about the possibilities. But when you hit a brick wall, think about that. Think about this is why I'm doing it. I'm doing it for one that person who they need this authoring that I have. They need this piece of creative work in their life right now. They need this group of people to come to gather and bond over this art. If you will keep that fresh in your mind, you will be able to do this process over and over and over again. Hey, and don't forget to share your work as you go in the project gallery here on Skillshare, you never know, you might find some true fans there. Thanks for joining me on this journey and I really cannot wait to see what you do with this whole process.