The Community Members Are Not Your Audience
I know. All these indie creators, artists and writers in one place. So much exposure, right? It’s tempting to take advantage of it all. Once we finish building it, this place is going to bring a strong pool of the best creators together. And as we continue to develop it, you’re going to feel the need to promote your Kickstarter, ask members to share what you’re doing and siphon some of the membership.
I am asking you to always keep this golden rule in mind: the Community members are not your personal audience. You didn’t join on the prospect of being sold something or persuaded to be someone else’s mouthpiece. You joined on the strength of community, growth and development. And when an entire community of people is doing nothing but trying to promote their thing we’ve completely lost what was originally promised.
The members can be, and they may eventually, potentially, be part of your audience in the future, but that has to come through them organically gravitating to your project.
Our Community is being designed to be a great place to get positive feedback on your script, your characters, your business, marketing approach, your website—even advice on how to improve your Kickstarter or the content of a blog post.
But the Community is not the place for you to find your audience. We each have our own niches and a lot of the same principles apply from creator to creator and business to business. There’s potential to discover so much value from discussing business models and art/writing techniques and strategies for selling your comics, promoting your Kickstarter, marketing your characters, working with clients, etc. I need you to think of the Community as a resource and not a group of people to market your thing to.
And since this can start sounding vague, let me give you an example of good use and bad use:
Good use of the Community:
- “Hey! I’m wanting to launch a Kickstarter about my comic in the Fall of this year. What are some good best practices to use to make it successful? What should I avoid doing and how do I start building an audience before it launches?”
Bad use of the Community:
- “Hey everyone! Could you all either share the link to my Kickstarter or donate at least a dollar to it? Thank you!”
The first example sets up the entire Community to learn. There’s value in those questions. A conversation can happen, and by making use of the Community this way, you’re providing value and making it better.
The other is asking everyone in the Community to do something for you. And if we all get into the habit of asking of each other where nobody is giving, the life force of the Community will drain itself.
Always, always provide unique value around the thing you want to promote.