Lesson 10 - 1000 True Fans = 6 Figure Income

Don’t underestimate the power of a face to face encounter. More about this in the networking section.

So start today by meeting your audience after every show and make sure to prop open a computer. Even if you’re tired, even if you made plans. Cancel the plans, this is more important. Get connected to your audience, listen to their stories – who knows, they might inspire you to write a song! Collect their email addresses, and you’ll convert them into true fans.


1000 True Fans


Back in 2008, Kevin Kelly published an excellent article about how making 1000 true fans will earn you a 6 figure income. He defined a true fan as someone who will drive 300 km to see your gig and buy anything you’ll produce. Averaging in 100$ a year per fan, having 1000 true fans can earn you 100,000$ per year.

Everybody wants to be successful and some of us even want to become famous. Whether aiming for a million fans isn’t very reasonable, especially when you’re starting out, 1000 is way more doable. In reality however, making 1000 true fans is not that easy. My newsletter has 13,000 subscribers and I can’t say that I have as many true fans. I assume it takes having as many as 50,000 subscribers to reach the 1000 true fans goal. 

After shows, about 10% of the people buy CD’s and 15% subscribe. 
You’ll be lucky if only 1% of the audience will actually buy EVERYTHING you’ll ever produce. 
So if you’re performing in front of 15,000 people per year, 
you’ll collect 2250 emails per year, 
out of which only 150 stand a chance to become true fans. 
If your average gig accommodates 150 people, 
it’ll take you about 6.5 years x 100 concerts per year 

to reach 1000 true fans.


I  know this might sound tedious, but how can you refuse if you know collecting addresses for 6.5 years will gain you a yearly 6-figure income in the long run? Make sure to manage your expectations, considering that you got to keep your list up to date, and some emails go out of use when people change jobs, servers, partners or they’re simply out of quota or even unsubscribe.

I think I have collected closer to 30,000 emails throughout the years, but by updating my list continuously, I only have 13,000 active addresses today. I’ve always had a sheet and a pen ready at hand. Luckily, now I have a tablet or a computer propped, so I don’t need to actually decipher people’s handwriting anymore! 😉 Just make sure your newsletters are up to the recent GDPR regulations.


Send an introductory email to  all your contacts, requesting them to opt-in to your new newsletter. Make sure you tell them in advance how many times they’ll be receiving it per year and what type of content can they expect in the mailing.