where we enter the final phase.
After the last two articles, I know what you’re thinking, “If piracy is a reality and one that will be more accepted as time goes by, then how do I make money in these uncertain times?” Well, I’m glad you asked fake person serving as a written stratagem. The answer is: I don’t know.
Helpful, huh? Allow me to clarify, I don’t know what will be the answer for you. The old easy answer of find a publisher/producer/movie studio is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Currently there is no tried and true business model to step into the breach. The good news is, you might be the one to discover it! Perhaps something you do will be “The Answer” to earning money from content in the Digital Age. I can tell you where things are likely to go and what direction to start looking for something to try.
The direction in which things are heading is called the “long tail”. Basically that amounts to a bunch of moderately popular or niche markets and some big, hugely popular blockbuster markets. That is good news because that means you can earn a living in that long tail and more people can do that. All you really need to do is find your niche and make yourself known.
In terms of what you should try, it amounts to Connect with Fans [CWF] and Reason to Buy [RTB]. CWF RTB is the summation of finding a niche market, marketing yourself or your product to them and then giving them a reason to buy that product. How do you do that? Well one way is to give away the infinite to sell the scarce.
Which brings us back to piracy. The entirety of the piracy infrastructure is perfectly setup to distribute media at no cost. Whatever it may cost you to produce a movie, song, or book you can distribute it for free just by putting it on a file sharing site/bit torrent/whatever. This is the hard part, stop thinking of selling your work. Think of your work as advertising.
So if your work is advertising, what do you sell? Well, what is scarce? Creativity, for one thing. There is a rapper who offers to write diss raps for $20. That creativity is a scarce commodity and as such he is able to sell it. Furthermore, this rapper benefits from people hearing his style, since that allows him to sell to more customers. So it is his best interest to see his works pirated.
You can also sell tangible products. T-Shirts are often derided this way, but there are no shortage of people employing this tactic. Beer cozies, CDs, books, people still want to own things and you can capitalize on that. What’s more you don’t need to limit yourself to tangible goods.
You can sell creativity, As in the example of the rapper, or you can sell access. Backstage passes exist for a reason, customers love to have access to the creators they love. What’s more they will pay for it. Are you a musician? Sell a private concert. Are you an author? Sell a private reading. Actually, if you’re an author, sell a trip to the bar with them. Are you an actor? Sell an appearance in a play or movie (think community) or just a public appearance. Your time is scarce and as such can be sold appropriately.
Thanks for sitting through this. I hope it was informative and useful. If anything, it was probably too short. There was a lot more that I could say on this subject, but I think what’s down is more than enough to whet a whistle or two. I hope I whetted your whistle.