Saturday, December 3, 2016

Day #4: Saturday 3rd December 2016

Today I posted a public post on my Patreon page. It's nothing spectacular, as my artist is running a few days behind (he got himself a real, paying gig so understandably, mine has had to take a back seat for a few days.

ACTION: Did a public Patreon post.As I didn't have a completed page yet, I showed the pencils of one of the panels instead. Shared the post on my personal twitter, (@BigTimStiles) my comic book twitter (@CthulhuWilliams), and my podcast twitter (@TurtleBoyPod). I didn't post to my Facebook equivalents, because it was glitchy and wouldn't show the image.

RESULT: Things just aren't moving. I have 11 Patreon backers = $79 a month. I have had 0 new backers turn up, so 0% increase. And as mentioned yesterday, I have 78 email subscribers now that two quit me.

Again, I am tired. 4 days in and no real movement. Added 12 email subscribers and lost 2. Wondering if this exercise is just gonna be a waste of my energy? Again, time will tell what sort of long game I'm playing.

Day #3: Friday 2nd December 2016

So far I'm pretty much still acting on strategies I came up with before starting this thing. The t-shirt give away has been in the works for a few weeks. Again, I'm hoping this will help me set up my long game of getting people into my Patreon page.

Action: Last night I drew the winners of my t-shirt competition. I recorded a video on my phone of a couple of my friends drawing the winning names.

Sent the email off to all 80 people who have signed up to my email list.

Results: 11 Patreons = $79 a month. 0% increase. As for my mailing list, today it has dropped by two. So now I have 78 subscribers... 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Day #2: Thursday 1st December 2016

Again, it's very late, so I'll make this one quick.

Today's Action: I had a table at the X-Mas Markets at my day-job today. It wasn't open to the general public. Only employees of the government department I work for.

I had a t-shirt (with one of my characters on it) on display, and used that to pimp my email list. I've been pimping my email list with a competition where I'll randomly draw three names from my list and they'll win a free t-shirt. I got about 12 email addresses to add to my list.

T-Shirt Design

I also have postcards with some of my characters on the front and my websites and social medias on the back (including my Patreon web address) and I made sure everyone who bought a comic took one of them too.

Postcard Design

Results: My current Patreon following is still 11 people totalling $79. So again an increase of 0%.

General thoughts: I really wasn't expecting to move many comics today. Being a work-exclusive market place, and all the other tables selling teddy bears and ginger bread, my comic isn't exactly X-Mas themed and this market wasn't a comic-con which was expecting to attract geeks and nerds.

I was honestly not expecting to move any comics. Then why do it, I hear you ask?

The fee for booking a table goes to the Black Dog Institution so even if I didn't make any money, this was a fun way to donate to a good cause.

Now, having said all that, I moved heaps of comics. I walked away with a couple hundred bucks profit, which is gonna come in real handy this time of year.

But back on topic, I got about a dozen people sign up to my email list, and that was the real goal today. I've added them to my mailing list and tomorrow I draw out the winners, and then email everyone to announce the winners and then the winners specifically to get sizes and whatnot before I send them out.

I don't know if I'm playing the long game and or a dumb game. I guess over the next four weeks we'll see if any results trickle through to the Patreon or not.

Anyway, gotta be up in six hours for the gym. Talk later.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Day #1: Wednesday 30th November 2016

Jesus, it's been a long day. And I was considering putting this off until tomorrow, but... here we are.

Work today was insane. Crazy insane. Everything that could have gone wrong did (except Godzilla. I'm expecting him tomorrow). It's been a long year and I'm tired. But I'm trying to do shit I like, so...

Yesterday after committing to doing this thing, I found out my friend died in a car accident a couple days ago. Now, I dunno if this is healthy but keeping busy is going to see me try to not focus on the negative stuff. I'm taking time to deal with it, but I don't want to spiral. So, I did my first day's action...

I've already done a lot of the suggestions people are making for launching a Patreon. Mine has already been going a few months.

Action: Sent an email out to my email list. My current list (thanks to some online pimping and doing a comics festival on the weekend) is 67 subscribers. I basically ran through my experience of attending the Impact Comics Festival for the first time, and discussed winning a $500 grant for another one of my comic characters; Bones: The Echidna-Man! Including some character design stuff for the series' bad guy (or more accurately, bad gal). In the email I also brought hop my Patreon page and tried to pimp it a little.
I also posted a reminder on my Facebook Competition Event page. I'm randomly drawing three people ti win a t-shirt from everyone who signs up for my email list. This Facebook event has been going on for two weeks and ends in two days (again, stuff I already planned and put into action before deciding to complete this challenge).

Results: My current following is 11 = $79. So the planned increase at this point is 0%

Now I'm tired and need to sleep. See you tomorrow.

Bones: The Echidna-Man

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

30 Day Patreon Journal

Well, it's been a while since I've blogged. Really haven't had anything positive to say. It's the end of the year, and it's been a long year.

And I'm tired.

But, in true Big Tim fashion, I'm loading up the final month of 2016 with may too much work.
I've been listening to a podcast all about launching comic books on Kickstarter. It's by Tyler James and is called Comixlaunch. If you're an independent comic book creator, or plan on using Kickstarter for any project, it's worth listening to.

Anyway, he has done a number of episodes on Patreon. One thing he has suggested people planning to launch a Patreon page should do, is a 30 Day journal where they document their actions and results.
Having recently started a Patreon for my self-published BigTim’s Funny Books, I decided I’d throw my hat in the ring. I mean, what do I have to lose? I already have 11 backers. Worst case scenario is they get bored and leave. Best case scenario is I land some new backers.

So, to paraphrase (and deadest cut and paste from Tyler James’ original post) I’m going to devote at least some time every single day for the next 30 days to take some action intended to increase the number of Patrons backing my Patreon page.
And I’m going to post my daily progress here, in my old, unused blog.

So, the first thing Tyler suggests is making S.M.A.R.T. goals. Just saying “I want more Patreon backers” isn’t good enough. It’s not specific and not a real goal.

Whereas if I say “I want 14 more Patreon backers by 31st Dec 2016, this is a measurable goal with a time limit. Win or lose, succeed or fail, I’ll have a measurable result when all is said and done.

So S.M.A.R.T. goals means:

So, if my goal is I want 14 more Patreon backers by 31st Dec 2016, does it measure up to S.M.A.R.T. goal making?

  • Specific? Yes. 14 Patrons.
  • Measurable? Yes. On 31st December 2016, I can look at my page and see if I succeeded or failed.
  • Achievable? I think so. I have 65 subscribers so far on my email list, and my podcast gets anywhere from 25 to 45 listeners each episode. So I think 14 more Patrons is doable.
  • Relevant? 14 Patrons won’t make me rich, but it will cover the costs of one page of art a month.
  • Time-bound? Yessir. 31st December is just around the corner.
Tyler also suggested taking the goals a step further and to set three goals. A regular goal, an ambitious goal, and an insane goal.
As I’ve already said twice, my regular goal is 14 more backers by 31st Dec 2016.
My ambitious goal is a total of 41 backers by 31st Dec 2016.
My insane goal is a total of 100 backers by 31st Dec 2016.

Each day, I’ll be posting here about what action I’m taking towards growing a following on Patreon, starting from my current 11. Each journal entry will contain:

  • Date
  • Commentary – What I’m thinking about or focusing on to clarify or help explain the reasoning behind the actions?
  • Actions – What specific actions I took to directly or indirectly promote the Patreon?
  • Results – How those actions directly impact the number of Patrons who have sized up?Reflections – My thoughts and emotions about the actions/ results?
And here we are. I don’t know if anyone will read this, or even care. But if you don’t throw your hat in the ring, you won’t get that dance with that pig… or some other inspirational quote.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Struggle-Town University

I was once told "I'm a bit disappointed that you never went to University or got yourself a trade after high school." At the time I thought to myself "Yeah. Damn shame that. Shoulda edu-ma-cated myself instead of being a labourer and truck driver my whole life."

But then I got thinking...

I'm 33 years old and I may not have gone to honest-to-goodness University, but hell!!!
I'm a graduate of Struggle-Town U!
I started to think about the things I would have missed if I spent the last ten or fifteen years in a classroom instead of out in the real world. I've lived, man. I've seen and done
some pretty amazing things. I mean I look at a lot on Uni grads and wonder
if they've lived their lives.
Have they ever fought back-to-back with their brother in a bar-room brawl and
come out on top?
Have they ever carried an old man back to his house when he was found lying in the
street with his head bashed in? Have they ever had to deal with being covered
in someone else's blood?
Have they ever driven an 8-tonne truck through a plague of grasshoppers in rural Australia?
Have they ever sat on the cliffs of Tuross Heads and just watched in awe
as a massive storm rolled in from across the ocean?
Have they ever been caught in a snow blizzard where you can't see two meters in
front of you or stood in the beautiful Christmassy August snow and caught snow
flakes on their tongues?
Have they ever sat alone in a movie theatre at six in the morning and watched a horror film the day before release?
Have they ever cried with their brother as they held their tiny, stillborn nephew
in the palm of his hand?
Have they ever sat on the roof of a shopping mall, drinking beer and enjoying
the midnight lights of Sydney?
Have they ever sat in front of a six foot eight, twenty one year old street kid and inspired him to tears with their words?
Have they ever fought a drunk man to defend the honour of a woman he
was abusing just moments before?
Have they ever cried themselves to sleep after doing the humane thing and ending the life of a cat that some other idiot hit in a car and couldn't be bothered to stop for?
Have they knelt down on one knee on the rocks as the sun breaks through the horizon of the surf, holding a gold ring and looking into the eyes of their one true
love and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him?

I look at the list above.

I wouldn't trade that for all the knowledge in the world. Not the joys. Not the heartaches. Not the fears and not the tears. You see? I don't know stuff, but I know people.

And I love people. And I hate people.

And I've lived my life. For good or bad.

Do I have regrets? Sure. More than you'll ever know.

But I wouldn't trade it for the whole world.