As of this morning, this post is serving double-duty as an introduction to my Patreon page. I can’t promise that my approach will prove successful, or that it will help you with your own promotional efforts. I’m sharing it here in the hope that you’ll consider becoming a patron. If it inspires you to set your own crazy-ambitious goal, even better.
Ten Good Years
I started running after college, but I didn’t start running seriously until 2011.
Since then I’ve immersed myself in the online running community: the science, the shoes, and the stories.
One story I see over and over again is this: middle-aged couch potato takes up running and, within a few years, surpasses lifetime athletes. For example, John Shaw took up running at age 59, and is breaking world records at 65.
The commonly accepted explanation is that runners have ten good years. Those that run hard through high school and college aren’t likely to be winning ultramarathons in middle age.
Why am I talking about running? Because I think the same thing holds true for my favorite recording artists. With few exceptions, their best material was recorded within a ten year span.
I started making music after college, but I didn’t start making music seriously until 2019.
Up until now, I only worked on my music when I finished working on other people’s music. Oftentimes that meant taking months off for a big project. You can see it in my pre-Patreon release dates: 2003, 2008, 2010, 2016.
The past three months have given me a taste of life as a full-time recording artist. In that span I’ve written and mostly recorded an entire album. You can read through my process here.
With your help, my goal for 2019 is to quit my day job. That doesn’t mean I’ll never work on other peoples’ music again, but it will allow me to be selective about the projects I take on, and to put my music first.
Loathe as I am to admit it, I’m going to turn 50 at the end of this year. The clock is ticking. It’s now or never.
It won’t be easy. For the past 20 years, people have expected to get digital content for free. Last year I spent far more on advertising than I made in sales, despite the fact that my music reached more ears than ever before. The only consistent income I get is from Patreon.
As of today, 165 patrons support me to the tune of $581 per month. Looking at the cost of producing a song relative to what I need to make in a month, I’m setting a goal of $3000 per month.
Crazy? Maybe. Putting that number out there definitely makes me feel uncomfortable, but what’s the alternative? Waiting a few more years?
When I launched my page there was an abundance of confusion, and in some cases, outright hostility. Since then most of you have come to understand the concept of Patreon, and their mission to empower artists to support themselves while dedicating their lives to what they’re most passionate about.
The results speak for themselves. Look at what we accomplished in 2018 alone.
Of course I’m not asking for a handout. There are a variety of rewards, including exclusive tracks. But most of all I’m offering an experience you won’t get anywhere else.
2019 promises to be the biggest year yet for Color Theory! I hope you’ll join me for the ride.
Learn more and become a patron here.
If you’d like to hear more of my promotional escapades, be sure to subscribe to my How I’m Promoting My Music This Month email newsletter.
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Photo by Christian Joudrey on Unsplash