So to create passive income we have to create something…

Many of us have an idea, a concept, a story. Once you’ve decided to spend your time developing this story, you create the characters, situations and environment. If you’re like me these characters just sort of write themselves into and out of the stories that we throw them into. Good or bad, life or death and from that the story continues.

This series of articles isn’t about creating your comic. You’ll find many of those here on the Comic Creators Secrets blog and in Sketch Magazine. What we’re discussing is when you’ve created where you are going to share it to build a following and create the passive income that we previously discussed.

I want to be honest here. It can be as much work and or harder still building this Micro Fan Base than creating your stories. The stories come to us naturally; we know these characters. Marketing and promotions may not be as easy, but to give our work the exposure that it deserves we have to be willing to spend as much time if not more on this part.

It begins online.

Even though many of the social media sites have limited your access to your “friends” unless you want to “pay” for that access, you can still use them to build your Super Fan Base.

You can find many seminars and articles about how to build a large following on Facebook or Twitter. I’ve read many and have sat through hours of seminars. They all have their way of building you a large base of readers that they are willing to share once you pay them for their “exclusive tips”. Most of these work about the same so let’s take a look at Facebook.

Facebook is a great social media tool. Yes, I said tool. You need to look at all online social media as tools, not a place to complain about the current government, complain about the bad service you got at a local restaurant or go off on a family member.

You want to share just enough personal information to pull in your “friends” to let them know that by supporting you they are also supporting your family. Share your successes (how the comic is doing, you have a new grandbaby, etc) and your failures but don’t make it a sob story (ie I’m in so much pain I can’t walk or work). They aren’t going to support you long-term if you don’t create. Letting them know that you can’t work is saying I won’t be making comics.

So, be selective on all media. Stay upbeat, share glimpses of ideas from you project (characters, loose pencils etc.) as this also shows them that you are producing and that the project is moving forward.  Be consistent with posting. Make a post when you have a big new release or promotion but also post when you’re in the middle of creating and don’t have anything new as a product.

Posting is your consist knock on the door that you’re still here and working hard of creating for them the next great story to read.

Facebook is a good tool but limited if you only use a personal account. You’ll need to create a Facebook group and a Private group for your Micro Fans. Everyone wants to be part of a group/family, so offer your true fans/supports to join your private group where you’ll share inside info on the next project from characters to penciled pages. (Tip: Never show finished lettered pages. That’s what you want them to spend on money when it’s finished so if you’re posting it online, it takes away part of the thrill of getting it. Covers are fine but finished interiors you should keep to a minimum in sharing.)

Remember to join groups that are like-minded to your project. If your book is about farming, then join groups that are about agriculture and hydroponics and other farming techniques.

Twitter seems to be a better place to build a close relationship with your fans and to get your fans to share your information. Remember to post any artwork directly to your Twitter and through a post via another social media. You need to get the most from all your outlets and social outreaches.

Instagram is another way to build a fan base by sharing sketches and unused designs. In the process you should try to get these fans to join your exclusive groups and become part of your Micro Fanbase.

SnapChat you can share photos of your studio, conventions and stores that carry your work.

These are just a few of the most popular social media outlets that you can use to create and develop your social media and grow and expand your Micro Fanbase.

We will be taking a harder look at these and few others as we go along. But next, you’ll need a website…

Remember: Success = small, loyal group of die-hard fans

We’re just getting started…

Robert W. Hickey