I want to ask you something… would you support me to keep blogging?
One of the things I struggle with most is believing that other people truly value my work. I get so many positive comments, saying how much people appreciate my articles and videos, but it’s too easy for me to worry that words are cheap. Are people just encouraging me because it’s easy and doesn’t cost them anything? Will they all fall away the second I ask for something in return?
You’ve probably seen what has become by far my most popular video: Rejection is the story of my life. Can you hear how this is colouring my questions above? It’s like my past experience has conditioned me to expect everyone to suddenly abandon me the second I ask for anything.
On the whiteboard in my bedroom I have written a little phrase that I hope is slowly changing my life. It reads “I am buoyant”. Buoyancy is a sales term that refers to the ability to get rejection after rejection and yet to keep going, keep asking, keep putting yourself out there until you find the one person who says yes. It is the ability to remain cheerful in the face of ‘no success yet’. It is the optimism to forget about the failures and rejections of the past, and to see every new opportunity as a possibility.
I am forging myself a new personality. I don’t want to be the kind of person who is constantly scared of rejection. My strategy for becoming this person is to act like someone who is buoyant today. This means not being afraid to ask, because I’m not afraid of rejection. I want to be someone who not only asks for what they need, but who is also not upset when they don’t get it.
What is Patreon?
Recently I’ve discovered a website that’s designed to help artists and creators be sponsored by the community that enjoys their work. It’s called Patreon and I’m considering setting up a profile.
Check out their website and video here: https://www.patreon.com/about
I’m not sure exactly how it will work yet, but here are some things that should be possible:
- You can very easily choose to support me financially (at any level you want)
- We can start a little community (share what we love and bounce ideas)
- I could offer fun random extra content (not really suitable for YouTube public).
I should also mention that I definitely don’t plan to stop making all my free stuff. Quite the opposite. It will give me more of an incentive to ramp it up. 🙂
So this is where I’m asking you. What do you think?
Should I set up a Patreon profile so that you have the option of supporting me financially if you want to? My instinct says yes, but I’m not confident enough to ‘just do it’. After all, what’s the point if you guys think it’s a dumb idea?
The more perceptive among you may have noticed that I haven’t quite built up the courage to ask you for money yet. I’m hoping that if I get enough encouragement from this blog, then that will be my next step. Would you buy me a coffee a month if it means I can continue to make these videos for you? I hope the answer is yes, but I don’t dare to ask… just yet.
For the moment, I’m only asking 3 things:
- Check out the Patreon Link (105 second video).
- Leave me a comment (here or on my fb page) telling me what you think of the idea of me setting up a profile.
- Think about how much (if anything) you might want to contribute once it’s set up.
How much time do I spend?
You might not realise how much energy it takes to make even a short video. In the beginning a 5 min video could easily take me 8 hrs. This would include set up, recording, re-recording, file transfers, editing, and upload. But would not include time spent thinking of topics, figuring out what to say, getting my thoughts in order, attending to social media, debating with myself if it’s all worth it and if anyone would even be interested or if I’m wasting my time talking to the air.
Thankfully, 2 years later, I’m getting much better. Your consistent support has meant that I now know I’m not just talking to the air. These days I’m usually done in under 4hrs (sometimes as low as 2 hrs if everything falls perfectly into place!) and the whole process is a lot less stressful. But still, that’s a significant time commitment every week and I’m worried that as life goes on I may not be able to sustain it. The necessity of finding a job that actually pays the bills means that creating free videos online can easily slip down the priority list.
Earlier this year work took over and there was a period where I only got out one video in four months! If I knew there were people like you committed to supporting me then this would no longer be negotiable. I’d be forced to make sure I create new content to keep you all happy. It might sound a bit dumb but sometimes it can actually be really smart to trick myself into doing what I want to do.
The reason I do this
The reason I do this in the first place is because I believe my story and insights are valuable to others. Fortunately, I’ve received many positive comments telling me exactly that. Talking when no-one is listening is possibly my greatest fear. Hearing that people actually want what I have to offer is the most motivating thing imaginable. Being appreciated makes it all worthwhile. That’s what keeps me going.
Now, I’m hoping that some of you will be in a position to show that appreciation in a financial way. If my articles and videos have helped you, consider this a way to make sure that same help is freely available to others too.
Anyway, I’ve talked enough. Does anyone else end up just rambling when they’re nervous?
You’ve all been incredible to me so far so I know I’ve got nothing to be afraid of, but I’m still anxious to hear what you think. If I get enough support, I will hopefully set up the profile soon.