This is how creative people make money now.

Hi mom,

So two blogs ago I told you about the way I got a bunch of people to listen to my music.  By sharing the songs throughout the year, and what inspired them. 

I should have found a way to cultivate the attention I acquired, but I was lazy. And I wasn't sure what to do next. 

Looking back, what I should have done is ask that question out loud. And document the process of formulating an answer. Even if the answers I came up with weren’t any good yet. The process of creating something has become just as valuable - maybe even more valuable - than the product itself.  

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I wasn’t sharing nearly enough of the initial process of making that one album in 2016. I should have documented the whole thing. All steps. And I should have done it on video. 

That’s one of the big new ways (creative) people are building an audience. By just sharing more. And especially sharing through video. (Blogging like this is old school, mom, people want to listen or watch stuff. Not read.) 

What I’m taking about isn’t new. There’s this thing called vlogging. A blog in video. People film everything they do and upload it. Even if their day was regular at best. 

One of the biggest in the world is Casey Neistat. He was making vlog style movies before Youtube even existed. His channel has over a billon views and ten million subscriptions. That’s a lot. 

What he’s doing now, is sharing the process of starting up a new company. He wants to use the attention he acquired to build something. So we are part of that process. From him getting the office space, to construction, to making potential business deals. 

In this video he documents considering making a collaboration deal with another company called Patreon:

He even made a vlog about how he makes vlogs about starting a company (starts at 7:15). Very meta. 

Gary Vee is another main stream example. His dad had a liquor store and he helped run it. Then the internet grew and he saw an opportunity. He turned the liquor store into (one of) the first wine e-commerce bussineses, winelibrary.com It became a massive company. 

One of his most important marketing tools was video. Showing his process of tasting and discovering wines that he wanted to promote. Being honest about what he did or didn't like. 

Then he took it a step further. He wanted to start an advertising agency to help other brands and artists use social media the way he did. He shares the process of building and running that company by uploading a video of his day, every day. It shows him giving marketing advice to young entrepreneurs, or vloggers or artist. Like the video below which is him uploading a whole meeting with someone about their content strategy. (You don't have to watch the whole thing, mom. It's just to give you an idea.)

For musicians this can also work. One of the biggest youtube musicians is Andrew Huang. He is all about sharing the process. He basically films himself while he thinks of a music concept and tries to make it happen. 

Like this one in which he has to make song in a certain amount of time. Throughout the process his fans help him out by sending melody ideas. Doesn't matter if you like his end result. I personally don't like the song. But the process makes for good content. 

On a smaller scale, there’s a channel called Red Means Recording.

This guy started out showing off the way he programmed a certain synthesizer. He’s really good at making music on that thing. He films the whole process, including bad ideas that never made it to the final edit. Whatever final edit still means. 

Andrew and Red are starting to monetize their content in various ways.  Bringing out albums on Spotify or starting a Patreon. (Real quick, mom: a Patreon page is a place where people who really like your work can donate a certain amount per month so you can keep making whatever it is you make. The people who donate get exclusive stuff in return. Like songs no one else gets, or a guitar lesson from the artist, or more behind the scenes footage. It’s like being a patron of the arts.). 

So in short, makers of all kinds (from wine store owners to musicians), are using a new media businessmodel based on sharing your process. Even from before you exactly know what you're selling: 

Make LOTS of content showing what you're trying to accomplish, and especially how you're doing that. Are the right people showing up? NO: Tweak. YES: Slowly start selling whatever that thing is to them. 

There’s just one problem. 
You have to be the kind of person who films him- or herself everyday. Like Gary Vee. 
Not sure if I’m that person. So I'll have to think of a way to avoid that part. 

I’ll let you know once I do, mom. 

Talk to you next month.