The Importance of Audiences

I started to write the video description for this and it just started grow out of control, so I will carry on here….

As I say in the video, building your audience outside of DTRPG is vitally important. The big example is Kevin Crawford with a mailing list of 65,000+. That can be turned just as easily towards driving sales on DTRPG as it can to driving backers to a kickstarter.

The opposite of that is Symatt.

Symatt released Spy Master on DTRPG a couple of years ago (Oct 2018). In that time it has not yet made Copper.

I have a very similar system [cards in place of dice] in my old west game, Devil’s Staircase: Wild West. DS:WW is a year younger and is within touching distance of Silver.

Symatt has a pretty heft Twitter following:

but I don’t believe anyone can follow over three and a half thousand people and have any kind of meaningful interaction with them.

Symatt is clearly trying to use Twitter to market Spy Master, otherwise it would not be his account header. I suspect that he did a lot of follow/followback to build his following. Fine, that gives you big numbers but they are very unlikely to be the kind of people who want to buy into an indie RPG. I did the same thing for a few days when I first joined twitter and was given that advice. The people following me back were more indie game writers just like myself. All I had manage to do was build a following of my own competition.

I don’t normally see other publishers as competition, roleplayers will collect games by the hundred if they had the money. People’s attention, on the other hand is in very limited supply.

I would rather spend my time talking with people that care about what I do, and respond to me, than shouting into a void.

I have a solo set for Mutant:Year Zero. Take a look, not at the product, but at the discussion area below it.

This is another place where I can demonstrate that I care about my audience. It is almost zero effort to answer people’s questions.

What comes out of that is pretty much a wishlist of things for me to write. As it is I have ended up writing for Mutant:Year Zero, Tales from the Loop, Symbaroum, Forbidden Lands, and John Carter of Mars.

No Screen!

In the video above I don’t point you to anything on screen. The reason for that is that I am trying to ween myself off of wiggling the mouse over stuff and saying “You can see here…”. Why? Because the video would then make a better audio only listen. I started this last week, because of audience feedback.

There is a potential here to go from YouTube -> Audio File -> Podcast.

I don’t know how to set up a podcast yet, but I am guessing that for every one person who asks for something there are a dozen more that didn’t say anything.

Then the podcast will be a new audience, and a new way of reaching people and telling them about what I do.

Sell More Not Make More

Our goal has to be selling more of what we have already created, rather than making more stuff to sell to our existing audience.

The later, making more, is a brilliant way of building your audiences, getting more exposure and earning more money. If you have one book to sell, the most loyal fan can only every buy one book. If you have 50 books to sell, that fan can by 50 books.

Eventually, you will hit a point where you have covered all the bases in your niche. Either that of you run out of ideas for your niche.

Moving outside of your niche may mean that you do not carry your audience with you. So you are now having to start again. Your numbers continue to grow but what you really have is two audiences under one umbrella. It may look like you have a huge list you can use to sell your kickstarter, but only half of them are likely to be interested.

On the other hand, if you build your audience, you are finding people who want what you sell. The return on investment per book will be far greater if you sell 500 copies of each, rather than selling 50 copies of each.

When you do create something new, you then have more people to tell about that one product, which will boost its sales, getting it to the top of hottest or best seller lists, which will then generate more organic sales.

That is it for today.

3 thoughts on “The Importance of Audiences”

  1. Hi Peter,

    I appreciate the effort you put in making an mp3 file available here! It makes it easier to listen to your videos on my phone. This one, though, does not appear to be working : I can’t listen to it on the blog, and I can’t download it either. Thanks!


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