Yesterday the TMFA Community made $3,091.25 in 24 hours. In theory, 12 months from now, my community will generate $1,128,306.25 in annual reoccurring revenue, and I will be free to do and make whatever the fuck I want. Amen.
No VC. No code.
This is a short essay with three concepts that ought to inspire anyone with an audience and specialized skills looking for freedom and wealth to start building a niche community.
- The time is now.
- How to get started.
- The road to $1m ARR.
The time is now.
- Niche communities are a thing, and big tech is getting unbundled. My community is a testament to that. Simply put, I built a discussion board, education platform, and set of resources for my niche — Independent Artists wanting to commune online and sell more directly to customers.
- No code tools like Notion, Circle, Airtable, Zapier, and Squarespace made it easy for a non-technical artist like me to build a community and set of tools that can scale without a single line of code.
How to get started.
- You will need to have an audience and a specialized set of skills. If you have neither of those, work on that now.
- Over the last 5 years of making and selling nearly 1,000 artworks direct to collectors online, painting 50+ murals for big brands, and creating headlines in every major news outlet, I learned a ton. The problem was that every painting sold, mural made, and headline created was like starting from scratch. My time did not scale.
- I noticed that I was getting asked the same career-related questions in DMs and emails from my followers. I realized that I needed to document and codify my knowledge into a structured framework to articulate the vision for the TMFA Community membership. I needed a roadmap.
- A la Jack Butcher, I decided to turn my experience at The Most Famous Artist into a product. Build One, Sell Twice, right, Jack?
So, I opened up Whimsical, and this is the mindmap of features I came up with for my community:
The road to $1m ARR.
My first day was a success. I set the price for my community at $99 per year. I got 50 new subscribers (some at an early bird discount) in the first 24 hours, and the community continues to grow.
Engagement within the community is high, and I haven’t even started to growth hack the shit out of memberships, and blow out the content marketing.
I launched with a partial set of features including community discussions, the athenaeum, and the resource section outlined in my mindmap. I have the tools, form documents, and practicum features in development. I opened my community with 1% of the total features I want to build available to members. Why?
So yeah, I am just getting started. And I have a lot to learn and even more to do. I hope you will root for me because, in addition to creating true wealth (thanks Naval), I plan to help tens of thousands of artists connect and succeed independent of the traditional, stale, exclusive, bullshit art world.