Whether your audience is an audience of one, or of a thousand, and whether it's comprised of true fans or just your friends and family, your audience still needs to know you care about them.
After all, they're buying your comics - or they likely will, eventually. They're the reason you'll be able to build your career in comics, however meekly you might start.
In order to pay them back, it's your responsibility to make sure that the comics you create are as good as they can be.
But that's not enough.
This is really what you need to be grateful for. Whether or not they buy your comic, they're paying attention to what you have to say.
Rather than doing any of the dozens of other things they could be doing, they're spending their valuable - ultimately finite - time listening to you.
And yes, making sure you're creating work worth that time - and saying things worth saying that's valuable to them - is good. But it's the least that you can do to show you appreciate their attention.
What you really need to be doing, is the unscalable.
Doing the Unscalable
Rather than think about engaging with your audience efficiently and in a scalable way. Engage with each individual in your audience as if they were your audience of one.
Get to know them & give them a personalized experience. They deserve it. And whatever effort you can put in there, goes along way.
Whether that means personalizing a signature when you get an order online. Giving more than a standard thank you, when somebody tells you that they liked your book. Or making an effort to build relationships with your audience, rather than just look at them as customers.
If you look at a lot of the bigger creators with very engaged fanbases, you see this principle time and time again.
When Scott Snyder does panel after panel to make sure everyone can listen in, or makes an effort to remember your name from one show to another, you'll remember that.
When Neil Gaiman, stays hours later at his signings to make sure everyone who turned up gets their moment with him, and gets a signed book, you'll remember that.
When Kelly Sue makes a sincere connection with you, as a person, not just as a fan, you'll remember that.
Those are the interactions that matter. That's how you create loyalty. That's how you show that you care about your audience. That's how you prove it, instead of just saying you do.
And if those creators can do it, with the massive audiences they have, then we - with so many fewer people to think about - have no excuse not to do the same.
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