In this episode, I introduce myself and the show. Thomas Umstattd is an author, speaker, and podcaster. The Creative Funding Show is a podcast where you will hear the stories of Authors, YouTubers, and Podcasters who are funding their creativity using platforms like Patreon, Kickstarter. You will also learn about making money with advertising, sponsorships, merch, and other creative ways to make a living as an artist.
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[00:00:03] This is the creative funded show podcast for authors, YouTubers, and podcasters who want to fund the work they love without selling out. Welcome to the first ever creative funding show. So my name is Thomas Umstattd and in this episode 0, I’d like to introduce myself. So if you don’t care about me you’re welcome to skip this show.
[00:00:32] But I just wanted to talk a little bit about my background and why I’m doing this show. So the creative funding shows a podcast for creators who want to make a living doing what they love using platforms like Patreon and Kickstarter sponsorships and more. And our goal is to be primarily an interview show talking with creators to learn how they fund their work. Talking with industry insiders about the tools that they’re making to make creators lives better and also doing deep dives individual episodes with me answering your questions about funding creating and thriving as a creator. So but in this episode, I’m going to talk about myself which is in general not a goal of the show. I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about me but I do want to kind of share my story of how I got to be talking into this microphone to you right now. So I’ve been buzzing on the outskirts of the creative community for a long time. The first video YouTube video of me went up in 2006. So as of this recording that was 12 years ago and I remember in 2006 being so surprised at YouTube as a platform and how seamless the experience was. I don’t know if any of you can remember before the days of YouTube we watched videos with real player and it was awful Real Player was the worst and the YouTube was 1 million times better. There’s a reason why you don’t install real player on your computer anymore it’s because everything has gotten better than that.
[00:02:04] Since then I started my first podcast in 2007. It was about videogame addiction. It’s since Pod faded sadly. I don’t even know if I have the recording anymore but I had no idea what I was doing back then. But I did enjoy doing it. I’ve been listening to podcasts and I loved podcasting and I had fun buying my first equipment and I was doing the editing at garage band back garage band was actually good for podcasting. Those days were good. In 2013 I started my first Kickstarter campaign for a WordPress plugin that we were developing at the time called my book table. It’s a plugin that allows you to add a bookstore to your WordPress website if you’re an author. It’s very popular amongst authors in fact it’s still it’s tied for number one in the most popular bookstore plug in for authors and at the time we didn’t know if there was an audience for it. We’d been using a version of this plugin internally when we would build websites for authors. We used it to save ourselves time and we weren’t sure if there was a demand amongst authors generally for people who wanted to buy the plugin so we put it on Kickstarter. We had a goal of twenty five hundred dollars I believe and we ended up raising over twelve thousand dollars. So the answer to the question does the world want this plugin was a resounding yes.
[00:03:20] Yes the world wants this plugin. So we launched my book table and it’s still an active plugin and active development for the last five years have gone through quite a few changes and improvements have added a lot of features and is now very robust and fairly mature software in 2013 also started the Novel Marketing Podcast with James L. Robart still an active podcast in fact this was the podcast that led to me embracing this show. More on that in a bit. In 2014 I crowdfunded a course on crowdfunding on Indiegogo. So after I did my book table on Kickstarter in rapid succession I did a bunch of other crowdfunding campaigns both with myself and with others all of which success succeeded at 100 percent success rate on Kickstarter and people kept asking me for advice on crowdfunding. And so in the end part to get them to shut up. I basically took everything I knew and put that into a course in 2014 and that course I didn’t realize at the time but many people had tried crowdfunding courses on crowdfunding and they had all failed. So I was trying to do something that no one to that point had succeeded in doing. And with the help of Mary DeMuth my code teacher in the course we successfully funded crowdfunded a course on crowdfunding which was very meta. It was we have lots of Inception jokes it was lots of fun and we’ve gotten some great feedback from that course and it’s been fun getting.
[00:04:50] Occasionally somebody will send me a book that they crowdfunded on either on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. It was of course primarily for authors and in 2014 I joined Patreon on as a patron. So I’ve been a fan of Pomplamoose for years. Back when Jack Conte was just a musician. I remember being impressed with all of the different instruments he could play in his Pomplamoose songs and I loved their music. I would buy their songs on iTunes and so when they went on Patreon it was a no-brainer and I very impressed with Patreon as a platform. So I’m a kickstarter person originally. That’s my background. But when I looked at patron like I get it I see the appeal of getting a little bit of money every month rather than a huge lump sum of money only after you do this exhausting Kickstarter campaign. So part of the reason I backed Pomplamoose was because I was fans of them but to be honest have a bigger reason I backed them was because I just wanted to observe Patreon and wanted to watch how was you know growing as a platform how people were using it and I slowly started backing different campaigns and different creators on Patreon that kind of seeing what they were doing in 2015 I crowdfunded my first book I crowdfunded and other people’s books but I did my own book on dating and relationships.
[00:06:12] It was based off of a viral blog post that I wrote and I didn’t really want to write the book it kind of did. I was like “Okay world if you want this book make the money happen” and the readers of my blog made the money happen. So I spent most of 2015 writing the book that they wanted me to write and researching it and recovering from writing and it was lots of drama and great fun and they raised eleven thousand dollars to make the book possible. And it was another learning curve. You know learning how to crowdfund. And you know it’s a different world. Crowdfunding in 2015 was different from what it was in 2013. And it’s different than it is now. Kickstarter is maturing as a platform and backers are getting more sophisticated in 2016 2017 I guess hosted a radio show from time to time and in the summer of 2017 actually quit my job and did radio full time for a while which was a great experience I got to see how the traditional side of the industry worked and I also got to see that I’m much happier in indie digital world. Even in traditional terrestrial world so much happier behind a podcasting microphone than I am behind a radio microphone. But I do love radio and to love talk radio and in 2017 we kept podcasting on the Novel Marketing Show and I started thinking about funding the show Patreon.
[00:07:29] I talked with my cohost about it James Rhubart and I went to look for a podcast about Patreon on and I couldn’t find it. So there had been the Patreon podcast and it had faded. It only had one or two episodes that were downloadable and it hadn’t had any new episodes in years. And I was like there needs to be a podcast primarily for Patreon. I kind of you know early 2018 I was like somebody needs to make this. And so finally I was like maybe this should be me. In the meantime I launched the novel marketing Patreon campaign and we’re currently around 150 175 dollars a month on that. It’s a brand new campaign launched it this year without the help of a podcast about Patreon. So this in a sense this show is what I wish I’d had when I launched our first Patreon campaign for a novel marketing. So I realized that all of the marketing pages nothing spectacular. It’s a very niche podcast it’s a marketing podcast for authors and primarily for fiction authors. My hope is that this show will just appeal to authors but also to you tubers and podcasters. And my goal is not just to focus on Patreon but also Kickstarter and also sponsorships and also other ways of bringing in revenue. If you have a creative way of funding your art. Shoot me an email or reach out to me and CreativeFunding.show. We just might have you on the show to talk about how you are funding your art and that’s where we are now.
[00:08:58] I am launching this podcast. I don’t know if it will take off I don’t know if you will like it and I don’t know what you’re looking for. This is a brand new project for me and I haven’t launched a brand new project like this in a very long time so I’m looking forward to it. I’m having fun making these episodes. I am hoping that this show will be a blessing to you and help to you as you fund your art. I really do hope that together we can end up starving artists or at least reduce how much artists starve and keep them from feeling like they have to sell out in order to make a living. Now to be perfectly transparent while I’ve been buzzing around the community for a long time I am not right now an expert it patriotic. I’ve been a patriot on page owner for two months a little over two months with the novel marketing show. I’ve been a patron for years but I’ve just been starting out as a creator on patrons so I’m going to be learning along with you and I’m asking questions. I’m asking questions and trying to have that beginner’s mind. And yes I’ve been crowdfunding for a long time but patron is a different animal and I’m learning that I’m going to be learning alongside of you in terms of show format.
[00:10:12] The goal is to shoot for between 20 and 30 minutes per show I want this to be the kind of show you can listen to while you’re working out at the gym or driving to work. And if you know someone using your honor Kickstarter. I really need help here at the beginning getting guests the longer the show goes and the more famous it becomes the easier. Guests can be defined in the early days. This is where you come in to be particularly helpful and I plan to interview both creators like you and industry professionals. So people who work at Patreon on our YouTube graph Triano really any tool that makes creating easier makes raising money easier. I’d love to talk to those industry professionals but I don’t want to just talk to them. I want to hear stories from creators and from stories from all kinds of creators so I don’t just want to talk to veterans who are making you know 10000 dollars a month I also want to talk to people who are just getting started and are making fifty dollars a month. You know they just got their first 20 backers and hearing their story. Hearing what they’re going through what their challenges are in the goal is to be encouraging would encourage you show you just how easy it is to start increasing your revenue on platforms like Pierron and Kickstarter and other ways of making money. So don’t think that this is just the patriae on show it’s going to be primarily the patrons show but it’s not going to only be about patriarchy.
[00:11:34] There are other shows about Kickstarter and they are good. So I feel like there’s less need for me to talk about Kickstarter as Kickstarter rolls out its drip platform which is their direct competitor to Petrine we’ll be talking about that specifically. But right now there’s no one in the podcast potest fear that I can find he’s talking about patrons that’s going to be our primary emphasis at least in these early days. But the show’s going to evolve based off of your feedback and to kick things off a plane to do some introductory solo episodes. As I find guests I’ll be filling the backlog with shows that are just me but I plan to put into practice what I’m learning on the show. So in general you don’t necessarily want to launch a patriae on campaign right at the beginning of a new project when you have no audience. You need the crowd before you can fund. But I’m going to break that rule and launch this podcast along with a patriotic campaign partly so that those of you who are with me from the beginning can watch the process. So the early days were not going to have a lot but as we talked to people and as I learn I’ll be putting that advice directly into a patron campaign that will be like our testbed our guinea pig. And I think that’ll be fun.
[00:12:46] I think it also helped fund this show. I think it’s important for the creative funding show to be funded itself. So we’ll talk more about that patriae on page in a future episode. I’m actually thinking about doing the show and creating the page and recording myself as I do adding giving my thoughts and feedback as I create a patron page from scratch. So listen for that in a future episode and just finally we’re going to be on social media. The page has a Facebook page and a Twitter page that will have those links in the show notes who you just scroll down you can find a link in the show notes or to the side. My goal is to have any link that we mention on this show. You don’t have to remember how to spell it. The link will be in the show notes which if you’re listening on an app on your phone you can just press with your finger and if you’re listening on the website you can just click the link so I’m hoping to make life easier for you in that way. And one final way that you can help. This show is asking questions on creative funding dot show and leaving a review on iTunes. I can’t tell you how helpful that is in the early days of a podcast if you have any hope of getting to new and noteworthy. You need reviews if you’re willing to leave a review can be positive it can be negative.
[00:13:59] Feel free to give me feedback through the reviews on iTunes. And yeah. Thank you so much for listening.
[00:14:05] I really appreciate what you do to make the world a better place with art that to connect with me go to create a funny show. Doc thanks for listening.