Saturday, November 17, 2007

Home-Based Business - Fan Club Management

  • Start-up cost: Minimal, if artist pays for expenses; RM3,000-RM5,000 if you’re totally self-sufficient
  • Potential earnings: RM10,000-RM30,000
  • Typical fees: RM10-RM25 each for memberships; you can also derive a percentage from merchandising products
  • Advertising: Direct mail and word of mouth
  • Qualifications: Good knowledge of the entertainment industry
  • Equipment needed: Computer, printer, fax/modem, copier, database/label and desktop publishing software, phone system with voice mail capabilities
  • Staff required: Not initially
  • Handicapped opportunity: Possibly
  • Hidden costs: Postage and printing costs
  • Lowdown: When a celebrity becomes a celebrity, the last thing they want to do is sit around answering fan mail. Still, many celebrities do realize that their fans are who put them where they are, and they don’t necessarily want to ignore them. That’s why it makes sense for popular artists to hire fan club managers to keep in touch with their many admirers: they recognize the importance of staying where they are by staying in touch with those whose opinions ultimately matter the most. If you have the right credentials (such as having been a professional writer or prior experience in radio or television), then you might be able to convince a celebrity to let you take charge of his or her mail. In addition to opening and answering huge bags of mail, you’ll offer services such as quarterly or semiannual newsletter and merchandising (offering promotional products like T-shirts, posters, and autographed photos for sale and taking a small percentage for yourself). Like the celebrity, if you’re in the right place at the right time, this could be the right opportunity for you.
  • Start-Up: You won’t need very much at all to get started if you can convince a celebrity to foot the bill for his or her fan club; some celebrities actually do see the worth of paying someone else to handle the mail and requests for signed photos. However, most fan clubs operate on their own (with or without celebrity endorsement, but obviously it’s easier with), leaving you with a start-up cost of RM3,000-RM5,000 if you operate on a shoestring. You could sell memberships for RM10-RM25 each, and offer incentives for joining (such as a free T-shirt or baseball cap). At any rate, you’ll be producing newsletters (at RM500-RM1,000 each) a few times per year, so you’ll need to be sure you’ve sold enough memberships to cover printing and postage rates. If all goes well, you could make RM10,000-RM30,000 per year doing something enjoyable and high-profile; not enough to make you rich, but certainly enough to make you smile.
  • Bottom-Line Advice: This seems on the surface to be a glamorous job, and it is—until you get barraged with unreasonable requests, tight deadlines on newsletters, and ego-maniacal celebrities who think treating "underlings" accordingly is the path to greater success. It might help if you continually remind the celebrity just how much more money the fan club is ultimately making them in boosting record or ticket sales.

1 comment:

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