“Suddenly Steady has become my main source of income”
Juliane Fritz from the podcast Bin weg Bouldern (in English: Gone Bouldering) talks about how memberships have helped her achieve a sustainable income, despite her niche topic.
Guest article by Juliane Fritz.
Juliane Fritz is a freelancer and has dealt with a loss of income due to the Corona crisis.
When I started using Steady for my podcast more than a year ago, I hadn’t dared to say it out loud yet: If you make good content that means something to plenty of people, then there will be people who are happy to pay for that content.
When I told friends and acquaintances about Steady, it probably sounded more like, “well, I’m just trying it out. I know that hardly anyone pays for things that are freely available on the internet. But maybe it could help a little…” I didn’t want to sound like I was getting my hopes up.
So today I would like to say to all media makers (with more self-confidence): Don’t make yourself small! Your work is worth something! Dare to try crowdfunding or a membership program.
Sustainable funding, even without a broad reach
I run a podcast called Bin weg Bouldern. As a trained radio editor and presenter, I have high production standards and put a lot of time and money into it.
But bouldering is a niche sport. I will never reach a particularly large audience with my podcast. And that’s not what I’m interested in. I love my sport and I am a passionate media maker. To bring both passions together and start my own outlet is just a dream!
But how are you going to fund this dream? Even media companies that are much bigger than my podcast have problems financing their work. So how am I supposed to do that?
At first, I thought about sponsorships and wanted to run Steady on the side to test it out. But sponsorships soon proved to be unrealistic. Many companies in the climbing industry work with material sponsorships, offering merchandise rather than funds. Of course, this has its benefits, only it doesn’t help me to fund my work.
So from time to time I work together with companies in the bouldering business, for smaller promotions or competitions for my listeners. Because it does make sense for me to give small, sustainable companies within the scene a platform.
Apart from that I have focused on consistently producing good content. My audience grew and grew and among my listeners there were always people who said, “I’d love to support you with a membership on Steady.” I’ve been using Steady for over a year now and have more than 180 members.
Through memberships, Juliane Fritz manages to sustainably finance her podcast even without a large reach.
Asking for support doesn’t have to be uncomfortable
At the beginning of almost every podcast episode, I say, “this podcast is largely funded by its listeners. I would be happy to welcome you as a supporter as well. Thanks to all of you who support Bin weg Bouldern in your own way.”
It still feels weird to ask for support. I can’t deny that. But what encourages me are the emails from new members. I get such loving, appreciative feedback on my work. Again and again I read statements like these:
“I really love your podcast and I’m glad I have the opportunity to support you.”
“First of all I wanted to tell you how cool I think your podcast and your commitment to it is. So it’s only logical that I support you, for completely selfish reasons ;-)”
“I’m glad to be able to help you with your wonderful project.”
“Thank you for the great podcast! I hope you get many more members.”
“I think it’s great not only to be able to enjoy your great work, but be able to give something small back in return! Keep up the good work.”
I’m quoting these answers to show that you don’t have to be uncomfortable asking for support. We are doing a job that is important to many people. Not everyone is going to support you financially. But some people are happy to do so and they are very grateful!
“There is nothing better for freelance media makers than a lot of people from their audience saying, ‘I want to support you!"
Many small contributions can have a huge impact
I would also like to use this blog post to say thank you. Thanks to all those who support their favourite platform with crowdfunding or a membership! There is nothing better for freelancers than a lot of people from their audience saying, “I want to support you!” These many small contributions can make such an incredible difference and help us to work independently.
Like so many freelancers, I’ve lost a lot of my income due to the Corona crisis. I wouldn’t have believed it at the beginning of the year, but suddenly Steady has become my main source of income.
I’m glad that I dared to take the step to sign up with Steady over a year ago. I would recommend it to all freelance media makers. As the saying goes: You have nothing to lose! Give it a try.
On Steady anyone can become a member of Bin weg Bouldern to support Juliane Fritz’s podcast: