The leap from doing what you love to making money doing what you love can be a big one. It can take time. Courage. And sometimes you'll wonder if it'll even happen at all.
I spoke with 5 different entrepreneurs in the geek space to learn exactly how they crossed the bridge from hobby to business, and got their biggest pieces of advice for people hoping to do so themselves.
Featured in this video:
+ The Pim D&D Viking - TTRPG Writer, Editor and Podcaster - 0:51
+ Kat & Tat - Co-Owners of All Ages of Geek - 2:02
+ Logan South - Actor and Fangsmith - 5:30
+ Tabi - Owner of Geekful Creations and Freelance Writer - 8:44
+ Sol (Sole's Roles) - TTRPG Creator, Game Dev, Streamer, and Health & Wellness Coach - 10:59
Don't forget to check out the blog, www.geekswhogetpaid.com for more stories and advice for making money with your hobby.
If you liked this and want to support future episodes, consider checking out our Patreon for extra awesome Patron benefits! https://www.patreon.com/geekswhogetpaid
Greetings geekpreneurs. It's Ami from GeeksWhoGetPaid.com. I'm here with a mini-sode today with not one, but five different guests. And the theme of today's mini-sode is How I Made my First Dollar. Now, you know, we all start off our endeavors hoping to make money even a living, but it all takes that first little baby step, that first dollar in your bank account to get things rolling and get things growing. So we're going to hear from these five people on how exactly that happened for them, and we'll get to see where they are now. So let's dive right in. Ah, Skål bróðir, I'm The Pim, D&D Viking. I am a Dutch writer, editor, and podcaster in the tabletop community. For some years, I was part of several Discord and Facebook role-playing groups. There, I got inspiration for my D&D games and in return. I helped others with their homebrew by offering advice or writing. I kept in contact with these groups and kept on writing in the hopes that I could one day work professionally in the tabletop community. Then, I got such a chance. When I saw a post for a one-page adventure from Crosshead Studios, I offered to proofread it and help with the writing. We had some back-and-forth discussions and I did some tryouts with writing short encounters. This was the start of a collaboration on several projects, which eventually led to me writing, editing, and publishing adventures and other content on Roll 20. This was for both Big Bad Evil brands, and Crosshead Studios. And that is how I made my first dollar making roleplaying products. And you can too. If you want to be a writer, read, write, and design to your heart's content. Get in touch with the tabletop community, see what projects are out there and whether you can offer your help. And before you know it, you two will have made your first dollar by doing what you love. Hello! I'm Kat. I'm Tat. And we are All Ages of Geek! So, All Ages of Geek is a multimedia website and company that hosts all forms of geek culture content in terms of anime reactions, gaming, podcasts, articles, and more. We are an LLC. And we have been an LLC for about, I'd say two years now, but prior to being an LLC, we were literally just a YouTube channel doing video games and not knowing what the hell we were doing. So I remember I opened a Patreon and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. What was Patreon back then? Back then, it was a lot different, so shout out to Patreon for being amazing. It was such a weird experience for me because I had no idea what I was doing. I was so unorganized and this was when I was just doing it solo. And then from there, I'm like, this feels wrong. I want to build a team. Cause it kind of in a way start working and then Tat got onboard and a few people like our amazing manager FroYo got on board. And honestly, since then, we've expanded from just a channel doing Let's Plays to a full on LLC company that also provides all forms of like, even like fiber services. For anyone wanting to get into this realm of geekery that you can actually make money off of, is, you know, I'm not going to say like, oh, do what you love and then shine. It's not going to be like that. It's going to be more. Be more logical about it. You know, you don't, you want to be logical about your goals. You don't want to say like, I'm going to do like five games at once and then we'll do all the trends.. We used to do that. And trust me, burnout is a thing had eight burnouts in one year. It was not fun. And the thing is that most logical thing I can give you is do the trends at first. You know, there's going to be a lot of things you don't want to do. You know, even with us, we're still kind of growing. And we learned the hard way is that you want to do like some of the trends, but you, the trends that kind of like fit with you. Quality over quantity. You don't want to upload a hundred videos and just be like, what the hell am I freaking doing? Because, and then no, one's watching it. No, you want to have quality content and make it about your personality, because if you're absolutely doing nothing on your reaction, you're sitting there and you're just kind of making noises and you're like, whatever. No one's going to want to watch that if you're just like having no commentary for it, that's my advice. You want to be yourself, but you also want to have your own energy and also don't mask somebody else. Don't try to be another YouTuber because it does show. And my, my two pieces of advice, are: Do research.. So, if you want to be a reactor, if you want to be a writer or anything like that, do your research first. So there's a lot that goes into everything that you can do in this space. Like podcasting, all that stuff. You need to know what you're doing before you can actually do it. So don't think that if you're going to sit in front of a camera and like talk to the camera and then you realize, oh my God, I didn't even turn my camera on. If you had the research before you would have known that.And the second thing is:
Edit. Yeah, that can go to edit anything, podcast, writing, video, anything, edit your stuff before you post it, because you might do something in the reaction or in the podcast or your articles that you're writing that you don't agree with. And then you have to go back and edit it later. So make sure you edit the content you want to make it like presentable, like, a TV show or like, you know, a professional podcast or a book, anything like that, all that stuff is edited. So you also want to edit your content before you release it to the public. Yeah. And you can actually find us on several different platforms. You find us on our website allagesofgeek.com. You can support us on patreon.com/allagesofgeek.. On YouTube, you can find us at All Ages of Geek, and you can find us on all different types of social media, like Twitter, Instagram, and so on. Except for TikTok, that's AllAgesofGeekTV. Well, there you go. We hope you guys have an amazing day. Stay weird, stay wonderful, stay awesome. Embrace your inner fan girl, and your inner fan boy, and you inner fan person, every single day. Bye! Hi, my name is Logan south. I am a actor, voice actor, and professional fangsmith. I am a nerd. I am a-- big nerd. I'm a huge comic book fan, superhero fan, always have been. I probably started cosplaying when I was, maybe about 13 years old, made myself my very first Spider-Man costume by hand. Hand-stitched, even included the raised webbing with puff paint and all sorts of stuff. I did all sorts of other characters, around the same time, Superman, more Spider-Man, the Crow, anything that I could piss my parents off by running around on the roof with. So, I am fortunate enough to be making money off of the industry that I love and all of those nerd hobbies and activities that I've had for years. As far as making my first dollar off of it, it's gotta be somewhere between play work and, actually acting as a, Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator. So, I worked as both Brad Majors and, Frank N. Furter in a live production of the Rocky Horror Show. And got paid for that, believe it or not. And in addition to that, I worked as, a Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator for a long time, and later an Elvis impersonator, even did some shows in Vegas. Now I am happy to say that I am an actor and voice actor, appearing in film, TV, and video games. And I also have a craft of fangsmithing, which is creating dental prosthetics, fangs, teeth, for vampires, werewolves, movie characters, superhero characters, mutants, villains, all sorts of things. So, I've been doing that now for about 10 years, and, have made, you know, some pretty decent money off of that as well. It's been a real joy to be able to support myself through the passions that I've always had. And especially as someone who grew up when, you know, being a nerd, wasn't so cool before we took over the whole Hollywood film industry and everything. I, you know, I had a lot of people, you know, the relatives included that told me I was never going to get anywhere with, you know, that kind of thing. And I did so it's, I don't know, it's, it, it, it makes me happy. It makes me happy that they were wrong. It makes me happy that I get to do what I want to do and enjoy my life the way that I want to enjoy it. So that's a little bit about me. I hope you've enjoyed and, be nerdy and proud. Hi, my name is Tabi. I am the owner of Geekful Creations, a crochet business, and also a journalist and creative freelance writer. It's hard to think about specifically what was my first sale because I've had so many different initiatives over the years. But as far as crochet goes, my first sale came when I wasn't even sure I was going to make it a business yet. I had been posting things to Instagram t hat I was doing and someone reached out and asked if they could buy it. And the rest is history. For someone who's starting out hard to come up with specifically one piece of advice. But I would say use social media to your advantage. Connect with other people who are doing the things that you're doing, share your work out on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, samples of your work, so people can see it, and research what other people are doing price-wise. You're never, probably going to end up with exactly what other people are doing for your prices, but it gives you a good place to ballpark when you're starting, which leads into my second piece of advice, which is don't undervalue yourself. Don't undersell your work. We all put our hearts and souls into everything that we're doing. And depending on what it is, there's material costs to take into consideration. There's the time spent in it. In most cases, when you start to undersell yourself, you're likely going to end up finding yourself, dealing with more complicated customers who have higher demands and burning out because you feel like you're not getting anywhere. Most of us running small businesses. We know we're not really gonna make it on those businesses. And by making, I mean, w you know, it's never going to be for most of us, a solid income for all of us. So you don't want to lose that passion by underselling and undercharging and putting yourself in debt, for something that is a supplementary income, your work has value your, what you're doing has value. So I guess those would be my biggest two pieces of advice. Don't, don't undersell yourself and use the tools that are there to help you promote yourself. And don't be afraid to connect with other creators to see what they're doing. Hello. My name is Sol. I go by Sol's Roles online. I am a TTRPG content creator, independent game dev, Twitch streamer, and health and wellness coach. I got started in this industry because I burned out of my career in public health education. I was doing coaching for individuals over the last two years of the pandemic. And I hit my limit. When I hit my limit. I looked to other things to do. At the time, Spencer Campbell from Gila RPGs was running a LUMEN jam. I decided, why not? Let's go ahead and give it a shot. I've been playing and running games for 30 years. I might as well try making something for once. I joined the jam and I was successful. I created Black Hole Era and that's where I got my first sale. I got chills. I still get chills for every sale. It's, it's really, really exciting. For anyone else out there that starting out, just know that you have to persist and you're going to spend a lot of time on marketing. You're going to spend a lot of time on trying things that don't work very well. You might not get your first sale for a while. I got very lucky. I'm very aware of that, but if you keep putting the hours in, if you keep putting the effort in, you will find success, you will have that sale and you can't-- You can't know how that feels until you get that first sale and you get that validation. It's really incredible. And I'm really excited that more people are sharing this journey. Thank you. And that's it! Thank you to all five of our guests today for collaborating with me to get all of those videos together. I learned a lot. I hope you did too. And if you want more where this came from, you can visit the blog at geekswhogetpaid.com or like, and subscribe wherever you found us. I appreciate any and all feedback. And if you feel so inclined to support what we're doing here, you can also find us on Patreon where we have lots of great benefits starting at just $3 a month. So I look forward to seeing you in the next one until then. Bye