Pecha Kucha speech

(December 4, 2019)

Last week, I spoke at Pecha Kucha about self-publishing. I used my blog, Life’s a Batch, as a case study.

Pecha Kucha is a super fast-paced speaking event. You get 20 seconds per slide and 20 slides. So 400 seconds.

Here is a transcription with the accompanying slides:

This is me picturing you naked.

So, I’m Jayden. And two and a half years ago, I decided I would try and make a living as a writer.

I started my copywriting business, Brew Copy, which is going well, thank you for asking.

But I wanted to push my creative writing, too.

So, in March this year, I did what any rational person would do.

I started a blog about annoying customers I’ve accounted during my life as a barista.  

Now I’m about to release my first book with a community of followers who’ve promised me they will buy it.

Right, mum? (My mum was in the audience).

Tonight, I wanted to share with you some of the principals I’ve used to do it.

And the best thing about them is, they’re not exclusive to publishing, but to anyone who wants to make a living out of creating something.

The first thing I realised was this:

You’ve been lied to.

You don’t have to become famous to make a living as a creator.

You don’t have to wait to be picked by publisher or label or mentor.

All you need is 1000 true fans.

There’s a difference between a fan and a true fan, though.

A true fan is someone who buys everything you make.

They will subscribe to all your channels, travel out of their way to come see your show. Buy all your editions.

They are dedicated to your purpose and message.

If you have 1000 true fans and found a way to make $100 worth of goods every year. That’s $100,000. That’s a living.

(Struggling artists have 3 legs by the way.)

The number isn’t important though. It’s about understanding magnitude. You don’t need a million followers.

You probably want more than 1 though.

Why is this a new concept?

Because now for the first time in history, we can connect with our fans around the world directly.

Singer Amanda Palmer discovered this when she got dropped by her record label for selling only $20,000 copies of her album. Which isn’t enough apparently for an international record label to meet the bottom line.

But she knew that her success didn’t rely on having a label that gave her extra reach and distribution.

Reach and distribution mattered 30 years ago when the only way to broadcast a product or idea to people beyond your community was through traditional advertising. 

But most of that has gone out the window today as any Joe blow and his computer can reach 4 billion people with 1 click.

You already have reach and distribution

What you need is people who want to listen. You need 1000 true fans.

Amanda knew this. That’s why she asked the 20,000 people who bought her last album (her true fans) to help her fund her next album. She did it through a Kickstarter campaign and raised over 1 million in 4 weeks.

Because you only have to amass 1000 true fans, you can relax a little. Now you don’t have to appeal to everyone. And you shouldn’t anyway.

Appealing to the masses is about cat videos and butt photos on  Instagram.

True fans are about quality, not quantity.

That’s why you need to obsess over a niche group of intelligent people who are unserved in the market.

Create something remarkable just for them.

That means asking yourself before you create something, Who is this for?

This isn’t about studying demographics. This is about studying psychographics.

Humans organize themselves into tribes based on beliefs and values. Not hair colour.

Once you clarified that, go find them and create something they already yearn for.

People always worry about niching down too much.

There’s a place in Tokyo where you pay for a plate and smash it on the ground. If they can find enough people to create a thriving business, we can, too, with our idea.

Once you find them, now you have to gain their attention and trust.

Developing trust with your audience is like any relationship.

Interrupting them with advertisements is like asking your date to stay the night in the first 5 minutes.

Attention is a privilege.

Be patient and committed.

Create consistent, direct, and relevant messages that add value to the lives of your audience.

When I first started, I dedicated myself to writing an 800-word essay, 4 cartoons every week and a newsletter every month. That was after work hours.

I didn’t break the internet. But post by post, drip by drip, I gained fans.

Not easy. But worth it. Because this is the great opportunity of our time.

We don’t have to wait to be picked. And we don’t have to become famous. We can bypass the publishers, the record labels, the mass media (the cultural gatekeepers) and, instead, connect directly with our 1000 true fans. We can create work we love for people who care.

If you’re interested in copywriting and marketing, you can find me at:

If you’re interested in hearing about a 4-year-old who once pissed all over a cafe’s toy box, you can find me at:



These are ideas and principals adopted by Kevin Kelly, Seth Godin, Bernadette Jiwa. They’re very smart people. If you don’t already, I suggest you follow them.

Brew Copy, a storytelling studio that helps you build your brand—with words. Contact me at Stay in touch on Instagram. Or on Linkedin.