Yes – you can build a business that connects to the fictitious worlds and characters you love. Self-professed geek Carol Pinchefsky unveils the layers involved in starting a business that rests on your fandom or sci-fi passion. She details handling intellectual property issues and getting a foothold into fan conventions. Although she’s lighthearted in her approach, Pinchefsky’s content is serious, and it’s relevant to anyone dealing with established commercial characters or entities. Learn when to subdue your inner geek and when to let it shine as you monetize your fan passion.
If you are a geek at heart, embrace your passion with a creative fandom business.
If you are a true fan geek, you may want to harness your passion and create your own business, whether as a part-time gig or a full-time career. Unlike many new business owners, you’ll start with the competitive advantage of understanding what your potential customers like before you become a “geektrepreneur.”
Creating a company, especially one that you based on a superhero, character or a make-believe world that someone else created, takes “Jedi-like discipline.” You must work through issues of funding, intellectual property (IP) rights and marketing.
If you are a fan of an obscure horror genre, for example, you might not find many customers for such a small niche. But that’s why you carry out thorough research and build mock-ups. Before you spend money on inventory, you’ll want to create samples, post photographs on social media, and ask your friends and fellow fans if your samples appeal to them.
Before you create, say, superhero T-shirts, research whether that hero’s image is another company’s intellectual property.
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