'1,000 True Fans' by Kevin Kelly is one of my favourite marketing and business theories so I'm sharing an extract (I've edited it from here ) that may help get closer to developing your own 1,000 True Fans.
Here are the key points:
- There is no guarantee that 'growth' will make a difference to your business. You can have more people on your list, and no one actually buying. You can have more traffic, and only crickets in your comments section.
- There’s a big difference between growth that’s meaningful and growth that’s hollow.
- Rather than aiming for 100,000 subscribers or 500,000 views, perhaps you should be aiming for 1,000 'True Fans', defined as:
"People who buy everything you create. When you announce the launch of a product, creation, or offer, they are actively waiting for you to release it. They refresh the “coming soon” page. They comment on every post. They tell everyone they can about what you do."
- In order to gain True Fans you need to be highly RELEVANT. Your work isn’t merely useful (that’s a baseline requirement), they also identify with it. They feel like it’s their work because they it’s something they believe in or feel strongly pulled to.
- The other key is CONTEXT. As creators and artists, our battle is not to win the game of who can create the MOST stuff. Our challenge is to be at the top of the list of IMPORTANCE to our audience.
- True Fans are not created out of thin air. They require attention, and care, and to win them you must be memorable.
- What used to be amazing and unexpected is simply a requirement now. Free shipping used to blow people’s minds. Now people won’t buy something online without free shipping in most cases.
- If you want to gain true fans (life-long fans) you need to do something to be a 'pattern interrupt'. You have to care about more than giving people just value. You have to create a memorable experience.
Here are some way you can do that (warning: they all require work):
- Reward your True Fans with something memorable that relates to your message or product. Personalise it.
- Hold a contest with one winner, then surprise everyone by giving every entrant a prize.
- Spend a month giving revenue from every sale to a charity related to your message or cause.
- Most importantly, do something different. There’s very little competition at the leading edge because everyone is afraid to do something that hasn’t been proven to work.
The path of creating a tribe of 1,000 True Fans is more of a marathon than a sprint. Most people won’t do it because it’s laborious, time intensive and you don’t often see the results immediately.
The two questions I like to ask my clients are:
1. What will you do that no one else is willing to?
2. How can you deliver a remarkable experience for your audience?