What could you do with 1,000 raving fans? Change the world? Maybe.
Most people try so hard to appeal to everybody that they fail to make an impact on anybody.
It doesn’t matter what product or service you offer, if you write promotional copy to appeal to the masses your prose will likely take on a bland, generalist tone that doesn’t connect with the people who would most likely be your most loyal followers, supporters, clients and fans. Instead, be more personal and take time to identify and connect well with the people who will be your biggest cheerleaders, your most raving fans.
Thanks to the internet almost anyone in the world is just one click away from connecting with you. But how do you find these people, or how do they find you?
Back in 2008, Kevin Kelly introduced us to the concept of having a successful business not based on reaching the masses but rather cultivating 1,000 true fans. This link will take you to an updated summary of that thesis.
In the article Kelly gives you the numbers and his reasoning behind the numbers. It’s clear that you can earn a decent living selling your product or service to just 1,000 raving fans. However, I want to point out what I think is the most compelling and important reason to identify and cater to your most raving fans—it’s the fact that they rave!
Everyone knows that word-of-mouth advertising is the most powerful, compelling and cost-effective form of advertising that exists. Think about this, if you go see some unadvertised indie flick and it really moved you. What do you do? You tell all your friends, “You’ve got to go see this flick.” Assuming other movie goers agree with you, chances are that low-budget movie will make more money for its backers than the blockbuster that costs hundreds of millions to make where the movie’s producers invested millions in slick trailers and advertising telling everybody that this is going to be the hit of the summer you have to go see. If movie-goers to the blockbuster determined that it didn’t live up to its hype their word-of-mouth “Don’t bother” will kill the movie’s success track just as the positive buzz from your indie film contributed to it being a surprise success.
Yes, a thousand raving fans will attend your events and buy your products. But equally if not more important, they will become your cheerleaders encouraging others to connect with you. Referrals are the backbone of most successful small businesses and ministries. That’s certainly been true for HigherLife. So in your desire to grow and reach more people who perhaps don’t know you or love you all that much, make a point to pay attention to, really get to know, listen to understand and identify the people who are most passionate about what you do, the people who love you and have been personally blessed or benefited most by what you do. Don’t get so focused on reaching others that you fail to truly honor, celebrate and serve those raving fans who love you most. So what can you do to find those raving fans? Step back and evaluate who are the people who are most satisfied with your product or service. Which ones wrote you the most glowing endorsements or sent you an unsolicited referral? It’s important that you be able to identify your “raving fans” from the ordinary satisfied customers. Once you have a handle on the common characteristics of your most loyal customers, you can then figure out where they hang out and how to go get more of them. Equally important, you can come up with customer appreciation strategies to make sure those raving fans know they are appreciated by you. There are probably several things you can do to stimulate them to be even more vocal in sharing their praise for your product or services. As you identify these things, will you share them with me? I’ve love to learn from you. Tell me how you identified your raving fans and what things you do to keep them raving. Perhaps your insights I can pull together and share in a future blog post.