Turning internet strangers into "true fans" ain't easy.
In fact, most marketing advice (especially the sketchy direct response or "growth hacking" stuff) actively damages your connection with fans. It prioritizes short term gains over long-term relationships.
True fan creation requires a different approach than simply picking up the latest marketing hack of the month. It requires a deeper strategy, rooted in intentionally connecting with people, and delighting the crap out of them.
What follows is a menu of tools you can use to do exactly that. Like any menu, you get to choose your own path. Take the ideas you like, and combine them in creative ways. Tailor them to your own values and sensibilities.
There's no right answer here. As long as your focus is on serving and delighting people, no individual tactic will make or break you. Keep trying things, and keep running generous little experiments.
And soon enough, 1,000 True Fans will no longer be a nice sounding theory, but your day-to-day reality.
Let's dig in.
- It's all about emotion
- The raw ingredients for true fan creation
- Yes, you need a niche
- Positioning for creators
- Consistent generosity
- Make a worthwhile promise, then keep it
- Build an ecosystem of delight
- Audit your own fandoms
- Follow the golden rule
- Tell stories worth revisiting
- Stand against something
- Stand for something
- Invite them into a bigger story
- Do things that don't scale
- Give them a name
- Build a branded persona
- The one-sentence persuasion course
- Build an audience map
- Magic mirror
- Don't build an audience. Make friends.
- Define your ideal fan
- Audit your flame-outs
- Make them the hero
- Give a damn about your people
- Play the long game
- Measure what matters
- Bring them together
- Subvert shitty norms
- Create inside jokes
- Tiny mirrors
- Show them where the money goes
- Create proprietary ideas