Who Are Your 1,000 True Fans?

 It would be nice if you were a blockbuster, wouldn't it?

If you were Avatar.

Or Martha Stewart.

The_long_tailOr The Simpsons.

But that probably isn't going to happen.

Which means that you are probably further down the famous "Long Tail". There's the blockbusters there on the left, and then you're one of the gazillions fighting for attention in the tail that trails off to the right.

So how do you survive down there?

Kevin Kelly says you just need 1,000 True Fans.

"A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson,
performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author – in other words,
anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to
make a living.

"A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and
everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They
will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even
though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for
your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions
show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies.
They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can't wait till you
issue your next work. They are true fans. "

Now, he's talking about artists here. But the same principle applies to any business. It applies to real estate (1,000 true fans in your neighborhood), insurance (1,000 true fans in your city)…

Tim Ferris calls Kevin's article the only marketing article you'll ever need to read.

How to Get 1,000 True Fans

So, let's make it a goal of having 1,000 True Fans on your mailing list.

Not 1,000 "people you met one day and signed up" but 1,000 people who really want to hear from you and do business with you.

Here's how I'm tackling it:

  • Upping the frequency of my newsletters so that my true fans will get more of me. Those who are not my true fans might unsubscribe, but that's OK.
  • Re-starting my print newsletter, so I can communicate with my true fans in a different way.
  • Providing higher-value services that will appeal to my true fans.
  • Adding more content in my newsletters that will have a wider appeal.
  • Being more personal and provocative in my content.
  • Figuring out the demographics and personalities of my 1,000 true fans.
  • Focusing on the needs of my 1,000 true fans. They're the ones who understand the power of building long-term customer relationships using newsletters, by providing them with the best customer service and tailored products.
  • Not worrying about people who will never be my true fans (like the people who sign up and then never send a newsletter out, and then cancel and move onto the next bright, shiny object.)

How I can help

I think I can help you do this too. That's why I launched my Gold Service, which promises to make you famous in your market. You can read about that here.

How do you plan to build a following of 1,000 true fans?