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Does your business have true fans?

True fans is a term I learned from Kevin Kelly , who uses this model to describe people who not only follow you, but also buy from you. For many, this is the missing link in social media- where they have a lot of friends, fans, or followers, but haven’t quite yet figured out how to turn all those “likes” into dollars.

The true fan model is valuable not just because it highlights the idea that we have to utilize our visibility for profitability, but, also, because it emphasizes the idea that it takes fewer people than you think to make the money you want to make. In Kevin’s example, he talks about a mythical music band, and shares that if this music band activated 1000 fans, each of whom spent $100 per year with the band (such as in buying music, attending concerts, purchasing t-shirts), the band would quite easily and steadily be making $100,000 per year.

Although Kevin’s example focuses on music bands, I think this model works well for small business owners, too. You see, for small business owners, too, if we focused on generating 1000 fans, and could repeatedly encourage them to spend $100 with us per year, we, too, would be making $100,000 per year.

It takes fewer people than you think to make the money you want to make.

This is a surprise to many business owners, and also a relief. The thing is, most people are too focused on building large platforms that have no profitability. They launch large events, multi-speaker summits, and so on, without a strong understanding of how they will make money from these efforts. They spend hours and hours and lots of energy working really hard to make money that never comes. Visibility, by itself, does not automatically lead to profitability.

The other reason I like this model so well is that it is easy to understand and comprehend. Most people can easily think of meeting 2,000, 3,000 people over the course of their business, and the procedure of building your first fan is the same as building your 10,000th fan- it’s all based in relationships. (I wrote in depth about this in my book)

The answer, I think, relies in starting smaller, and in being consistent. If you focus on building your true fans, one by one- and remember, a true fan is someone who likes you AND buys from you- if you focus on building your true fans, slowly, surely, and steadily, you will be able to create a more profitable business with less effort.

So how do you create true fans? I’ll share three strategies with you here, and then will close out with an invitation to come and learn more about this topic- and lead generation in general- a bit later this month.

Strategy #1: Listen Deeply

Your future “true fans” want to be heard. If you listen, they will tell you what they need. Never miss an opportunity to connect more deeply with those you want to work with.

Strategy #2: Give First

Can you offer help or assistance to someone today? Whether it be an encouraging word, a time-saving tip, or some advice- never miss an opportunity to help someone if you can.

Strategy #3: Be Consistent.

Deliver on your promises and do what you say you will. People like people who are consistent.

There are several more strategies you can use to build your true fans. Perhaps I’ll get a chance to share them with you in another post!