Here is how I generate a great, 6 figure income and how you can do the same. No tricks. No growth hacks. No short cuts. Just a common sense business strategy.
Back in 2008, I was introduced to Kevin Kelly’s concept of 1000 true fans and quickly switched all of my marketing online. Kelly’s theory is beautifully simple and massively powerful. It suggests that if you sell a product, you can make a good living from having 1000 true fans; people who will buy everything you produce, travel across town to hear you and tell their friends about you.
More importantly to me and most small business owners reading this, if you are a service provider, this number is much, much lower than 1000. Closer to 100, in fact.
Fans are not followers
It’s easy to get a follower. It’s challenging to earn a fan. For example, you can randomly follow 10 people on Twitter and gain a follower, simply because 1 of the 10 people you follow, will feel social pressure to follow you back. To gain a new fan, you need to consistently practice your craft and figure out how to attract the attention of people who will fall in love with what you do.
Chasing the wrong numbers
The Internet is filled with struggling service providers, who have thousands of followers, yet very few true fans. They chase the wrong numbers. They do everything possible to increase the numbers that don’t matter and very little, to earn the numbers that do matter. This usually sees them spend too little time sharing their craft with people and too much time figuring out how to reach their next, low-value, social networking milestone.
These people love to use software, to automate the people they follow, the links they share and anything else that may attract others. Of course, they only attract followers, instead of Kelly’s true fans.
The trick to getting it right?
The trick is to stop looking for tricks. As Seth Godin has been telling us for years, if it can be automated it has little real value because anyone can do it. If you want to develop true fans rather than followers, you need to show them who you are and what you believe. Those who get it will love you and what you do. Those who don’t, won’t; which is perfect.
You see, unless you have people outside your circle, you can’t have people inside your circle and these insiders are your true fans.
The numbers approach gets this all wrong and treats everyone the same – just a number. The reality is that behind every tweet, blog comment and Facebook update is a person. A small, targeted minority of these people will have a need for what you do. These insiders are the true fans you need to connect with. It takes more time and work to attract these extremely valuable people, but the rewards are enormous.
For instance, in February, I wrote a post offering a single place on my marketing mentor program. In the following 24 hours, I had 92 people asking for information about that 1 place on my program. Based on my typical conversion rate, of inquirer to client, if I had enough places, I could have sold almost £100,000 worth of places. You can read about it here. Now, compare that approach to the emails I receive weekly, from business owners with more “followers” than me, who are slowly going broke. People with thousands or tens of thousands of followers, yet too few of Kelly’s true fans.
If you can connect with what I am saying here, it’s a game-changer.
How it works
Sadly, I can’t show you a quick, foolproof way to attract true fans. I would need to be working with you directly and know exactly what your ideal profile of client is, your industry, your services, your resources etc. I can, however, give you some general ideas. This is based on a few of the things I work on with clients, on my Marketing Mentor Program:
Start by reading these 2 posts: The first is about doing work that matters and the second, is about how to apply your craft. These will show you how to create the kind of impact, which true fans are searching for.
Stop chasing the wrong numbers: Instead of measuring your success in “likes” and followers, measure it in conversations. Measure it in emails from people, who love your work so much that they feel compelled to email you and say thanks. Measure it in telephone calls from people, who connect with your craft and want to hire you. But don’t measure it in followers. If that’s your thing, go and buy 100,000 followers and see how that works for your mortgage payments at the end of the month.
Spend more time creating and less time curating: Yes, it’s wonderful to share other people’s ideas with your social network, but people need to see your work too. I see people who share hundreds of words every day on social networks, yet their blogs have not been updated in weeks. True fans need to see YOUR ideas and connect with your experience, as well as connecting with you on social networks. They need to see value in your work.
Show them who you are, what you think and what you know. Then, share other people’s pearls of wisdom. If you simply ping out links and retweets, I can get that from an RSS feed. Remember, if it can be automated, anyone can do it and it has little meaningful value.
Don’t complain, then stay the same: If you like the idea of being able to write a single blog post, as I did in February, which generates an avalanche of income, change your current approach. Don’t keep rowing your boat harder and harder in the wrong direction, complaining you have not reached your destination yet. If you have hundreds or maybe thousands of followers and wonder why you get so few inquiries, you need to change your current approach. It’s screaming at you that you are missing the true fans, who are just waiting for you to engage, and educate them with your craft. These insiders will only be attracted to you and your work, when you stop chasing followers and connect with real people.
Most people will dismiss this concept, because it’s uncomfortable. It requires courage and conviction.
- It means an almost certain initial drop in your follower numbers, as you swap from the numbers game, to the business of people.
- It means having the courage to be the best YOU that you can be; rather than yet another number chasing, social media sheep.
- It means more than telling yourself and others that you are a people person, whilst using software to build your following or spit out links 24/7.
- It means being prepared to have outsiders, because that’s the only way you can attract insiders (or true fans.) That’s frightening. Too frightening for most to even consider.
But for those with the courage to stand up, get their work out there and connect with the people who “get it,” the rewards are life changing.