The 1000 true fans concept is nothing new. In fact, the idea is well over a decade old and became popular via a blog post written by Kevin Kelly of Wired Magazine.
He brought attention to the thought that just about anyone with a good product or service to sell can earn at least six figures a year simply by amassing a loyal group of 1000 fans who are each willing to spend an average of $100 each per year on those products or services.
Since its introduction, the 1000 true fans concept has gone on to dramatically change the way that many successful entrepreneurs approach setting their business goals and designing a plan of action to achieve them.
As Mr. Kelly stated, the concept can work for anyone. This includes self-published authors like you, who want to earn a substantial income from the sale of your books.
However, if you consider that the initial blog post about this concept was written ten years ago, you might be wondering if it still applies today. Taking a closer look at the fundamental tenets of 1000 true fans should make things clear about whether or not the concept has stood the test of time.
What is 1000 True Fans Really About?
When you think about the idea of 1000 true fans do you really understand what it means?
The heart of the 1000 true fans philosophy lies in the same place as the thought process behind building long lasting relationships with a core group of people who go on to become your tribe and the biggest non-paid ambassadors of your brand.
As a self-published author there’s no way you can compete with huge publishing houses that have billions of dollars to spend on marketing and promotion in an effort to launch, grow and maintain robust book sales.
The reality is that you don’t need a million customers to be successful. Instead, make your main goal to attract and keep an audience big enough to support your desire to create and share your work while earning an honest living at the same time.
If you want to see dramatic improvements in the quality of the audience you attract and the relationships you build with them, it is imperative that you put aside any thoughts you have of making money in the initial stages of your audience development plan. Instead, focus exclusively on providing exceptional value to your prospects and work on building the foundation of what will eventually turn out to be your tribe of 1000 true fans.
Why Is Having True Fans Important?
If you’re wondering why having “true fans” is even a requirement for building a sustainable business it helps to think about some of the many well-established and successful businesses in the world today.
Take for example whatever or whoever may happen to be your favorite grocery store, retail fashion chain, recording artist or actor.
You may often find a random person looking to buy a gallon of milk, find a great pair of jeans, download a song to their workout playlist or watch a movie on a date. However, if the businesses in question built their foundations on these occasional and one-off types of transactions, they wouldn’t be able to stay open for very long.
The truth is that the grocery store, retail fashion chain, recording artist and actor all rely on their core fan bases of loyal followers to make up the bulk of their business transactions and keep adding to their bottom line.
The same thing applies for you as a self-published author.
Your 1000 true fans will always be eager and willing to buy your latest book, support your future projects and they will always be ready to give you an endless stream of ideas and inspiration about what they’d like to see from you next.
Along with being eager to consume your current and future books, your true fans serve another very important purpose.
They literally become your brand ambassadors and play a significant role in helping to spread the word about you and your books so that you can continue to grow your audience and convert prospects into future customers.
How to Connect with Your True Fans
Once you fully grasp the concept and the power of having 1000 true fans, your next step is figuring out how to attract and connect with your very own group of staunch loyalists.
The good news is that while this part of the process takes a bit of time and effort to achieve, it is quite simple and has been done by many, so you can find blueprints to follow everywhere.
The main questions that you need to answer are:
- Who is my ideal fan?
- Where does he or she hang out on and offline?
- How do I get them to notice me?
- How do I get them to accept me as a thought leader?
If you can answer these questions and follow through with the actions that support your goals you are well on your way to amassing your group of 1000 true fans.
Stand Out in Your Niche – The key to attracting your core 1000 is to be extraordinary and different in your niche.
Every day your prospects are bombarded by hundreds, or thousands of blogs and other self-published authors sharing articles, posts and books about similar topics as yours. In a sea of me-too content, why would they take the time to focus on you, much less become an avid follower?
That’s where your individuality and creativity come in.
Even if a million people are talking about the same topic, the way each of them communicates will attract different personalities and resonate more with certain types of people.
One of your major goals in the quest to connect with your 1000 true fans is to find out what it is about you that can help you stand out in a crowd, connect with your target audience and leave them yearning for more.
Become a Leader to Your Tribe – Figuring out how to stand out in your niche will definitely get you noticed by members of your target audience, but what will make them stay and convert them into loyal fans for life?
Once you’ve gotten your audience’s attention the next step involves becoming indispensable to them. It’s not enough to simply provide them with quality content, entertainment and information.
To truly connect with your audience, you must strive to inspire them, encourage them and most of all, provide an example someone or something they want to become.
Remember that people are most attracted to individuals who leave a mark on their life for something far beyond the superficial product or service they offer.
Think of people like Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs and Steven Hawking.
Each one of them is world renowned for being one of the best in their respective fields, but the awe that their die-hard fans have for them goes far beyond the fact that they are a basketball player, a tech guru and a scientist.
So, is the 1000 true fans concept still relevant for self-publishers looking to establish and grow a loyal audience?
It is and will continue to be as long as consumers put more value on close relationships built between themselves and the suppliers of their goods and services.
By putting your prospects first and going above and beyond to serve and overdeliver value, you will quickly and easily attract your own loyal base of 1000 true fans, which is all you really need to change your life forever.