🛠️ #7: How to build an audience of 1000 true fans

For the last post of the year, I summarize and expand on an awesome medium post I found on audience-building.

Hello hello Product People,

🤗❤️ Wanted to take this time to say thank you. Thank you for being subscribers and readers of The Product Person. I appreciate you being here.

🤝📈 Okay, now that I’ve got the mushy stuff out of the way, I also want to say that I'm currently looking for new sponsors and could use your help.

Do you know anyone that's looking to get more attention to their business or new product? If so, direct them to this form here so that we can work out a lil’ advertisement deal.

👍 If not, that's fine. Thanks in advance for your help :)

Now, let’s get to the issue…


🤔 Why do “true fans” matter?

Because 1 is greater than 1,000,000

In today’s internet, attention is in short supply and is hard to find. But, it’s still possible to cater to a broad spectrum of people to grab the most amount of attention, via SEO tricks, Facebook ads, or viral content.

However, if you want people to perform an action for you, like buy your product or share it with friends, then they have to give a damn about you, your product, and your business.

I’ve learned that just because you have someone’s attention, it doesn’t mean they actually give a fuck.

That’s where having a true fans come in handy.

What’s a true fan?

A “true fan” is someone who:

  • reads all your work

  • buys all your products

  • pays attention to your progress

One true fan is worth more than a million people that find you (because something you did went viral) and then never come back.

With an army of 1000 true fans, advertising costs decrease. Your audience organically shares your projects and recruits others to join the tribe. There’s no tactic more powerful than having someone who is a true fan of your work.

🎯 How to get true fans

Stop confusing attention for accomplishment

I’m still learning to do this. It’s not easy because we generally tend to seek status: more followers, likes, and traffic. The metrics get addicting. But, to reach 1,000 fans we must shift our mindsets from “How can I reach more people?” to “How can I have a meaningful impact on the people I currently reach?”

Overcome your fear of sharing

Sometimes, we can get a bit anxious about what people might think about the work we put out. One sure-fire way to shed this fear is ship early and often.

  1. Early because then you’ll get feedback faster and you’ll soon realize that the internet people aren’t as mean as you think.

  2. Often because you’ll build resistance to the fear and you’ll improve with early release via the feedback you’ll receive. The more you share your writing, the better the writer you’ll be. The more you ship a product or feature, the better the hacker you’ll be. The more jump shots you shoot, the better the shooter you’ll be. Time compounds your efforts.

Acknowledge that audience-building is a long-term game

The basic “winning formula” is to building your audience is being consistent (over time) + being authentic + putting out quality work.

You have to be okay with the fact that your metrics will be “mediocre” most of the time. It may take 1000 days to reach 1000 true fans. The majority of people quit. The ones with the most grit and the ones who last the longest tend to be the most successful. Think: Joe Rogan’s Podcast, Tim Urban’s Wait But Why, and Garyvee.

When building your audience, you should eventually be leading people to an email list. Email is king because unlike followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you own your audience. And there are no algorithms to interrupt your message: you click a button and reach everyone at once.

Do the things that don’t scale

Fastest way to build an audience is to do it as slow as possible. In an online world surrounded by algorithms and bot-like behavior, being a kind human being can be a real differentiator.

  • Have a conversation with as many users as possible via social media DMs, email, Slack, phone call, or in-person (for ex: connecting with happy & upset users in customer support).

  • Consistently give quality stuff away for free (for ex: educational content relevant to your industry via an email newsletter).

  • Provide joy through delightful, little surprises (for ex: doing a lottery where the winner get a free premium account of your product).

You won’t get to 1,000 true fans via social media ads and SEO hacks.

📚 Conclusion

We can essentially sum up how to build a fan base into 4 simple steps:

  1. Make stuff that people enjoy to use/read.

  2. Ask those people why they like your stuff and how you can be better.

  3. Once you know what they like and how you can improve, do more of that.

  4. Repeat.

📝 You can read the full medium post here.

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Thanks for reading Issue #7. Share this with someone that’s looking to build their audience. Might just help them out 😉


🧐 I feel like I possibly missed a point or two. If you feel that I’ve overlooked something, let me know!

🧠Tweet me your thoughts. (@antdke)
Or reply to this email, I’ll respond.

Enjoy the rest of 2019. See you in 2020 (big plans ahead) :) 💛🎉