(Photo by Viva Iquique)
If you’re selling a product or service for the masses, then your goal isn’t to sell one at a time – it’s to create a passionate fan club – or a movement. Lady Gaga. The Marines. They each have names for their followers. So where do you start to create your own fan club?
It begins by having a core group of people who love what you’re offering. These early adapters are generally seeking for the next “new thing” and share their “finds” with their followers. But because they are used to having businesses trying to attract their attention (and usurp their followers), they are a bit selective. After all, they build their status by carefully curating discoveries with their audience. The better their insights, the bigger the following they hope to create. Therefore, it’s not enough to simply announce “I’m here” and let these adapters find you.
So you need to find them – and figure out what piques their interest. Once you understand their passion, build on it. Make them proud to be part of the “big picture”. Give them a reason to not simply share your information, but to rally behind your message. Give them access to “inside information”. Help them to look even more special by sharing this special knowledge with their people.
Don’t forget to thank them for achievements. Show them how what they’re doing matters to your company…and the world. Cede some public relations power to them. Keep them engaged. Ask them questions. Listen. Respond. But keep leading – it’s not a democracy. Many people simply want to follow something they love.
But like any fan club or movement, people get tired of “your message” and will move on to the next “new thing”. That’s natural, and expected. So don’t make your entire marketing strategy about getting buzz. Make this a piece of the whole – perhaps think of this as kindling for your marketing fire.
And be sure to not disappoint your fans – they can turn quickly – and undo the hard work you invested in them.