Something about Seth’s recent post just grabbed me. “Who would come to your opening night?” he asks. In other words, who are your true fans who show up before they read the critiques, before the paperback version comes out – they show up because they are eager, they support you and your cause. They know it’s a risk – it might not be perfect, but they trust you and your brand enough to take that chance.
I can understand that completely. I have a friend who unconsciously has built up a brand in the local community. Whenever she organizes an event, hosts a gathering, or even just says she will attend a meeting, women follow suit, trusting that they will benefit from it – just because she is there. My son and husband have authors they love. My son will actually log the release date in his mind, but both of them will purchase a new book immediately – hardback or Kindle version, trusting in the quality of the author, before reading any reviews.
How are you building your own brand and “true fans?” How do you ensure that everything you produce is consistent — from the way you treat a stranger – live or virtual – to the published work a long-term fan holds in their hands?
Here are a few ideas that have worked for us:
1. Treat Strangers with Intrigue and Respect – First impressions go a long way. Treat each stranger as a future friend or customer. It’s amazing how many doors open or close when someone mentions your name and says, “I just had one conversation or email exchange with them, but they were very professional/easy to connect with or on the flip side busy/arrogant. Also, treat those long-term customers with as much courtesy as you do a prospect.
2. Write Content that Connects – Most people are looking for new ideas, inspiration, and applicable solutions to real problems. When you consistently provide those, your “fan-base” grows because they stay plugged-in, knowing they can trust what you have to share.
3. Give Something Valuable – When a visitor to your site takes the first step of giving their contact information, give them something in return – a whitepaper, short ebook, etc. For members of your speaking audiences, make your books or paraphernalia easy to purchase. Go the extra mile and sign personal copies. When people attend your events, send them a slide show presentation or video to re-live the experience. Make sure everything is high-quality and memorable.
And in general, from my own experience, I have found that the better you are personally at being a “true fan” to others, the more you understand how to attract them to yourself.