Lot’s of people have blogged about ex-Wired-Editor Kevin Kelly’s “1,000 True Fans“ article. If you didn’t, I wrote about it yesterday. It seems like the central theme has been lost in some translations.
The core idea is that rather than trying and failing to gain mainstream success, if you have a smaller but more passionate following you can still make a living.
What a lot of people are overlooking is that doesn’t mean you only speak to 1,000 people. To get 1,000 “true fans” you are going to have to communicate with 10x or even 100x that number.
Think about it. What percentage of people who visit your blog actually subscribe? 5%? Fewer? So to get 1,000 subscribers, not “true fans”, just subscribers, how many people need to approach your site?
To get the pool of prospects you need to still cast your net. Experiment.
One of my current experiments is to give away a premium news theme to Twitter followers every friday. I don’t think for a minute every one of those followers will be a “true fan” or even engaged, but maybe a few will seek out more of what I do and like it. Point is you have to try these things to see what works. You can’t say “I have 1,000 followers so now I can rest”.
The idea does not at all take the pressure off promoting, just means that when you find your ideal prospect you have to absolutely delight and positively surprise them, nurture them, and make them as happy as you can.
You have to keep on doing the best you can because you don’t know where your next true fan might come from.