Do you know how to get the results you want online? What the key to being successful really is? It might surprise you to learn that it’s not 80 hour work weeks or twenty projects going at one time. The answer is simple, it’s your relationship with the people who buy from you. It’s cultivating True Fans.
In our direct-access economy, there are few assets more valuable than a good email list.
One of the most important things you can do as an online marketer, no matter your area of focus, is to take the necessary time to cultivate your mailing list.
But what qualifies a list as good?
The first answer is usually size. We base our value judgment on how many people are on the list. It’s the same for social media metrics. The more the merrier.
But not so fast. Reach is not the same as influence.
If you can reach thousands and thousands of people but can’t make any sales — the size of your list really doesn’t matter.
I found that affiliates with the biggest lists did not necessarily get the best results. Many could not motivate their people to buy.
At the same time, several affiliates with smaller lists had higher conversions and crushed affiliates with huge lists.
I’ve seen the same thing in publishing. An author might appear on paper to have a significant platform—big social media numbers, a large email list, and so on.
But numbers don’t always add up to action. Sometimes an author’s new book would release, and people on their lists didn’t seem to care.
It comes down to three factors: investment, trust, and expectation. Whatever our business, if we miss these factors, we’re not going to get the results we want.
Several years ago Kevin Kelly, the co-founder of Wired, posted an article called “1,000 True Fans.”
The idea is simple. Most creators won’t see blockbuster success. But they can see enough success to sustain a profitable business if they cultivate 1,000 True Fans.
“A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce,” says Kelly. “They have a Google Alert set for your name. … They can’t wait till you issue your next work.”
In other words, they are invested in your message, whatever it happens to be.
These are the people you want on your side. You want True Fans, people who want to hear what you have to say, who want to learn from your experiences. You want people who have faith in you and your message.
Investment equals response, and that’s critical when building a list because subscribers who aren’t invested won’t move the needle. The affiliates with smaller lists drove more sales because their audiences cared enough to respond when they spoke.
How do you cultivate a quality relationship with your True Fans? What does your audience mean to your business?