You make a thing, share it with the world, and people like it.
What you hope happens next is those people become your true fans, spread the word, and support your future endeavors.
But too often what happens is they just move on to the next thing in their social feed, inbox, or playlist.
That’s because many creators make a few common mistakes that reduce their ability to convert people who enjoy one of their creations into ongoing fans.
Here are a few ways to avoid those mistakes and turn casual observers into true fans…
1. No Lead Magnets
It’s great so many creators understand how important it is to have a direct connection to their audience and realize a fan’s email address is by far the most valuable connection you can have with to them.
But too many creators try to grow their email list in the wrong way.
The common practice of using a lead magnet to convince people to give you their email address does more to prevent people from becoming your true fans than it does encourage them to do so.
If you’re not familiar with the term, a lead magnet is a piece of content or product you make available only to people who sign up for your email list.
Lead magnets are bait designed to lure people to join your list — and while they work to get more signups, they don’t actually get you more true fans.
First, many of the people who sign up only do so out of curiosity or interest in your lead magnet and don’t actually have significant interest in being on your list or having an ongoing relationship with you.
Second, lots of people who might be convinced to become a fan of yours after seeing your piece of gated content won’t ever see it because they weren’t convinced enough initially to hand over their email address and get it.
Here’s what I recommend instead.
It’s a great idea to create something you know your audience will want and find valuable. But rather than hide it and ransom it off for their email address, give it away for free and aim to get as many people as possible to consume it.
If what you created is truly valuable, the people who consume it will be way more likely to give you their email address (assuming you plug your list in the piece of content) and will now do so because they truly are becoming your fan.
Another valuable thing likely to happen with this approach is the people who consume the free content will share it with others who will be able to access it and become your fans as well.
If your goal is to attract more fans, never limit the ability of people to see and share a great creation.
No lead magnets.
2. Always Reply And Acknowledge
Some people who see your creations will be moved enough to comment or share them.
When that happens, it creates an incredible opportunity to turn someone who already enjoys a piece of your work into an ongoing fan…if you acknowledge them.
Always encourage the behavior you want which is why you should reply to and acknowledge every comment or share you get.
Doing so makes the person who did it feel seen, appreciated, and more likely to do it again.
It also strengthens their relationship with you which is what it means to be a true fan.
3. Share The Spotlight
No matter how small your audience, it’s still a valuable asset.
Because even if you only reach 20 people, you still have the ability to tell those 20 people about something you didn’t create yourself — you can shine a spotlight on the work, creations, and causes of others.
This is a great way to turn casual observers into fans because the more you show you care as much about helping them as they do you, the more people will want to become one.
This can be as simple as posting something on social media or in your newsletter to highlight something your fans have created that you think your audience might find interesting or helpful.
The more you’re seen as someone who shares their spotlight, the more fans you’ll attract.
4. Use YOUR Experiences To Solve THEIR Problems
Your creations will always be inspired by your own experiences and people will find them interesting.
But what they’ll care even more about is how your experiences can help solve THEIR problems.
Blog posts that share stories from your life are fine, but posts that offer insights others can use to improve their own lives are more likely to attract true fans.
Create things you feel passionate about, but don’t lose sight that you’re goal is also to provide value to others.
Because the more value you create for someone else, the more value it will ultimately create for you.
5. Make Your Creations Easy To Consume And Share
Don’t make it hard for people to become a fan of your work.
It’s hard to capture attention these days so it’s crucial to make it as easy as possible for people to access, consume, and share your creations.
Here are a few examples of how to do this:
- Instead of posting a link on social media for people to click and then consume the content on your website, just post the content natively on that social platform.
- No ads, annoying pop-ups, or anything else that slows down or gets in the way of people accessing your creations on your website.
- Don’t make your creations longer than they need to be. Does your podcast really need to open with five minutes of requests for listeners to rate and review, share, subscribe, etc.? Probably not. Get right to the good stuff.
6. Don’t Hide Behind Your Brand
People connect to other people.
The number of brands that attract true fans is relatively small — don’t be fooled by all the stories you hear about Apple and Harley Davidson.
In general, people are more likely to become a fan of another person than they are a brand so use that to your advantage.
Even if there’s a brand behind your creations, don’t hide yourself behind it — do the opposite. Look for ways to let people know who’s actually behind your creations and connect with you.
Here are a couple ways to ensure you don’t hide behind your brand:
- Don’t send emails from your brand or company name, send them from your individual name. People may subscribe to my For The Interested newsletter, but it’s my name that shows up in their inbox every week — not the newsletter name.
- Share personal stories about your creations. Instead of just posting a great photo you took on Instagram, use the caption to explain the story behind it or why you like it. Context helps frame perception and increases the chances people will connect to you.
7. Root Every Decision In What’s Best For Your Audience
My final piece of advice for you is like a cheat code.
If you want to attract more true fans, just ask yourself this question in everything you do:
“What would be best for my audience?”
If you let that question guide how you create, market, and sell your creations, you’ll inevitably do things in a way that leads more people to become fans of your work.
Because if you consistently do what’s best for your fans, you’ll find a lot more people want to become one.