Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is all about how to think like a fan.
I was listening to The Write Podcast a few months ago when the guest they had on talked about his main secret for all the marketing he does: think like a fan.
That really resonated with me, and it got me thinking: how can I think like a fan? If I were a fan of Alison Ver Halen, what would I want to see her do? So I came up with some ideas and decided to assemble them here in the hopes of inspiring you to likewise level up your content.
1) To See You
I’ve mentioned multiple times on this blog the importance of assuring your audience that there’s a real, live human being on the other side of the screen. It’s one of the best ways to connect with your audience and convert leads into customers, and one of the best ways to do that is to let them see your face.
So don’t be camera shy, because no one is as critical of your photos as you, and what flaws are visible are just further proof that you’re not a manufactured robot. If you think you’re too old, too fat, too thin, too awkward, whatever, I assure you that’s not the case. You are human being and that’s what your audience wants to see.
2) To See You in Person
Getting a record deal is exciting for a musician, but in most cases, that’s not where the big bucks tend to come from. Most musicians make the majority of their fortune from touring because their fans want to see them in person. They want to be in the same room with their favorite musician and they’re willing to pay big bucks for the experience, so one of the best things you can do for your career is to get out there and start meeting people in person. Go to networking events and get speaking gigs. Not only is it a great opportunity to meet people and gain new fans, but it gives your existing fans a chance to meet you in person and they’ll love you for it.
3) To See You Be Vulnerable
There’s a lot of pressure on celebrities to be perfect and to give the appearance of leading perfect lives, but no one lives a perfect life. We all have struggles and many of those struggles are universal: PTSD, depression (and other varieties of mental illness), infertility. These are all things celebrities have talked openly about when they feel the topic doesn’t get enough public attention, and more often than not, the public reaction is overwhelmingly positive. People who have been through the same struggles (or know someone who has) can relate to you on a much more intimate level, which makes them feel more connected to you and makes them love you that much more. That’s how you convert a follower into a die-hard fan.
This can be applied to many business owners. When things are going well, it can be easy for outsiders to assume that starting your business was easy. You just opened your doors and the customers started streaming in. But that’s never how it works in real life, and by talking about how you struggled to get customers in the door, everyone else who’s struggling in their career will know you’re a person just like them and not some sort of superhuman, because here’s the thing: no one really likes superhumans. We like other humans, so the more evidence you can provide that you’re just like your audience, the more they’ll love you for it.
4) To Celebrate Your Wins with You
When you celebrate your successes, your fans want to celebrate with you, and they’ll appreciate it that much more if they’re the first to know. So go ahead, brag about yourself.
5) To Have You Communicate with Them
This is where social media and email marketing really shine. Your fans love getting your updates, but what they really want is for you to speak with them directly. That’s why newsletter managers include an algorithm that allows you to address each email to the individual who will receive it.
For example, I subscribe to Patreon’s newsletter, and since Lin-Manuel Miranda does a lot of work with them, I get a lot of emails that are addressed to me and signed Lin-Manuel Miranda. I know it’s a mass email that went out to thousands of people and that Lin-Manuel Miranda doesn’t actually have any idea who I am, but it still feels pretty good to have his name pop up in my inbox.
6) To Hear Back When They Reach Out to You
I hear a lot of popular authors say they try to respond to every message they get from fans, but it’s just not possible. They still make an effort to respond to as many messages as they can and the fans who do hear back from their idol become fans for life (if they weren’t already).
There’s nothing like reaching out to someone you admire and hearing back from them directly. It lets you know they saw your message and felt it important enough to respond, and it’s proof they know you exist! That feels awesome, so however your fans are reaching out to you (email, snail mail, social media, whatever) be sure to respond as soon as you can, preferably with a personalized message rather than an automated response (because, yes, they can tell the difference).
Studies show that people expect brands to respond to emails within 24 hours, but when it comes to social media, they expect a response within as little as one hour, so keep an eye on your social media, and if you can’t do it on your own, then hire a social media manager (like me) who can.
7) To Be Told How They Can Support You
Finally, your fans want to participate in your success, so if having them subscribe, buy something, and/or leave a review will help you achieve your goals, TELL THEM SO! As the saying goes, you never get that for which you never ask, and if you don’t tell your fans how they can help you, they can’t help. Don’t expect them to read your mind (however much they might want to). But a brief call to action at the end of your blog post/newsletter/social media post/ etc. can do wonders for engaging your fans and getting them in formation to help drive you towards success.
If you like what you see here, you can sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page to make sure you never miss an update. If you still have questions about content marketing, or if you’re ready to ditch the DIY and see how a professional can help you level up your content, let’s chat.