During the last months I got a lot of messages from people. Some of them were really bad. Most of them were good. Really good. In fact, they were that good that I consider a lot of them to be coming from true fans.
What makes me believe that ? Well, certain behaviors that seem rather obvious:
- leaving 12+ comments A DAY on your blog. And then writing you a personal “thank you message” !
- having people tell you that your blog is more addictive that cocaine !
- making people interview you and feature your answers right next to Leo Babauta and Chris Guilebeau
- seeing readers turning into clients that pay for your consulting services !
There are more. But those are the ones that I remember.
So what did I do to ?
Bribe them with big bucks ? Use black magic to manipulate their souls ?
I simply followed a few steps that felt good in my heart.
I believe that everyone has the potential to create an online presence that makes some people crave you. Remember, this also means that you scare a lot of casual readers away, but hey, who wants those anyways. It’s deep connection or nothing.
But enough with the jibberish. Here’s how I attracted my true fans:
- Aim for a big, first impact. It took me over 3 months to get my design right. Too long ? I don’t think so. I wanted the coolest and freshest design known to humankind. And it paid off. A lot of readers tell me that they experienced that “Wow!” effect when they came to my place for the first time. Most blogs and websites still look as if blind grandmothers designed them. Their style equals triple zero ! Don’t save on your design ! If you are really tight on budget, then get at least a kick-ass banner/header. Ask a designer to design something really special that fits your style. Believe me, it’s SO worth it !
- Follow the greatest marketing advice ever. Provide the most ass-kicking value in the most remarkable way possible. Whenever you produce any form of content, ask yourself these two things:
Does this help anyone ?
How can I make it more unique and entertaining ?
Answering these two questions will always result in highly addictive content that hooks your readers faster than the white powder.
- Bring yourself totally in. That’s one of the biggest true fan attractors. Once I brought my full Mars Dorian style into the blogging game I saw the traffic going ballistic. Take your whole, uncensored personality with all its foibles and edges and throw it into your content. Many people know that, but most of them still don’t do it. Playing it timid and safe is a dangerous game. Going raw means you share your mistakes. When you fuck up, you show that you fuck up. When you feel like cussing, then you cuss. No “American family style” toning down on your language. Drop the fakeness. Edges are good. Give your audience your full black-and-whiteness. You are a 3 dimensional being. Prove it to me !
- test your assumptions. Whenever I read something that tells me “this is how you do it” I hold still for a moment. Is this really true ? Or could the opposite also be right ? Fact is, the opposite can always be right. If everyone is doing something in a certain way, maybe you should do something completely opposite ? Most people say you should design your blog in a way that fits your “target audience” and topic. Heck, my blog is about branding and marketing and it looks like a comic dragged through a candy store. According to the design, my target audience must consist of 12 year old comic geeks. But it doesn’t. I have psychologists, independent moviemakers and personal development coaches reading my blog. Make always sure that you play the game by YOUR rules. If you like them, they will work out for you. I have experienced it for myself.
- Take your reader interaction to a new level. Everyone tells you to reply to every comment. How lame is that. I personally write personal messages to my readers every day. I go to their blogs and ask them how they are doing. I tweet their stuff if it’s killer. I Skype with them or even do a project with them and build an ever-lasting alliance ! If you really care about your community or want to build one, then go deeper into the interaction. What can you do to connect with your readers TODAY in a more deeper level ?
- Do things that make you look like a dork. Fact is, when you have a deep passion for something, you run the risk of looking like a dork. And that’s awesome. I luv my logo more than anything else, and that’s why I slam that sucker on every digital space I can get my dirty hands on. About page ? Slam. Post images ? Slam. Own T-shirt collection ? Slam, slam and triple slam. One of my readers was scared when he saw me in a video where I promoted my own brand T-shirt collection. You see, when you luv something that much you should show it. Going overboard with your foibles may scare the casual bystander away, but it will draw the true fan closer to you. Geeky passion is more sticky than honey duct-taped to your face. Show me the dork within YOU !
What to do now:
1. Retweet and Facebook-share this post.
2. Tell me: What are YOU going to do for your brand / business TODAY to attract some raving fans ?
Join a community of Outstanders
In addition to my best content, you can also get my free comic branding guide and weekly, inspirational cartoons straight into your inbox: