Far too often business owners state that everyone is their customer, it’s wrong, it’s just not true. Even if it were true, how could you possibly serve them all, and more importantly, what services & products would you know to provide everyone? Plus, what would marketers do if they couldn’t target market your products & services.
Typically, those business owners reveal their greatest weakness when making that claim. Firstly, they clearly do not understand business, secondly, they don’t have a business plan, and thirdly….they lack vision. I couldn’t speak more bluntly now could I, and I just gave you three reasons : )
If there is one thing I preach more than any other fact, business is and has changed, and you must change the way you think about business, and more importantly, how you think and see your business. Somehow we have to get away from thinking in terms of an exchange before payment, incorporate free into your business model, and how to be satisfied with less customers. That’s right….less!
Kevin Kelly wrote an amazing piece on 1,000 true fans, it’s really a tribe model in my head, but his theory is sound, and frankly is the future of business. His description of a fan is a thing of beauty, taken from the article on his blog:
“A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.”
Now you might have an idea where I’m going, but I doubt it, I’m hard to follow sometimes. The question to ask yourself is, do you have fans / customers as described by Kevin Kelly? If you do, it won’t be hard to tell, if you don’t, you are probably wondering how to get those fans, and where might they be. If you did a business plan without knowing this description, of your preferred customer (fan), you would still be one degree off true north. Your plan would be flawed, because it would be based on old industrial age thinking, it would be based on what you know, and what you were taught in school. But that’s another topic.
Let’s stick with Kevin’s idea of a 1,000 true fans. In Kelly’s model, every true fan spends $100 per year on you whatever you produce. That means you will generate $100,000, that’s a decent pile of dough isn’t it. So there is your equation, 1,000 true fans x $100 = $100,000!! So what’s the problem?
The problem is not the equation, the problem most of the time is you, you get in the way, you begin to think too much, you still don’t understand the why. My workshops, public speaking engagements, my blog, and my book, is all about why you should change the way you think about your business. Most business owners aren’t paying attention to the why, mostly because they are paying attention to the details of paying the bills, covering payroll, and making sure there is stock. So where will you find the time to see what’s really going on, what’s changing, and how to adopt what’s changing? The stock answer, and I hear it every day, ” I don’t have time”. If that’s true, you probably won’t be in business in the next 5 – 10 years, because the way business and the consumers are changing, you will be forgotten, out of site, and out of mind.
The digital platform we call the Internet, is a game changer for sure. The real game changer has nothing to do with you the business owner, it’s the way people have shifted their buying patterns, from what to how. More importantly, these people formerly known as consumers want more control of your offerings, they want to decide, and they’re already talking about your competition. Why? Because you aren’t thinking like the new consumer, and….you aren’t listening to what they want.
There are over 2.2 billion users on the Internet, and another 3 Billion coming in the next 5 years, I know there are 1,000 true fans for your niche, now do you have time to find your 1,000 true fans? If not, hire someone who can show you how, someone with the vision to see the patterns of a changing consumer(s). You already know someone….wink, wink ; – )
Olivier Blanchard has 5 basic rules on the value of a follower, a fan, and a like, in simple terms, it’s based on the amount of money they spend on your product or service in a given calendar year. The potential of a follower and fan, that is something entirely different, and that equation has yet to be determined in my humble opinion. I think we are very bad at determining the potential value of a follower, a like, or a fan…but know this, it’s not linear, it’s exponential.
If you only need 1,000 true fans, “Everyone”, is not your customer.
Click on this link for the complete story on Kevin Kelly’s idea of 1,000 True Fans
Also read Olivier Blanchard’s work on The 5 basic rules of calculating fan/like/follower value.
Have you ever wondered how many people you actually reach through those who follow you? Have you wondered how many of those followers are online at the same time you are? Does the information even matter?
If you are selling a service or product you may want to know some of this data, it can help you target and schedule what time to do promotions. You could be doing research on another Twitter account or follower. At best you will be amuzed at the data, it makes me wonder whats happening in the Blogesphere. But make no mistake, if you’re in marketing the information can be a great asset to your marketing toolbox. It can validate or affirm whether what’s happening is real or has potential.
So why even bring this up, I was wondering about reach, I was wondering who at any given time might see what you were Tweeting when you were Tweeting it. Afterall, you want traffic to your blog right? You want traffic to see what you are about and what you do right?
I have to make a disclaimer here, I used just one site for this excerise, Twitter Analyzer, I’m also skeptical of these kinds of sites, why, accuracy, I have no way of proving how accurate the data actually is.
Anyway, let me share a couple things for you to do, you’ll get an idea of what’s happening when you’re not looking. Oh, and be sure to write the data down so you can look at it later.
When you first put your name in the dialogue box you have to wait for a short bit, then you will be brought to a page with all the data it was able to extract from Twitter, the first stat is how many Tweets you made for the last week and the current day. It’s not an important number but interesting to see how active you are any given day.
While on the User button click on the Popularity button just above it, you will see total mentions and total unique users monitoring. Click on any date on the graph for the details to posted below.
Still on the User tab, click on the Reach button above, You can select a date but it will auto-select the current date for you. Three stats will be shown, Unique Readers Reach, Unique Users RTing and Total Update Messages RTed.
Now lets click on the FRIENDS tab on the bottom, Click on On-Line Followers button. Here you will see who is online by the hour, it’s an eye opener if you have lots of followers. Even if you don’t it can be an interesting stat, it keeps you humble too : )
The next one to look at is the Followers Density Map, this one shows where your followers live by country. Another very interesting stat depending on where you live, the majority of my followers are from the USA, no big surprise, #2 is, GB – Great Britan, and #3 EC – Ecuador! I didn’t see that one coming.
As you can see you can extract some interesting data, there’s alot more you can do at this site like how many followers your followers have by groups. For example, 32% of my followers have 1,000 – 2,000 followers. 11.27% of my followers have 10,000 – 20,000 followers. That appears to be the highest demographic as that’s all it shows me on the high end. The problem is, I happen to know that The Ellen Show is following me and has over 4 million followers, why doesn’t that get reflected in this section? I’m just say’in. Oh and by the way, Paul Rickett sent me this Tweet:
@paulrickett Notice on Twitter analyzer it doesn’t seem to know abt Canada in density reach? Appears to put all Cdns into US!
Have fun checking your stats and your friends stats, if you work for a corporation this information could be very useful. This site and many others can help you answer the question, do you know the depth of your Twitter following?
Social Media Networks are popping up everywhere and no one can stop them! Today it’s clear Twitter is taking the world by storm and is one of the most effective ways to generate traffic to a website, not to mention it’s FREE! Twitter is projected to surpass Facebook and many others as the Social Network of choice. I’ve been using Twitter everyday since December 26th,2008 and I can tell you some of the sharpest minds on the Internet are there and they will follow you if you offer value to the community. Value is measured in many ways on Twitter, like Blogs content is king, find good information, helpful information, develop a reputation as a sound resource, plus, be a great person and you’ll create a large following.
Like many of these Social Media Networks, information is what most are looking for, how to articles and where to find that nugget that can help you be a better you or improve your companies branding. Twitter is the most instant messaging platform with mass appeal, the branding tool of choice and considered a secret weapon by many who use it.
The most common Social Networks to date look like Facebook, Digg, My Space and LinkedIn just to name a few, but none respond faster than Twitter! I’ve helped a number of entrepreneurs and small businesses get started with Twitter and have shown them the value of leveraging the other networks with Twitter. Why not make them all work for you? The phenomenon of Social Media Networks is just starting to realize it’s power by adding value to the market place, whether it in B2B or simple membership environments. It’s getting harder and harder to hide and easier to brand your product(s) and yourself with the power of Twitter.To learn how Social Media Networks can increase awareness, brand a product, increase traffic and develop a revenue stream, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.
How are you using Twitter, leave a comment and share your experiences.
I joined Twitter May 21st, 2008, not that long ago but it really doesn’t matter because I only had 6 followers on December 17th, 2008. That’s right; I went from 6 followers to 1,000 in 10 days! You’re probably saying one of two things, so what or how did he do it? Keep in mind, I’m just getting started and I don’t have the following some of these Twit guru’s have because they’ve been around a long time. This is not the only way to build followers with Twitter, it’s just what I did.
Before I get into it, we should more than anything talk about the why? Why did I sign up in the first place and then why did people start following me, I wasn’t selling anything and I wasn’t dropping pearls of wisdom on anyone, so why? You will read that I was looking to build traffic to my Blog, that’s the main reason I started and because someone got my attention.
Now, I had been reading, testing and playing with all kinds of tools to find a following, my interests so to speak. I’m not saying everyone that I follow and or that follows me has the same interest as me but there is a reason they follow. I follow anyone who is willing to follow me, I hope I am anyway. Why? Because I believe everyone has something to offer, even if it’s a BOT! I’ll deal with the BOT’s later. Along the way there will be a tipping point, a point where my followers will figure out if they are still as interested in what I’m doing or eventually find likeminded people and move on, I’m ok with that. So why, why did I join Twitter? I heard about Twitter while reading a Blog and the owner of the Blog called Twitter his secret weapon. That got my attention and the question came to me again, WHY? As I mentioned I was looking for an easy way to create traffic to my Blog, did I say easy? In the grand scheme of things it is amazingly simple but I had to give it considerable thought and effort.
I searched around and found a number of people had already written about getting more Twitter followers, I found they didn’t go deep enough in my humble opinion. You may feel the same way about this writing on the topic too. I’m not making claims of grandeur; I’m just sharing what I did.
I downloaded one guy’s PDF document on what he did and thought, he is just trying to get followers and not giving much thought into who is following him and what the common denominator might be between him and his followers. Now if you subscribe to Guy Kawasaki’s theory of Twitter followers – Forget the influential’s, I agree to a point, it’s just a numbers game to him. Guy is partly right and so is this young fella in his PDF document, take a read of Guy’s article called How to Use Twitter as a Twool. If you sit long enough and you follow enough people you will get followers for sure, but what do they want and what are they hoping to find in you?
My thinking on the topic is that it may be too time consuming for you; maybe you don’t care or don’t want to streamline who your followers might be or even qualify them. I do, but there is nothing like sheer numbers to guarantee your success if your selling something. I went about my business in building a following in a more methodical way and I asked myself a few questions before I click on the follow button.
1.) Does this person have something in common with me based on their BIO?
2.) Does this person look like someone I would want to follow? (look at their picture & tweets)
3.) How many are they following?
4.) How many are following them?
5.) Who is following them? (See #1 & #2)
6.) When did they last tweet? (Check how active they are)
7.) What is the common denominator that ties you & their followers together?
8.) Is their cause related to yours and how?
9.) Are you interested in that cause?
10.) Is this a potential market?
All those questions are running in my head as I go about finding likeminded followers, did you get that, likeminded is what I was looking for in a follower. It’s the same thing as finding followers interested in your Niche or Market. I didn’t have a set number of people to follow each day nor did I go looking for the ones with largest followers, I just did a lot of reading.
Now, as you are getting people who want to follow you, keep in mind they may not know why they want to, many will never look at you again because they just want to reach 500 or 1,000 or more followers. I have also come to the conclusion; people have a deep need to belong to something so be kind. But if you are in business or are just trying to get started building a following then you must consider the above list of questions in my humble opinion. Just following people blindly without any consideration of who they might be doesn’t accomplish anything of meaning. You’re just collecting followers. I’m not saying forget the influential’s but keep an eye on them, they know something that’s why they’re considered influential 🙂
Once I have given some thought to those questions while deciding if I should click follow I will do the following, if I feel this is a viable market:
– I will go through the next level under the 1st level followers and find out who is following them and quickly glance at their postings or their Tweets and look for the high numbers and so on.
– Then spend time researching those top followers. And then do some test marketing.
Yes the process sounds tedious and slow, yes it is time consuming and yes it can seem like it takes forever. Anything worthwhile is never convenient or easy.
What I have discovered is that if you follow many, many will follow you. So the time issue really takes care of itself and eventually you get a reputation as being someone of value and there will be followers. Now the question is, are you reputable, is what you are doing or interested in something others want from you and want to follow? Getting published helps, an interesting Blog too, the list goes on.
There are thousands of articles on finding your passion and how to maybe even find it, but, in the end it comes from you and you will want to pursue it and hopefully monetize it. Without traffic you will not be able to sell anything or build community. You need Traffic and Twitter is just one way to get started and anyone can do it!
There it is that’s what I did to reach 1,000 followers in 10 days. No tricks no games, just hard work. I had the time because it was over the Christmas break and I’m in between gigs. Sorry if you were hoping this was going to be a step 1, 2, 3 type of lesson but that wasn’t my focus at first, I wasn’t looking to write about it. I didn’t decide how many per day I would go through or anything that orderly, I just looked for people that looked like we had the same interests. Around the 600-700 mark I noticed people were coming along for the ride and they had no common ground with me from what I could see, they just rode the wave with me. I stopped actually following people once I hit 1,000 but the next day I went over 1,100, the eleventh day.
My next steps will be determined by the followers really, what they want and what will they consume. I only hope I can be a positive influence and make a difference to those looking for my knowledge and help.
Have fun and enjoy this Social environment called Twitter. I do use TweetDeck as my primary tool and I use the website now and then but that’s it for tools.
I look forward your comments and tweets.
I expect tonight sometime I will surpass the 1,000 mark for followers, not because I’m all that smart or interesting (in case you were wondering). My love affair with technology is where it really starts for me, so I tinker and twitter with many tools to see what creates the most activity. I probably took more time in the early stages to figure out who I should follow but I wanted to know something about each one, I wanted to feel connected because we had a similar interest or cause. I have many interests and I’m curious as to why some tools like Twitter get’s the activity it gets and why Facebook doesn’t. Oh someone will argue the point I’m sure but I can only share with you my experiences.
It took me forever to get to 191 friends on Facebook, I tried to find people I knew but the response time from them was not what I expected. Twitter on the other hand was almost immediate, once I started looking at BIO’s and following a few people I thought were interesting and we had a similiar interests. I then took the time to ask myself some questions, why would I use this medium? That was simple, I’m writing and needed to find a place to get feedback and the like. What were the criteria for me to follow them? What kind of personality could I derive from their picture and BIO, did I like them, information like that helped me somewhat.
As you can see I took far more time than most do in these circles. But I have a reason, I have a purpose to carry out this research. A couple in fact. One was to see if I could build a market in the Twitter circle. The other was, I am writing an eBook and wanted to have a forum to ask questions. Twitter is not the only forum I’m involved with but it is where I have spent the last ten days experimenting.
When I hit 1,000 followers tonite I’ll make a big noise and to top it off I have been writing about my experience along the way. Kind of a How I got 1,000 Followers in Ten Days kind of thing. That’s what I’ve done and that’s what I want to share with you, so stay tuned.
Talk to you soon.