How Entrepreneurs Can Grow Fans in Uncertain Times

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Marketing  |  Best Practices  |  Fanocracy

Sticker photoWe humans are hardwired to want to be part of a tribe. We’re social animals who feel safe and comfortable when we are together with like-minded people. However, our normal world has been radically altered because of the need to social distance during the pandemic.

What does that mean for building fans? Can we still grow our business?

The answer is absolutely yes!

The good news is we can build powerful virtual connections right now. An effective use of digital communications is an essential ingredient to remain connected to your existing customers and to build relationships with potential customers.

Early this year, I delivered a talk about growing fans at the Skillsoft Growth Summit. It was an unusual configuration with the stage in the middle of the audience. With five cameras, the in-the-round format made for a wonderful video.

David Meerman Scott: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans from David Meerman Scott on Vimeo.

Building fans in a Covid-19 world

Here are some of the things we can do right now to build fans and grow business that I talk about in my speech. Many of these ideas are also in my new Wall Street Journal bestselling book Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans.

1) Grow and Nurture Genuine Human Connections

The pendulum has swung too far in the direction of superficial online communications at a time when people are hungry for true human connection. Be humble. Be kind. Be generous.

2) Use the power of video to make virtual connections

When we can’t meet people in person, video is a powerful substitute. Because of mirror neurons, we humans bond with people on video as if we were in the same room. It’s why we feel we know television personalities. You can use video now to bond with people in a personal way even when they are thousands of miles away.

3) Passion is infectious!

Successful people understand that, to ignite a spark in another, they must first ignite that spark in themselves. When you are enthusiastic about your personal and professional life it’s apparent to the people around you.

4) Let fans own the relationship

Fandom is built on the experiences of its members, not limited to the imagination of one creator. Don’t try to dictate how fans interact with your products. Instead, give them a sense of ownership.

5) Eliminate gobbledygook language

If you’re using innovative, cutting-edge, best-of-breed and other similar garbage words on your website and marketing materials, now is a great time to make edits. Write like a real person!

6) Get rid of inane stock photos

Using stock photos of people to represent your customers or your employees is insulting to all. To build fans, use photos of real people!

Side note on the photo in this post: Stickers on the back of notebook computers are a wonderful expression of somebody's fandom. In my pre-pandemic travels, I frequently shot photos of people with their computers. I met the woman in the photo above at a coffee shop in Manhattan.

Project Live Fanocracy

Reaching and growing fans right now just might spark future growth. I hope you will take the time to watch the video to learn more about these ideas.

If you’d like to connect with me personally about growing fans of your business, I’m offering opportunities to speak with me one-on-one, live, via Zoom. Project Live Fanocracy is my new initiative to help you.

There is a nominal fee for these sessions and all of the funds I collect from these virtual meetings (after I cover my out of pocket costs) will be donated to Boston Medical Center Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide immediate and substantial impact at BMC.

I chose BMC because my daughter Reiko, co-author of our book Fanocracy, starts in Spring 2020 as an Emergency Medicine Resident at BMC. She will be a newly minted doctor on the front lines of the Covid-19 fight. 

I hope you will consider booking a session with me.

Thank you to my friends at Skillsoft for the amazing video. Please consider attending the free Skillsoft Perspectives 2020 virtual conference on May 13. I’ll be speaking!

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