People are naturally attracted to those who are passionate about the things they love, and this passion builds fandom. Yet too few people share their personal passions in their business life.
When my daughter Reiko and I were conducting research for our Wall Street Journal bestseller Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans, one of the most surprising things we learned was the power of passion. There is no doubt passion is infectious.
Sharing your passion isn’t just about attracting others who share the same love as you, rather it shows that you are an interesting person and would be good to work with.
The skateboarding dentist
For example, Dr. Jon Marashi, a dentist in Southern California, competes with thousands of other dentists for new patients. While every dentist these days has a website, and many have a Facebook page or Instagram feed for their business, very few stand out.
Since the services offered by dentists are seen as interchangeable by most prospective patients, the website and social feeds are among the only ways to compare one dental practice from another.
The problem is that nearly all dentist websites and social media are only focused on dentistry. They all look the same -- you know with that ubiquitous photo of dirty teeth on the left and clean teeth on the right.
Dr. Marashi is different. He loves to skateboard and shares this love in his work. At his practice, he has skateboards on the walls as decoration, and he sometimes skateboards from one examination room to another.
He has photos of him skateboarding on his practice website.
Most interesting to me is Dr. Marashi's Instagram feed, which uses to promote his dental practice. Sure, he has photos of him doing dental stuff. But there’s also plenty of skateboarding photos and videos. He’s got nearly 27,000 followers.
Dr. Marashi measures how new patients find his practice and how much they spend. He told me that his Instagram feed was responsible for 30 percent growth in new patients and 23 percent growth in new revenue.
For Dr. Marashi, his passion for skateboarding is good for business.
Share what you love
Most people don’t share what they are passionate about. Instead, they keep their business social feeds like LinkedIn focused only on business.
It doesn’t matter what you love – a sports team, a sport you love to play, cooking, birdwatching, an author, or musician – your passions are infectious.
Many people know that I am a massive fan of the Grateful Dead. I saw my first show when I was 17 years old, and I am still going to see live Grateful Dead music. I wrote the book Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead with HubSpot co-founder and Executive Chairman Brian Halligan and the NBA basketball hall-of-famer Bill Walton.
Heck, I even collect artifacts from the band. I recently purchased a guitar called “No Fun” that was played on stage by Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead for about 100 shows in the mid-1980s.
I celebrate my love of the Grateful Dead. I don’t hide it from my business contacts. This has led me to many important business contacts, has been directly responsible for bringing on new clients and getting booked for speaking engagements.
Sharing your passions are good for business. And good for the soul too.
Photo of me with No Fun and Wolf at Tank Recording Studios by Ben M. Collins