When you start an online social page, a blog, a website, basically anything in the online or digital space, you want online fans.

Fans are who you sell your products or services to. Fans tell their friends about you, fans buy your newest gadget or album, fans create hype and give you so much content to grow and scale your business.

But what is an online fan and how do you get true fans?

Some of my research comes from a marketing article called 1,000 True Fans by the Technium. It’s not really mainstream and is based on a 2008 essay that was rewritten.

I read it for a course I’m taking and I absolutely love it. I had heard about it years ago and am so glad to be re-introduced to this theory. This theory helps me navigate my clients’ online marketing strategies – and spark creativity to always be doing more for your 1,000 true fans.

This is just one theory of many in marketing – but it’s based on the fact that you will make a good living on 1,000 true fans. Whether 1,000 is true for your business is completely your decision.

The entire theory is based on speaking to your true fans.

Vanity metrics are not the way to go.

This is such a dangerous metric to get addicted to. I know, I know – the dopamine hit feels great when someone loves, likes or follows your page or your posts.

And that’s coming from a former vanity metrics junkie. It’s a vicious circle and it goes something like this:

  • Buy initial followers on Instagram page.
  • Post to this page but no engagement.
  • Buy the engagement to this page to match the followers.
  • No one actually buys from you because they’re all bought in the first place.
  • Try to talk to a real fan among all of the paid fans.

That is an exhausting merry-go-round that never stops. And it ends up costing you a lot of money to keep the façade going.

So don’t worry about vanity metrics and instead worry about engagement metrics.

Engagement means that my followers love what I post. That means I’m posting relevant information and there’s an amazing customer experience (whether they buy or not).

And social platforms will reward you if you provide an amazing customer experience.

And now these amazing customers become your true fans because of how you treated them, and how much they love your product or service.

And true fans are really important, because true fans are who you can make a good living off of.

One thousand true fans. As in, people who will buy anything from you and I mean anything – they will buy dirt from you. So that every time you go to sell that $100 item, 1,000 people are buying it. Because to them, you are just that good.

So how much of your audience are true fans?

This will be different for all of us. What I’ve seen is that this number can be one in four and for others it will be one in 20.

You have to determine what your base number is. It might not be 1,000 – maybe it’s 100 or 500. It’s based on what you sell, the size of your current audience and your price point. And it’s different for everyone.

This is a number you know best for your business. In fact, you probably realized how many true fans you need by the time you reached the end of this article.

Donita Fowler is an online marketer who, with her team, supports entrepreneurs in their quest to be the boss of their online platforms.

Donita is a Troy Media Thought Leader. Why aren’t you?

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