So you’ve learnt about product adoption and got your first few fans. How many?
2? 7? 30? 200?
The numbers don’t matter. If you’ve got two and you don’t do the right things with them then they won’t bring along their friends.
And if you’ve got 200 and you don’t do the right things with them then they will dwindle away.
You see, it doesn’t matter how many fans you have, it’s what you do with them that counts. So, here’s what to do to with them.
Do these things and your fans will stay loyal, share your product and bring their friends to the party.
Treat Your Fans as Champions
After all it’s what they are. They are your product’s champions. Treat them with the respect you’d have for your best friend. When they contact you give them warm human responses. Talk with them, not at them. Under promise and over deliver. Follow up on your promises and thank them for everything they do.
In turn they will champion your product for you.
Show Off Your Fans
Whether they are your user, client or customer be ready to talk about your fans in a way that makes them feel great. Because if you can prove that people are interested in your product then others will be too.
If your fans are willing then profile them and share their story on your blog. Describe their passion for your product, ideally in their own words. Even better video them and embed it on your site.
Help People Tell and Share Stories About Your Product
How easy is it for your fans to share your product with others? How easy is it for them to show how they used it or helped someone else to in a good way?
Stories are important for 3 reasons:
- People understand and live their lives through stories – we understand them as a mode of communication
- When it’s a personal story it adds credibility to your app or product
- When you hear stories you learn about how people are really using your product
You can make it easier for people to share stories by seamlessly integrating your product with sharing platforms like social media, user feedback sites and mobile design patterns. Make your product appear beautifully on these platforms and it’ll encourage people to tell and share good stories about your product.
Value Your Fans More Than Google
Word of mouth is (still) the strongest form of marketing. In the real world of people finding out about and then using your product, friends trump Google, mostly. Users who know, like and trust you will bring other users on board.
Instead of spending lots of time (and budget) on SEO and Adwords, spend it giving great service to your fans. They are more important.
Close the Loop Between Your Product and its Marketing
Think about the points where your app or product interacts with the physical world. When someone uses it or when you see it in the real world it should be self-evident what it is, how to use it, and where to get it. In this way your product does its own marketing. For example if you are Doc Ready and one of your fans uses your app when they see their GP then it should be easy for your fan to explain to the GP what it is etc or to show the app to them. That way your fan feels comfortable sharing it with people who could also become fans.
— Tom Taylor (@tomtaylor) November 27, 2013
Don’t Compete on Features (even if you have no competition)
Whether you have competition or not going heavy on your product’s features is not going to attract more fans. Especially not when you could be competing on customer service instead. At this stage your fans will appreciate a simpler product that’s straightforward to use while still delivering value. They’ll appreciate great customer service just as much. This way every interaction they have with you will be a good one that strengthens their trust and love of your product.
Blog Honestly and Authentically
Lastly this is possibly the best bit of advice. This isn’t just about feeding your fans news about your product. It’s about the feeling you create for anyone who visits your blog.
When you share your product and its team’s experiences, dreams, disasters and triumphs you’re letting your fans get a view from the inside. You’re showing them that behind the product there’s a team of real people trying their best to give something useful to the world. You’re showing them that even if you mess up you can be trusted.
Blog honestly, authentically and regularly. Then make it easy for people to sign up to receive your blogs by email. Do this and they’ll look forward to reading your entertaining story about how the office kettle blew up or the report of your eagerly anticipated launch event in the same way that they would enjoy hearing a good story from a friend.
Your fans are your friends. So treat them just the same!
Don’t know how to get your 1000 True Fans? Read this.