How to Cultivate a Community of Raving Fans

To grow your audience - and fill it with raving fans who love you and love what you’ve built - do the following: serve well, over deliver, add crazy value, love them, solve their problems with your gifts/ products/services/knowledge, be authentic, be honest, and focus on the followers you currently have (rather than always chasing and hoping for new ones.) Be smart about spreading your message, but spend more time on quality and engagement with your existing community members, than you do on attracting and retaining new peeps. But hey, don’t just take my word for it...

Tony Robbins: “My entire life, from the very beginning of days, was how do I do more for others than anyone else on earth? How do I give them experiences that are lasting? How do I create change where change was impossible? How do I take somebody who’s been for therapy for seven years and in an hour produce that result? ...When you have a mission that’s larger than yourself ... when you believe what you’re doing is so important ... I see it as a privilege. I see it as a gift. That sense of serving gives me so much energy.”

Jason Saltzman: “If you focus on creating the most value for your customers and you provide them the best experience possible . . . you’re going stick out from your competitors... We really select the people that come in here. We really look at who you are, not who your investors are, not who your friends are but who are you and can we help you?”

Fabolous: “[The fasion line started as a way to] show appreciation and at the same time have a deeper connection with the band and the people who wanted to support us.”

Rachael Ray: “Everything we touch or pitch, from producers to writers to editors, everything that our label and brand and company and all of our media, everything, is about accessibility....Our price point is pretty much nothing over two grand. Everything our brand sells has to not be the cheapest, but it has to be the best value of its kind,” she told me. She added that all of the pieces are multi-functional and beautiful, quoting one of her catchphrases, “you don’t have to be rich to have a rich life.”

Dave Ramsey: “If you got your heart right and your business is there to serve, really serve, you’re not being manipulative, you’re not being a jerk, but you really want to help people.”

Carrie Wilkerson: “Opportunities are rooted in the value you provide, in the work you’re doing.” she explains. In a social stat world where everyone wants to be an expert, Wilkerson says, “quit trying to be an influencer and try to serve” and everything else will fall into place.

Michael Hyatt: “I start with the audience and think ‘What are the frustrations of my audience and how can I address those?’ Because people will go where you give them real solutions to real problems. Whether it’s in a keynote or a book or a blog. If you serve people and add value, you’ll be successful.”

Glennon Doyle Melton: “Later I checked some emails from people who I had known my whole life but had never really introduced themselves to me. They were bringing to me the heavy stuff inside that we’re meant to help each other carry.” ...“In Love Warrior, every word I was writing [knowing] this is about me, but I know this is also about us. That’s why when people read it; they’re like, ‘Oh my god, that’s my story.’” ...“If it’s good enough, if it’s helping people, people want to help their people. They will share it.” ...“It blows my mind that I can type something into Facebook and help people through their day. Even when I had five people, my mantra was, ‘serve.’ If you want to grow, serve the ones you have.”

Mike Bayer: “What I found is, if I was a resource for anyone looking for help I could refer, I could collaborate, and my name would be on the radar a lot more,” Bayer says. “I just wanted to be the best possible resource in my industry...It’s not about me.”

Jon Acuff: “I’m always trying to write to the me I used to be,” he says, “who didn’t have a community, who felt like the only weirdo who wanted to do a dream.”

James Altucher: “Don’t worry about getting rich. Worry about perfecting a craft. Be the best in the world at solving something that really annoys other people.”

Lewis Howes: “[Ask your audience] What are you struggling with most right now? What do you want to do next?...Don’t ask your audience for anything in return,” he says. “Once in seven years I will ask ‘hey, can you promote my book?’ But every other time it’s, ‘how can I support you?’”...“If they know they can count on you, eventually you’ll be able to monetize that... Just give and give and give. Figure out how you can support the maximum amount of people.”

Chalene Johnson: “I realized ‘hey, if I have a problem, I bet other people have this problem. And if I solve this problem, it feels good and I can also make money.’ And so that was my first experience with entrepreneurship...There’s nothing more powerful, more rewarding, more freeing, than having people who you connect with... When you have an email list of people who get you, and they connect with you, and you serve them, it’s like having dear, close, loyal friends who will always be in your corner.”

Seth Godin: “I think the goal is connection and trust. If you have a lot of connection and trust, you will never have trouble making a living, you will never have trouble making a difference.”

Fawn Weaver: “I said, ‘Let’s shine a spotlight on people who actually like being married and like their spouses. I sent an email to my five closest friends with a link to the website I’d just built. It was super simple, but within four weeks, we were in 22 countries.”

Jamie McGuire: “I just kept myself accessible to my fans on Facebook and talked to my readers, and they did the rest for me.”

Crystal Paine: “It was just these little streams of traffic. Those little streams eventually turned into a river that then turned into this raging torrent...Community is an important part of a launch like that, she says. “We built up a strong email list, we built up networks with other people, and they were promoting it for us. I remember that moment of thinking, Oh wow. This actually could work...I put everything through the lens of Is this a win for my readers? I’ve turned down thousands and thousands of dollars [in advertising and sponsorships] every single year because it’s not a win for my readers…. Always think of your readers first, because there are plenty of opportunities to earn a quick buck and lose your integrity.”

Watch the power episode on community building here


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