Treat your fans as you'd want to be treated.

Take this idea to heart, and you’ll reduce the friction of earning true fans.

I’m guessing this sounds obvious to you. But in our current marketing ecosystem, it’s freakishly easy to break the golden rule. Let’s pull back the curtain a little bit.

Six years ago, when I started my first online business, I became an information sponge (or perhaps an information junkie).

I followed anyone talking about marketing and copywriting and conversion. I bought all the books and courses. I armed myself with the tools of the trade.

Not only that, but I genuinely believed in what they were saying. Even the tactics that felt a bit manipulative or aggressive. After all, I was a newbie, and they were the experts.

That’s just the way things are done,” I told myself.

So in the early years of my business, I sent high-pressure sales emails. I used countdown timers (ugh). I adopted those stupid “social proof” widgets on my website.

Even though I rolled my eyes when I encountered these things in the wild, I used them on my own audience. All because “that’s the way things are done.

I shudder to think of how many true fans I lost from this.

I worked so hard to create great content and build trust. And then I blew it up because I followed advice that wasn’t aligned with my values.

You’ll surely face a similar conundrum in your business journey.

When new creators start learning about marketing, there’s a massive ecosystem of sexy (but bad) advice just waiting for them.

It might be direct response, “growth hacking,” funnel hacking, or any of the various "gurus" that dominate online discourse.

They all make alluring promises. They all claim to hold the keys to your future riches. And many even claim to help you create true fans.

And to tell you the truth, all of these schools of thought contain valuable insights amidst all the bullshit. It’s unwise to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

So here’s a simple test when you’re considering a new strategy or tactic.

If another marketer used this tactic on you, would you appreciate it? Would it improve your relationship with them? Would it make you a true fan?

If the answer is no, don’t do it to your own fans. It’s that simple.

Treat them the way you want to be treated.