To earn true fans, you must produce quality work. Obviously.

But for creatives, the word “quality” can be deceiving.

Quality doesn’t mean your prose is more elegant than Cormac McCarthy.

It doesn’t mean your YouTube video has impeccable 3-point lighting and flashy graphics.

And it sure as hell has nothing to do with the gear you use.

These are exterior attributes. The clothes on the outside.

What matters is what’s on the inside. That’s where you’ll find the true essence of quality.

Every piece of work you create makes a promise.

It might be a functional promise (this will help you do X), or an emotional one (this will make you feel X).

The same is true of every act of marketing, every product, every live event. Hell, it’s even true for your brand as a whole.

Everything you do as a creative entrepreneur is a promise.

To create true fans, the first step is to make your promise a damn good one.

One that makes people’s ears to perk up. That taps into their deepest desires. Perhaps even one that other creators are making, but not fulfilling.

Once you have a promise worth making, keep it. Follow through. Be the real thing. Deliver the goods.

Don’t mistake the exterior trappings of quality for fulfilling your promise.

The world is overflowing with slick, shiny media that leaves people feeling empty and unfulfilled.

Make a worthwhile promise. Then keep it.

Once that’s your bar for quality, it’s a hell of a lot easier to earn adoring superfans.