Turning internet strangers into "true fans" ain't easy.

In fact, most marketing advice (especially the sketchy direct response or "growth hacking" stuff) actively damages your connection with fans. It prioritizes short term gains over long-term relationships.

True fan creation requires a different approach than simply picking up the latest marketing hack of the month. It requires a deeper strategy, rooted in intentionally connecting with people, and delighting the crap out of them.

What follows is a menu of tools you can use to do exactly that. Like any menu, you get to choose your own path. Take the ideas you like, and combine them in creative ways. Tailor them to your own values and sensibilities.

There's no right answer here. As long as your focus is on serving and delighting people, no individual tactic will make or break you. Keep trying things, and keep running generous little experiments.

And soon enough, 1,000 True Fans will no longer be a nice sounding theory, but your day-to-day reality.

Let's dig in.

  1. It's all about emotion
  2. The raw ingredients for true fan creation
  3. Yes, you need a niche
  4. Positioning for creators
  5. Consistent generosity
  6. Make a worthwhile promise, then keep it
  7. Build an ecosystem of delight
  8. Audit your own fandoms
  9. Follow the golden rule
  10. Tell stories worth revisiting
  11. Stand against something
  12. Stand for something
  13. Invite them into a bigger story
  14. Do things that don't scale
  15. Give them a name
  16. Build a branded persona
  17. The one-sentence persuasion course
  18. Build an audience map
  19. Magic mirror
  20. Don't build an audience. Make friends.
  21. Define your ideal fan
  22. Audit your flame-outs
  23. Make them the hero
  24. Give a damn about your people
  25. Play the long game
  26. Measure what matters
  27. Bring them together
  28. Subvert shitty norms
  29. Create inside jokes
  30. Tiny mirrors
  31. Show them where the money goes
  32. Create proprietary ideas
  33. Build an oasis
  34. Rabbit holes