In a world of media abundance, earning true fans for your creative work isn’t easy.

But that doesn’t mean it’s rocket science, either.

True fandom boils down to a handful of simple ingredients. You can combine them in many ways, but the raw materials remain unchanged.

You can find those ingredients with these five questions.

  1. Who is it for?
  2. Why should they care?
  3. What am I promising?
  4. What’s my cadence?
  5. How am I delighting?

Take the time to reflect on these—and to implement your answers—and you’ll be well on your way to turning strangers into superfans.

When you ask “who is it for?” you hone in on a niche, and you become relevant to a narrow slice of the market. This is how you become signal in a world of noise.

When you ask “why should they care?” you learn to differentiate yourself in that niche, and position yourself in a way that's emotionally resonant.

When you ask “what am I promising?” you realize that your job is to make a worthwhile promise to your people, then keep it. This is what it means to create quality work.

When you ask “what’s my cadence?” you see that it’s about the long game, and showing up consistently. That’s how you build deep, long-lasting relationships with your people.

And when you ask “how am I delighting?” you see there’s ample room to play, to surprise, and to serve. Every interaction with your fans, large or small, is an opportunity to delight.

So, the recipe for creating true fans is simple. Answer the questions to find your raw ingredients, then get to work combining them into something magical for your people.

Relevance + Resonance + Quality + Consistency + Delight = True Fans

This is how you earn fans who will follow you to the end of the earth. Who will happily pay for anything and everything you make. Who will gleefully evangelize your work to everyone they meet.

Follow the recipe—do it from a place of service, and truly give a damn about your people—and you’ll get there.