How to build your nation of true fans, with Stephen Woessner

Episode 971

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Good Morning…I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI and your host for Onward Nation.

One of the things that I love most about my role at Predictive — is that every single day — I have an opportunity to talk with, work alongside with, and teach and share with business owners just like you.

They might own a marketing or advertising agency as I do, or they might be a rockin’ awesome business coach, or maybe the owners of a consultancy — and they too love being in the trenches being helpful…sharing the best of what they’ve got with their audience…and as a result…they’ve started to — or have already — built a nation of true fans.

All of the what, why’s, and how to’s for build a nation of true fans is what we’re going to focus on in today’s solocast.

I’ll map it out in full transparency — and as always — please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I’m happy to help.

As you’ll hear in a few minutes — your first step in building your nation of true fans has nothing to do with the actual content delivery platform — channel — or the type of cornerstone content you create — but has everything to do with the value and helpfulness of what you will be creating, sharing, and delivering to your audience, because your nation of true fans will be built on a foundation of valuable, super helpful content that your audience can use to be better at their jobs everyday.

Your nation of true fans will know your heart and that your intention is to help them grow, to learn, and to be better. It never feels like a transactional relationship.

They don’t feel like you’re trying to monetize them.

Do they spend money on your services and what your team provides — yes — your true fans do. And the rest of your audience are there just for the golden nuggets — and that’s 100 percent okay.

So let’s begin walking down this path — you and I are going to take a look at strategy and tactics for how you can build a nation of true fans from the cornerstone content you are creating on a consistent basis. The way you win long-term is by creating content that develops and nurtures long-term relationships with your audience.

These relationships are what Wired Magazine founder Kevin Kelly calls “True Fans.” And in my opinion — true fans represent your ROI Scorecard’s ultimate vital metric.

To paraphrase Kelly — any business owner can create a solid revenue stream around a community of approximately 1,000 people when they are “True Fans” of what the company sells and when there is a connection between the company and its fans based on the value provided. In this solocast — I will illustrate how a consistent effort toward creating consistent cornerstone content can create a nation of true fans for your business, too.

Your nation of true fans will be fans of you, fans of your point of view, and fans of the helpful content you create and share. Your fans will support you because of the sacred bond you have built with them and because you consistently delivered massive value through your content.

Okay — now let’s get dialed in on building your nation of true fans: a sense of community, collaboration, and profitability around your business.

And could there be a more critical time than right now to do this for your business, Onward Nation?

If you get this right — it will be a super helpful strategy to not only help you come roaring out the other side of this recession — but — this strategy will help you future proof your business for years to come.

Let’s begin by breaking the phrase “Build a nation of true fans” into its three core ingredients. The first is “build”, the second is “nation”, and the third is “true fans.”

Ingredient #1: Build…as in your platform.

How would you begin to “build” a nation of true fans? You’d begin with selecting the form of cornerstone content where you intend to share your insights and wisdom with your audience — or eventual audience.

Whether that’s a…

  • Podcast
  • Speaking
  • Blog
  • Video series
  • Research project
  • Writing a book
  • Or something else

The platform you choose is irrelevant from a tech perspective. Any or all of the above can help you build a nation of true fans. The tech behind it all is relatively easy. Is there a learning curve? Sure.

Will you feel at times like you are trying to fly the space shuttle with so many knobs and buttons to push? Sure. How does Facebook Live work? What time of day should I create a story on Instagram? What kind of camera and mic are best if I want to be a serious YouTuber?

All of these are tech questions — and within an afternoon with your best friend Google — you can solve those problems and find the answers as long as you don’t let the fear of the unknown become paralyzing to you.

So let’s shift our focus away from the tech — and instead — focus on the value you will be providing through those channels?

What’s your story?

How will you serve your audience?

How will you make what you are doing so valuable to their business or life, that they actually consider you to be indispensable?

How will you become so consistent in the help, advice, recommendations, and over value that you are providing on a consistent basis — that you BUILD deposits in their emotional bank account?

They begin to trust you — they begin to like you — and then because of them liking you and trusting you…they move even closer to you by truly KNOWING you.

So, your first step in building your nation of true fans has nothing to do with the actual content delivery platform and has everything to do with the value of what you will be delivering — because your nation of true fans is built on VALUE.

And if you get that right — the actual platform — or your conduit through which you share your value — will fall into place — and it will feel less stressful because the value you were called — put on this Earth to deliver — will then be in the driver’s seat.

You, Onward Nation — will become unstoppable.

Will there be profit to be made for your business because you built a nation of true fans? Of course. To date — Onward Nation has helped Predictive ROI generate over $4 million in revenue and we feel blessed and honored about that result outcome. And we believe that this result outcome was made possible because we never placed ourselves first. Ever.

Now let’s shift our attention toward Ingredient #2: “Nation.”

And I want to make sure we address this because we live in a world where bigger lists, bigger subscribers, massive downloads, huge customer lists, etc. etc. etc. is what attracts headlines and massive attention.

You don’t need an email list of 100,000 people. You don’t need to have a podcast that gets a million downloads a month. You don’t need to have a customer list with 20,000 prospects on it.

Nope. You don’t.

That’s not your Nation.

What you need — realistically — depending on the size of your business is somewhere between 100 to 1,000 high-qualified prospects.

That’s it…100 to 1,000 of the very best prospects who precisely match your client avatar — in fact — your knowledge with some of these people is so deep that you can boldly claim them as your Dream 25 prospects.

If you need a refresher on why your Dream 25 matters — go back to Episode 308 of Onward Nation — and I map it all out — how to figure out who your Dream 25 is — and — how to romance your Dream 25 so they understand how important they are to you.

To take this point deeper — I want to share a very tangible example of a company that grew from zero to become a multi-billion a year company — yes — billion — with a capital B.

My mentor, Darren Hardy, former publisher of SUCCESS Magazine…decided to interview my friend Cody Foster, co-founder of Advisors Excel and to share the interview on the SUCCESS CD that rides along with the magazine.

During the interview with Darren, Cody shared several personal stories of very humble beginnings — and how those stories — helped shaped the kind of company Advisors Excel has become.

A company packed full — wall to wall — of incredible people — a team whose sole focus is to deliver more and more value every day to the financial advisors around the country they are there to serve. And Advisors Excel team does it masterfully well. They have BUILT their platform — a platform that is indeed built on a solid foundation of value.

But…did they build this platform by trying to serve the 60,000 financial advisors located in the state of Florida alone?


How about all of the financial advisors up and down the west coast?


Did they focus on spending large amounts of advertising dollars trying to reach everyone they could with their message of value, value, value?

Not at all.

Instead…they meticulously selected 1,000 of the very best financial advisors who they wanted to earn the opportunity to serve. Yes, Onward Nation, Cody shared with Darren that they built a list of 1,000 financial advisors — just 1,000 — and then they went to work to deliver more value than another other insurance marketing organization in the industry to the 1,000 advisors they wanted to work with.

The 1,000 advisors became their Nation…and advisors outside of the Nation didn’t exist. Advisors Excel was solely focused on being the best they could be for this small group of prospects.

So what was the result outcome?

Well, in year 8 of the business…they reached over $8 billion in revenue. $8 billion, Onward Nation.

When they are the right prospects — you don’t need 10,000…you actually only need a small number to make your business amazingly successful and profitable. 1,000 people — who you can love on — who you can support — who you can add value to — who then in turn are excited to do for you some of what you already shared with them.

Okay — now let’s move to Ingredient #3 — True Fans

We’ll begin by taking the number 1,000 — deeper — because it is a magical number and a vital priority for your business.

According to Kevin Kelly, if a business created a base of customers who were more like fans — 1,000 True Fans — then that business could become sustainable and profitable by simply focusing on the needs of its true fans.

And if you visit the Show Notes for today’s solocast…you will find a link to Kevin Kelly’s blog post as well as the long tail curve he created to illustrate the 1,000 true fans strategy.

Kelly describes “True Fans” as customers who will help you mobilize and move your business onward to that next level. They are true fans of you — true fans of your message — true fans of your business.

They will support you because of the sacred bond you have built with them.

A bond that was built upon — and continues to be built upon — the foundation of the value you create, you deliver, and the value you share with them on a consistent basis.

Whether you do that every day — every week — no matter what the schedule — no matter what the rhythm — the fact that you are consistent is what is important.

According to Kevin, “A True Fan” is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to visit your location.

They will buy the super deluxe version of your product even though they already own the standard version, too.

They have a Google Alert set for your name.

They have bookmarked your website.

They come to your product announcements — or — ribbon cutting ceremonies for a new office location.

They come to your book signings and ask for you to sign their copy.

They cannot wait for your next webinar — your next podcast episode — your next event — your next release of whatever.

And the best way to increase sales for your company is to connect with your True Fans directly…so you need to have a platform built on value…see? We keep coming back to that foundational truth.

Onward Nation, 1,000 true fans is a very reasonable number. As Kevin explains in his brilliant blog post… “if you added one fan a day, it would take only three years. True Fanship is doable.

Pleasing a True Fan is pleasurable, and invigorating.”

The key challenge is that you have to maintain direct contact with your 1,000 True Fans. And you do that through building your platform — delivering value — and making sure you are using the right conduit so it reaches your 1,000 true fans on a consistent basis.

Again…it doesn’t matter if you use a podcast, blog, write a book, video series, or some other form of cornerstone content.
What’s important to identify is not the form of content where you’re most comfortable — but — the platform your fans use the most. What’s the best conduit to them?

For me — it’s this podcast, the books I write, the annual research we do, the webinars where I can teach longer form, and the videos we share every Sunday.

But there is also another piece to True Fans…and that are the concentric circles of “Lesser Fans.”

This segment of your audience will not purchase everything you produce, and may not seek out direct contact, but they will buy much of what you produce.

The processes you develop to feed your True Fans will also nurture Lesser Fans. As you build your nation of True Fans, you will also add many more Lesser Fans.

And as you are building…don’t avoid…don’t miss the opportunity to go deep…to develop intimacy with your audience…with your true fans.

Onward Nation…that’s one of the reasons I ask for feedback so often.

My team and I legitimately want to get better — but — I also want to hear from you — to get to know you — to learn from you — and to deliver even more value so Onward Nation becomes — and hopefully remains — your most favorite podcast.

Okay…you now have a tangible recipe for building your own nation of true fans — and when you do — your nation will become this amazing, awesome, wonderful, beautiful, incredible community of people who are generous with their feedback and help guide your business in the right direction to deliver value.

Consider Kevin Kelly’s lesson as you build out your cornerstone content. Ask yourself how you can continually add more and more value like Cody Foster and his team at Advisors Excel.

Because when you build your nation — and focus on being helpful not transactions — your business, your team, and your life move onward to a completely new level.

So with that…I want to say thank you again for taking the time to be here with me today.

It’s always an honor to have you here. I want you to know how much I appreciate you sharing some of your invaluable 86,400 seconds you have in your day with me and the strategies we learn from today’s top business owners.

And please continue to let me know what you think of Onward Nation…good or bad…I always want your feedback. That’s how we get better.

Remember — now’s the time to double down — all of the data is on your side.

Until next week — onward with gusto!

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