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This one is a must read!!
Highlights from Superfans by Pat Flynn:
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Instead of spending money on ads, spend more time on people. Instead of worrying about the latest growth hacks and strategies, worry about identifying and addressing the biggest pains and problems in your target audience. Instead of figuring out how to optimize your conversion rates, figure out the rate at which you’re able to connect authentically with your audience and make them feel special.
Introduction: The Superfan Paradigm
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And that’s the secret when it comes to creating superfans: to create new experiences and help audiences unlock something new in their life. Not only will you be found, and not only will people understand the value you have to offer, but they’ll feel different as a result. They’ll feel special. And that, in turn, will help them become your superfans.
Part 1: Casual Audience to Active Audience
Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 02: Break the Ice > Location 649
One of my favorite ways to break the ice is to inject some personality into things I’m already doing and teaching. For example, if you were teaching personal development in a blog post, instead of “10 Things You Should Know About Personal Development,” make that blog post “10 Things Harry Potter Can Teach You About Personal Development,” and use your love for Harry Potter to make things more interesting. Will everyone
Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 03: Create Quick Wins > Location 785
When you have an email list, it’s a great idea to make sure the first email people get from you is full of value and delivers a quick win—ideally something they can do in less than five minutes. A small, quick win method I used for a long time in my first email that used to work really well (though I’ve since changed it) was a tip to help content creators figure out what they should be talking about on their blog, podcast, or YouTube channel—a topic-inspiration quick win.
Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 04: Drive the DeLorean > Location 833
You can also use time travel to take people from casual to active on the Pyramid of Fandom. Wondering how things are going to turn out in the future is something that’s on every person’s mind, and the more you can paint a picture of what a person’s life could be like if they take action with you, the more likely they are to do that and become a fan.
Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 04: Drive the DeLorean > Location 889
Step 1 Gather at least five stories that show how what you teach or provide can help change people’s lives or businesses (or both!) for the better. Ask people to give you the before (what their life was like before they learned from you or worked with you), the after (what their life was like after doing so), and the what if (what life would be like if they hadn’t followed your advice). Step 2 Incorporate these stories into the messages you share with your audience. Think of five specific ways you can share these stories, whether that’s in a blog article or in a podcast episode like I did with the Sams. If you want to see this in action even sooner (so you
Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 05: Return Every Handshake > Location 940
But you should also take the initial handshake a step further. Keep track of everyone who gets in touch, and follow up with them later. To them, it’ll come out of the blue and be completely unexpected, and it’ll leave a great impression. They’ll think, “Wow, this person hardly even knows me, but they’re thinking about me. They took the time to reach back out!” Humans want to give back to those who give to them, and in many cases, what people want to receive is just a little bit of attention. Give people that extra unexpected attention, and you’re going to receive a lot of it back.
Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 05: Return Every Handshake > Location 950
And if you’re big, guess what? You can take advantage of the fact that you have systems and resources in place to respond to people and keep track of your interactions so you can follow up with people later. Be the different brand that cares about people, even if they aren’t customers yet, and you’ll find that you’re going to stand out among the crowd like no other.
Part 2: Active Audience to Connected Community
Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 06: Let Them Take A Shot > Location 1070
Just for fun, ask your audience on social media (it doesn’t matter what your target audience is) this question: Which one is healthier: kale, or spinach? If you wanted to grab a little bit more attention, attach an animated gif along with it. You’re going to see people scramble to give you their best answer, many of them so scientific that you’ll know they spent a half-hour researching on Wikipedia. Some people, however, will give you only one-word answers, and that’s okay too, because they’ll still feel like they have a voice, and that’s really important to belonging. You’re giving them a reason to use that voice.
Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 06: Let Them Take A Shot > Location 1080
This strategy is beautiful because it’s about letting people in and allowing them to tell part of the brand’s story. It’s like inviting your entire audience into your “writers’ room,” where they can share their opinions on where the story should go—and connect with each other in that process of storytelling.
Part 3: Connected Community to Superfans
Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 06: Let Them Take A Shot > Location 1812
Interrupting the pattern. This is huge and makes perfect sense, because those random things are the things that get remembered. Routines are great, don’t get me wrong. They help us build healthy habits and allow us to automate a lot of our day, but when it comes to people, automation can only take you so far. It’s the thoughtful, unautomated moments that can take you to the next level.
Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 14: Remember the Lemons > Location 1861
(That’s another tactic I used to get more tips: be just like your customer. If they talk to you a lot, talk to them a lot. If they’re short with words, then don’t talk more than you have to.)
Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 15: Send Unexpected Messages > Location 1941
There are different ways to do this—you could send an email, or a direct message on Twitter or Instagram. But if you really want to make an impression and bring out someone’s inner superfan, send a video message. Videos, maybe more than any other kind of digital communication, are personal. They suggest more time and effort went into producing and sending them, and since there’s a real person with a voice and a face on the other end engaging with you and you alone, it can make a very powerful impression. After I learned how ConvertKit was using
Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 15: Send Unexpected Messages > Location 1967
Realize that this isn’t anything innovative. Anyone can send anyone a video for any reason—but it’s not a strategy a lot of people and brands are putting to good use yet, so the novelty factor is still high. Video still offers the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
Part 4: The Dark Side of Building Superfans
Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 18: The 6 Hidden Traps of Building Superfans—and How to Avoid Them > Location 2347
I decided to take to Twitter to give Pottery Barn an earful (tweetful?) about how they’d ruined my daughter’s birthday. But as soon as I hit return on the tweet, a number of people replied back saying, “Pat, this sort of thing happens to all of us. Can you get off your high horse here?” The almost immediate negative responses were like a splash of cold water to the face. They reminded me that everyone goes through stuff like this from time to time, and although people were sorry to hear Kai had been upset about the bed, they also made it clear that I was being negative and whiny. After twelve or fifteen replies in that vein, I decided, rather than delete the tweet, that I’d keep it public. Instead, I apologized and owned up to the fact that I was being petty and entitled by choosing to complain. Thankfully, several people replied back acknowledging that I’d owned up to my mistake and showed that I learned from it.
Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 18: The 6 Hidden Traps of Building Superfans—and How to Avoid Them > Location 2400
Always remember why you’re building an audience: to serve people. If you can make lots of money and become famous doing that, great. If you need to automate some things to better serve your audience, great. Just remember that your success is fundamentally about the relationships you’ve built.
My Short Review and Summary
I loved this book. Superfans was a great read from start to finish. The author, Pat Flynn, has a solid following over at Smart Passive Income. He knows how to not only build an audience, but develop relationships with his people.
I admire his ability to distill his knowledge into a great book.
Superfans is in contention for the best book of 2019. Just about every chapter had me taking notes and putting his words into immediate action.
- Pat gives you tips to take your audience from casual reader all the way to Superfan.
- Superfans are the people who buy everything you put out and tell their mom, stepdad, and horse farmer all about it.
- The key is in relationships and getting to know as much about your people as you can in order to form a bond.
- Automation is helpful but only as a means of expanding. Don’t sacrifice the opportunity to connect with someone one on one especially if you have the time to do so.
- Being vulnerable is a great way to let people in, just be careful of over sharing. Ultimately, it’s about them not you.
- Spend your time interacting and engaging with your audience. Do whatever you can to strike up a conversation.
- Be you! Be unique and let your personality shine.