Your True Fans — focus on them instead of getting “more traffic”

Some marketing experts are always trying to get you loads of “traffic” or want you focus on “list-building.”

Their language suggests that they may be seeing people as a means to an end — bigger list, sales, profit — rather than caring directly for the people.

What if we focus on serving the right “people” instead of always getting more “traffic”? This shift in language helps us to focus on real human beings.

A focus on traffic and list-building makes us do things that feel inauthentic. Instead, what an authentic business needs is:

1. ​To connect genuinely with the relative few that our business can best serve, the people who would be most grateful for our offerings.

2. To have fulfilling relationships of reciprocity that allow everyone involved to thrive.

There’s a famous article by Kevin Kelly which says this more eloquently, and with numbers: 1,000 True Fans. Here’s a paraphrase:

Basically, you don’t need 1 million website visitors, or 100,000 Facebook Fans.

Your business can’t even serve 10,000 people right now.

What you actually want are the right 100 people to know about your service, the ones who most need and want it, those you’d be most delighted to work with. And that is quite doable.

Practice speaking directly “to them” (or to one of them) in your marketing, and they will find their way to you.

Think of it as concentric circles:

  • The circle just outside of you are your true fans, many of whom buy most of what you offer and love your content
  • The circle outside of that is your regular fans, who consume your content on some regular basis, and buy some of your products/services over time
  • Outside of that is your circle of potential fans, who hear about you every now and then, and might dip occasionally into your content, but have yet to buy — and they might not become fans
  • And outside of that is everyone else.

We can either:


2. We can focus daily on being our most authentic higher self, and be willing to care more for our fans (especially true fans) than other businesses are willing to care for them.

You may feel a constant pull between these extremes.

I will always be here to en-courage you toward authenticity.

Why is it better to focus on authenticity and true fans?

You can be fully yourself with your true fans.

The surface stuff — the exact words, the facial expressions, the voice — they will look beyond all that to connect with the deepest part of your presence and message.

Your services are magically effective for your true fans.

It’s the same service or product, but it’s a different person receiving it. Your true fans are the kind of people who get far more benefit and enjoyment from your service or product, than most other people.

You enjoy your true fans!

Therefore, if you study what part of your content and offerings resonate more for them than your other stuff, you’ll naturally be drawn to creating more things that they want and need.

With enough true fans, all you have to do is whisper.

The closer you get to having those 100–300 true fans, the more you can simply whisper your offerings, and you’d fill your client roster or programs. Not that you’re more persuasive or attractive, but it’s because your true fans trust you. They are deeply connected to your presence and message.

Your true fans are your ambassadors.

When you notice yourself slipping into trying to be popular, take a pause; take a breath. Then, return to your authentic truth. Re-focus on your true fans. They are waiting for you to be your real self again.

By caring for your true fans (even if it’s just 1 person right now), you might eventually grow beyond 100 or 1,000 people, but you’re not fixated about numbers and growth. You’re focused on the truth of the connection you feel to your fans.

In summary:

2. Dive into your passion, always getting more excellent at it.

3. Truly care for the relative few that your business can best serve: your true fans.

Do these things, and over time, your business will flourish. This “formula” is timeless, proven again and again.

Trust in the process. ❦

Originally published at

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity"