May 7, 2022

4 Steps to 1,000 True Fans

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In today's issue, I'm going to tell you how I would go about finding 1,000 true fans if I were starting from scratch.

Building an audience of raving fans is the key to unlocking internet revenue, but when you start from zero, it's incredibly hard.

But, if you can figure out how to nail the 4 points below, you'll be well on your way.

Unfortunately, so many creators and entrepreneurs fail because they never even create a plan.

They simply produce content daily, never get traction, and then eventually quit.

You need a growth plan to find 1,000 fans.

A real growth plan is about the actual "how" behind achieving your audience goals.

No more creating random content that gets no engagement, or spending hours building products that nobody buys.

If you can create your growth plan and execute against it, you'll finally achieve the results you're looking for.

Here's how step by step:

Step 1: Think Like a Niche Streaming Service

In 2021, big streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu saw their market share drop from 65% to 48%.

Meanwhile, niche streaming services are growing at more than 2x the rate of the major players.


Because niche content resonates.

And when it comes time to create your content online, it's critical that you focus on helping a very specific person looking for very specific advice.

You can't just "help small businesses". You're much better off helping "SaaS companies in the finance vertical, below $10M in revenue".

The more helpful your content is to a specific audience, the more likely they are to find your "signal" in a world of generic "noise".

Start by creating your very own niche "streaming service" for the right audience to consume.

Step 2: Become a Category Pirate

If you nail a niche, you're likely to have a small group of people who come along with you on your journey.

But, later down the road, it becomes more and more difficult to create meaningful content if you only share obvious strategies and tactics that people can learn anywhere.

You don't want to blend in. You want to stand out.

And the easiest way to stand out is through non-obvious content. Non-obvious content is all about bringing a brand-new thought process to your niche. Something that makes you radically different than others.

I talked to Nicolas Cole, author of the Category Pirates newsletter to get his take. Here is what he had to say:

“Becoming a happy, independent, profitable creator (a “Category Pirate”) is 100x easier when you become known for your unique perspective inside of your niche.

Through this lens, you don’t need everyone in the world to care about who you are and what you do. You just need a small pirate ship of folks who agree with your unique perspective — and that’s more than enough for you to get paid to do what you love every single day.”

Remember, that if you just say what other people are saying, you become a commodity. I've grown to over 500,000+ followers on LinkedIn by having interesting, unique, non-obvious things to say.

Have a unique viewpoint in your niche.

  • What is something everyone believes to be true, that you don't?
  • What is something nobody in your niche is talking about, that they should be?
  • What are the biggest mistakes people are making, that they are oblivious to?
  • Why are you someone worth following when others aren't?

Step 3: Tell a story worth following

If you get niche and become a category pirate, you'll probably succeed at growing your fan base. But nothing helps pour gasoline on that fire like a backstory that resonates deeply with your audience.

I call this building a better backstory.

Much like the founder of a startup company, you need a story that compels your audience to follow you. They need to literally see themselves in you.

The story can't be made up or fake. It should be your real story but stitched together in a fashion that makes it easy (and exciting) to follow along.

There's a formula for doing that.

Feel free to steal my 7-step process to create yours.

Step 4: Do unscalable things

With a tight niche, unique perspective, and compelling story, you'll make significant progress.

But the idea that you can just put this all on autopilot (especially early on) couldn't be further from the truth.

In the beginning, you're going to need to do a lot of things that don't scale. Here are some of the things I've done:

  1. Published daily to social media, often 2x-3x per day.
  2. Replied to every comment, every morning for over an hour.
  3. Responded to 85%+ of the DMs I received on LinkedIn and Twitter.
  4. Commented on 10-15 people's content every morning for over a year.
  5. Attended over 300 Zoom meetings with my followers in my first 2 years.

Many of these "unscalable" activities are part of what has driven my growth past 500,000 followers on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter.

I cannot overstate how important it is to be everywhere when you're just getting started. A lot of people refer to this as simply "creating value", but there needs to be a deeper definition of how to do that.

I think Daniel Vassallo captured it best when he stated it like this:

If you can nail these 4 things, you are absolutely on your way to 1,000 true fans.


1. Think like a niche "streaming service"

2. Become a Category Pirate

3. Tell a story worth following

4. Do unscalable things

Whenever you're ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

1. The Creator MBA:  Join 4,000+ entrepreneurs in my flagship course. The Creator MBA teaches you exactly how to build a lean, focused, and profitable Internet business. Come inside and get 5 years of online business expertise, proven methods, and actionable strategies across 111 in-depth lessons.

2. The LinkedIn Operating System:​  Join 22,500 students and 50 LinkedIn Top Voices inside of The LinkedIn Operating System. This comprehensive course will teach you the system I used to grow from 2K to 550K+ followers, be named a Top Voice and earn $7.5M+ in income.

3. The Content Operating System​:  Join 10,000 students in my multi-step content creation system. Learn to create a high-quality newsletter and 6-12 pieces of high-performance social media content each week.

4. ​Promote yourself to 215,000+ subscribers​ by sponsoring my newsletter.

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