5 Ways to Embrace Your Fans Online and Offline

fan of you

When I was about four years old,  I attended my cousin’s wedding. The song “Tequila” came on and I ran to the dance floor, ready to bust a move. I was not a great dancer but no one cared, I was the star. In a world before cell phones, I guess I was one of the most interesting things to look at that moment. I still hear the stories of that day. Getting that kind of attention was, pretty cool, but I didn’t know it at the time.

No matter what they do, children get our attention. Especially our own kids. At a young age, your every step was watched. Every word that came out of your mouth was important. When something interested you, you showed it to the world. It wasn’t uncommon to hear, “Wow, you’re so good at that!” This attention fades with age.

You don’t have to be famous to have fans

Although, we have the ability to connect with more people, it’s harder to find people truly interested in us. When we find those people we must embrace them and appreciate them.

Embrace your fans online

#1. Engage

It’s all about communication. People have to know that you’re real. Those connections are essential. When you go to a book signing, you’ll find that the majority of the people there have had some kind of interaction with the author. When you’re just starting out, it’s even more important. Let people in, be available and above all care about who they are.

#2. Don’t automate

It’s so easy to automate. With a few clicks on Twitter, you can send direct messages to all of your fans. You can tweet the same exact inspiring message to them everyday at 3:16 pm. Obviously there is a time and place for automation, but taking the time to engage makes a difference.

#3. Give

If you only use social media to sell and take, don’t be surprised if people lose interest in you. Many of the big names, Pat Flynn, Micheal Hyatt, Dan Miller, etc…, are all about giving. Give the best that you have. Provide a great value. Don’t hold back, the more generous you are, the more people will trust you. This relationship is crucial. Marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuk provides the perfect formula in his book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World. “Right hooks represent what is valuable to you-getting the sale, getting people in the door. Jabs are about what is valuable to the consumer” say Vaynerchuk. Don’t only throw right hooks.

#4. Get permission

Marketing guru and apparent seer of the future, Seth Godin, wrote the book Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers in 1999. It is still a must read today. You must get permission to market to your fans. When they let you in, you cannot abuse it. Provide them with relevant content that they are happy to receive. Yes, they love you, but you must respect them.

#5. Be Authentic

People come to see you. There are so many personalities online. The reason they follow you is because they like you. They like the uniqueness that you bring. Being true to who you are means that trends and fads won’t change you. There is always a place for growing and learning, but it’s important to be consistent. Sometimes your views will change and you’ll have to evolve. Just don’t lose your unique advantage.

Embrace your fans offline

#1. Listen

When we take the time to truly listen, we show the people around us that we care. It’s easy when someone  is giving you praise, but we also must hear the criticism. Assuming it’s coming from a fan and not a troll, you really want to hear what they have to say.  Pat Flynn of http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/ says, “the best information comes at the end of a person’s thought.” He says to listen until they get to the heart of it and even after, ask more questions so you can hear more.

#2. Remember them

OK, so Facebook reminded you that it was your friend’s birthday. You could take two seconds and write, “Happy Birthday, have a great year!”. That’s six words and your not even sure if they had a great year last year. The other option is to see them in person, or call them. Take the time to talk to them and truly see how they are doing.

#3. Family

Sometimes those closest to us are the ones we take the most for granted. Your spouse, your parents and especially you children. Any close family counts. They care about you and what you’re doing . You’re children are watching you closely. Many want to do everything that you do. That’s a true fan.

#4. Be present

Sometimes we worry so much about our fans online we forget to value our time with the people right next to us. Many times we just need to leave the electronics alone and commit fully to the conversation at hand. I remember watching a couple at a restaurant one day and they both were on the phone the whole time. Finally they took a break just long enough to take a selfie (the first time I saw them even smile). Right back to social media they went, undoubtedly to show everyone how much fun they’re having. They paused one more time, when the waiters came to sing happy birthday.

#5. Show your love

There are certain things that just can’t be replaced online. A kiss, a hug, even a hand shake. Not everyone likes physical touch, but just being close to people, seeing their body language and connecting with them is different in person. Try your best to find the time to be close to your fans. A little personal interaction goes a long way.

No matter who you are, there are people who are interested in you. Embrace these relationships they are one of the most important things in the world.

How do you embrace your fans? Let me know in the comments. If you like this please share it. Thanks for reading this far, I’m a fan of you!

I’m a business owner from California now living my dream in Brazil. I’m passionate about using business to help others. If you’d like to connect, send me an e-mail at craigrohlfing@gmail.com. I answer all e-mails and it would be a pleasure to hear from you. Many thanks, Craig.

Books mentioned:

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