The Future is Relational, Not Transactional
1,000 True Fans... Edited for Web3...
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The Rate of Return is Always Smallest When You Follow the Crowd
The creator of Wired Magazine (circa 1993), Kevin Kelly, once wrote about the power of 1,000 True Fans. The basics…
To be a successful creator you don’t need millions. You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of customers, millions of clients or millions of fans.
To make a living as a craftsperson, photographer, musician, designer, author, animator, app maker, entrepreneur, or inventor you need only thousands of true fans.
So, what does this mean and why should you care?
Well, for starters, in the algorithm chasing “influencer” status generation, we’ve seen more people worry about the size of their accounts versus the quality of the people who are following them and the engagement that comes with it.
You don’t need 100,000 likes. You need 1,000+ paying customers for the value that you bring to them… and these people aren’t just customers, they’re your army who also benefit.
In his article, he also stated…
A true fan is defined as a fan that will buy anything you produce. These diehard fans will drive 200 miles to see you sing; they will buy the hardback and paperback and audible versions of your book; they will purchase your next figurine sight unseen; they will pay for the “best-of” DVD version of your free youtube channel; they will come to your chef’s table once a month. If you have roughly a thousand of true fans like this (also known as super fans), you can make a living — if you are content to make a living but not a fortune.
However… I would like to amend his thoughts on the “making a living but not a fortune part.”
First because I’m not sure he accounted for how the general public perceives value in any given producer of goods and services, and second, because I’m not sure he accounted for Web3, which brings the power of community into the equation.
In his estimates, if you supply at least 1,000 true diehard fans with enough value that you profit $100 each, you’d earn $100,000.
However, I believe you can a.) offer value that churns out upwards of $1,000+ (even substantially more) profit per fan putting you in the $1M+ range (before taxes, reinvesting and earning interest on said money), and…
b.) in Web3, the community of fans can not only own the value you give through your work via NFTs on the blockchain, they can resell your work in the secondary markets for substantially more money should the original creator be consistently delivering value. Now, you and the community who backs you, can both potentially create life changing wealth.
To that latter point (point b.), this is based on the premise that the original creator is dedicated to his or her craft and is consistently building substance and value.
So, if I were to expand on Kevin Kelly’s well laid out article, I would say that what I had always hoped for was exactly where we’re at…
The future belongs to the creators (and their communities) and we’re no longer controlled by the dynamics of an algorithm or massive numbers, but instead a part of the Internet of Value generation… that is, the scale of value has officially become way more important than a relationship that is merely transactional.
My 1st NFT👇🏼
View (and/or Own) my 1st NFT HERE
Read this week’s Simplify, Multiply, Diversify below…👇🏼
You don’t need 100,000 followers to sell thousands of value driven goods. You need thousands of true believers in your work.
This should hopefully free you from the constraints of thinking about how you’re going to grow your social media following and instead focus you on how you’re going to grow your purpose, passion and brand.
The problem I often see online is that many people like the quick dopamine hit that comes with likes and follows. This may give a false sense of accomplishment.
However, if you’re trying to build a solid brand, your focus on how to improve what you deliver is more important.
For example… you have 1,000 followers (I could do this with slightly more or even less).
Of that 1,000 followers, you can put up a “story” post asking for people’s feedback on a given topic.
Let’s say you only get 5 of those people to answer and the info can be used to create a product or service.
Now create the product or service, deliver the value to the original audience members who inquired and gain more feedback.
Now make modifications, get testimonials from the original audience members and launch an updated version to even more people… ask the original 5 people to share with their friends that could benefit.
Now you gain 10 engaged followers and clients.
Rinse and repeat up to 100, up to 200, up to 1,000.
This is business. Well, without a lot of other details, but this is where a brand is made… by listening to the people, making adjustments, serving them, optimizing, marketing, referring and scaling.
Don’t make this complicated because of the way others present themselves online. Make this simple by focusing your energy where it’s needed most… in service to others.
The future is relational, not transactional. - Matt Gottesman
Relationships drive long-lasting sustainable value that’s timeless… and in Web3, the community owns the brand, dictates the market pricing and drives up the value along with the creator.
Different fans have different needs. You can serve 1,000+ true fans across 5 to 7 mediums of value exchange. In economics we call that diversification.
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New Podcast Episode ➠ How to Build Your Art & Brand Independently Without Selling Out
In the meantime, tell your friends!
I love the idea of shifting the focus from getting followers to growing your purpose, passion, and your brand.
If we grow in these areas. i believe, we’ll naturally attract the people we are meant to serve.
Great article, as always, Matt!
This letter is so good. I’ve been so abundant lately this is the first chance I’ve had to sit and absorb this reading. Of course it is in divine timing. I have never been concerned with my “following” I genuinely care about connecting with people. Someone recently said to me in conversation about social media & business “And with only X amount of followers, that’s great.” And it dawned on me I have absolutely zero interest in creating a large “following” that word doesn’t even resonate with me. What is so very important to me is connecting, communicating, being authentic, sharing how I feel. It’s community that I am building not a “following”. 💚💚💚
Thanks Matt! 🙏🏼🙏🏼