What are you fanatical about? Is it a football team, a celebrity, or a certain fruity computer company?
As you think about it, can you feel your pulse start to race? Perhaps a website popped into your mind. Or, a pang of guilt over your latest fanatical shopping binge tugs at your conscience. Don’t beat yourself up too bad. We are all fanatical about something.
And, if you are lucky, you have a growing crowd of people who are fanatical about your blog.
I love fanatics.
- Fanatics retweet your blog post within minutes of it being published.
- Fanatics fight like caged lions if someone slights you in your comments
- Fanatics carry the torch of your blog into every tweetchat and forum they visit.
- Fanatics are the life blood of your blog.
- They can also make you rich (just ask Steve Jobs).
However, there is a down side.
Your fanatics have a ravenous appetite for all things YOU. They want you “on” 24/7/365 and have little patience for your off-days. You can’t give them anything less than your best.
If you disappoint them, they will incinerate your blog in the same campfire you spent months and years to build. So let’s see what we can do to keep your “monsters” happy and chatty shall we?
Quick Tips for The Care and Feeding of Fanatics:
Stoke Your Legend:
Fanatics love legends. They want to know how you got started. They are curious about your failures and want to celebrate your victories. Your story of birth, failure, and redemption is powerful stuff. Your fanatics will live vicariously through your saga and will spread it far and wide.
The best place to etch your legend is on your blogs “About Me” page. Take the time to tell as much as you feel comfortable revealing. Focus on the emotional highs and lows of your journey. Show your fanatic that you want them to participate in your story of growth.
Do you have an Apple sticker? You should if you’ve ever bought an apple product. Every single product comes with a logo sticker. Apple Fanatics brandish these stickers on laptop computers, book bags and even stencil them into their flesh.
The Apple brand is portable and visible. Yours should be too.
One way to pull this off is by going offline. T-shirts, stickers, screensavers, and even wrist bands (a Gary Vaynerchuk favorite). This isn’t as crazy as it may seem. I just ordered a T-Shirt from Copyblogger. My wife thought I had gone overboard – but who can beat a shirt brandishing “Insert Headline Here”? Now everyone wants to know where I picked up this witty badge of membership.
By the way, I dare you to create tattoo stencils. That’s hot.
Stay Top of Mind
Fanatics hate being the “last one to know”. The want an alert the second you publish a new blog post. They watch your Facebook wall and are the first to respond to the random 2:00 AM retweet.
Make it easy for your fan base by creating a constant stream of content distributed through multiple channels. Here are a few must-haves:
An Email Newsletter:
Use your email newsletter to announce new blog posts and share “insider” information.
Another great way to use newsletters is to mail out tips that aren’t “substantial” enough for a blog post. It’s super-easy these days to set-up an email newsletter through Aweber or Mailchimp.
Facebook Fan Page:
Facebook gives you a chance to share more than the Twitter 140. Use it to immerse your fans in a multimedia experience. Upload videos, pictures, and drop off-the-cuff comments.
It’s fun and allows you to show a more personal side of your brand or personality.
Video is becoming critical for serious personal branding. Don't kill yourself for Hollywood quality. All you need is excellent content, a decent microphone and a flip cam. Your fans will eat up the face-to-face quality of the video and will appreciate the change from static blog posts.
If you need a great resource for getting started with video then check out Dave Kaminski at Web Video University.
Twitter is great for real-time access to your readers.
Fanatics love the ability to do a “shout out” and you can use it to poll, tease, and inform your readers. Although Twitter is disorienting at first but it quickly becomes indispensable once you get used to it.
Give it a try even if you don’t have a Twitter-friendly audience. The key is to stay relevant to your followers. Use the space to refine your voice and get in the habit of sharing great resources.
Cruise over to Kanye West’s website to see how he uses Twitter to keep a running stream of conversation front and center. This is heaven for Kanye fanatics.
Vayniacs (Gary Vaynerchuk’s WineLibrary.TV fans)
The Cult of Awesome (Julian Smith's irreverent tribe of extraordinary fanatics)
Copybloggers (Frequent and obsessive lovers of all things Copyblogger)
Cheeseheads (Legendary and iconic name for Green Bay Packer fanatics)
Third Tribers or 3ters (Members of the private online marketing forum moderated by Chris Brogan, Darren Rowse, Sonia Simone, and Brian Clark.
You get the idea.
Naming your Fanatics gives them an identity. Naming also turns your fans into effective sneezers. Your fans will use their identity in forums, signature lines and comments spreading your
How Are You Caring for Your Fanatics?
I believe that every blog has at least fanatic, the first one being you. You don't have to wait for your blog to have a huge audience before you start caring and feeding your fanatics.
How you taking care of your fanatics? Leave a comment now and tell how you are doing it. If you haven't started then tell me what's holding you back.