My son likes to watch “Shark Tank”. “Shark Tank” is a reality TV show where budding entrepreneurs present their products to five “sharks”—titans of industry who have made their own dreams a reality and turned their ideas into lucrative empires—to get one of the sharks to invest money in their idea.
On one show, two lady entrepreneurs were showcasing a product that they had designed and produced for music fans. The “sharks” questioned these ladies as to why they were putting time and energy into a physical music product when everything was going to the digital realm.
These ladies countered that, while sales of music were moving to digital, a group of people were still attached to physical products. They defined this group as “super fans”. These super fans of a band don’t just want digital music, they want physical products that they can hold that represent the band they love. This product was designed for these super fans, and indeed, their product was already selling well.
Some of the sharks did not understand this “super fan” concept and were not interested. However, a couple sharks really got it. They began to become excited and talk about how other areas besides music might have super fans, areas like sports teams and entertainment franchises (think Star Trek, Harry Potter, etc.).
Every product needs super fans—those people who wholeheartedly believe in and support the product and proselytize the product to people they know. Authors also need super fans.
Super fans are readers who believe in you and your message. They so strongly believe in you and your message, they read whatever you write, whether that is in a book, on your blog, or in your social media posts. These people engage with you on a regular basis and point other people to you and your message. You need super fans to help spread the word about your books.
Super fans are great, but super fans need to be fed. If they are not fed, they stop being super fans. These lady entrepreneurs on Shark Tank understand this concept. They know that super fans need special things to remain engaged.
Keeping super fans engaged through special offerings is not hard. Consider the following ways you can feed your super fans and keep them engaged with you:
- Offer special promotions and discounts to just your super fans.
- Offer “first-chance” opportunities like advanced orders of upcoming books.
- Give your super fans a voice and ownership in your next book by asking for their feedback on your upcoming book’s title or cover design. Or, have them help you name a character in your upcoming book.
- Offer sneak peaks of an upcoming book to your super fans, but not to the general public.
- Offer a special limited-edition of your book to your super fans.
Every author needs super fans. Look for yours and be sure to feed them so that they remain your most ardent supporters. After all, super fans help you sell more books.
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