Yesterday we added a page to our website called Podcasters We Love. That page was the latest in a long string of tweaks and adjustments that we’ve made over the last two years. Why did we add the page? From a personal perspective, we love the content produced by everyone on that page. Cynthia, Mike, Ryan and Jason all contribute to our knowledge and thus our ability to produce our own content. To say that in a different way, we’re fans.
We’re super fans.
Business Super Fans
From a business perspective, we know that the goodwill we show them will be reciprocated. We promote them. They promote us. That’s a good thing. Take Ryan Hanley’s Content Warfare which is one of the podcasts that we modeled our podcast after. The other day a fan of The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast sent us a note to say that she is now listening to Ryan’s show because she heard it mentioned on ours. How cool is that? Just so you know, I can trace a number of people who listen to our show back to appearances I made on Ryan’s show. We are helping each other cultivate new audiences.
A few months ago, I interviewed Ryan on the Nuclear Chowder Marketing Podcast (I was guest hosting for Mike Brooks. Well, ok, I podjacked the episode). I asked Ryan, who was working on completing the first few chapters of his first book The Content Warfare Book, how he was going to break beyond the super fan bubble. I’m not going to give you the answer here because I want you to go listen to that interview, but I’m going to give you my perspective.
What Is The Super Fan Bubble?
The super fan bubble is a collection of dedicated and loyal fans. Fans that will not only consume your content but take action on your behalf. They’ll buy your products, listen to your shows, share your tweets. The super fan bubble is great, but it can also be a plateau that slows growth.
The goal of any business endeavor is to continue to grow your audience or customers. So you need to cultivate relationships with the people in your super fan bubble while creating strategies to help you grow the bubble to include more super fans.
What you, Dear Reader, should be focused on is continuously breaking beyond the super fan bubble and creating new, larger super fan bubbles.
Before I get too deep here I should point out that this is true for any business, not just content creators such as podcasters. If you build a loyal base of users, subscribers, shoppers, customers or patrons who love your product or service, eventually you’ll plateau. At that point you may be able to sustain your business with your super fans but if you want to grow your business then you need to use the energy of your super fan bubble to grow and stimulate new fans.
That’s what Ryan and I are doing. Despite having some overlap, we have our own unique super fans. I want to introduce my bubble to him and I want him to introduce his bubble to me. The end result: growth for both of us.
But then what happens when we’ve saturated each other’s bubbles?
That’s where Superhero Alisa Meredith comes in.
She’s the newest podcaster on the block. I’m not supposed to tell you this, but right now Alisa is sitting in a hardend bunker miles underground developing a podcast to help businesses with their marketing. As a friend and guest of our show, I know she’s up to the task.
But as I said, I’m not supposed to tell you that.
Anyway, her podcast (that I’m not supposed to talk about) will start off like every other; with zero listeners. Then she’ll get one, then two and so on. But what if it doesn’t have to start that way for her? What if I went on my show and introduced my super fan bubble to her show? Chances are not everyone in my super fan bubble will become her fans, but I’m willing to bet that enough will that she’ll have some immediate traction. Then she’ll go to work cultivating that bubble and growing it. And then, when she has developed her own super fan bubble, she’ll introduce The Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast to them, adding to the momentum of our bubble.
That’s when this comes back full circle to Ryan. Our new larger super fan bubble can now be directed to Ryan’s great content, helping him grow his super fan bubble.
In the end, we all cooperate, collaborate, share and help each other grow.
But, Wait! What About Competition?
Aren’t Alisa and Mike and Ryan and Jason and Cynthia kind of competitors?
Yes. No. Maybe. I don’t care.
I want us all to win. My success is partially theirs and visa versa.
That’s how we build relationships, and also how we can all contribute to a viable economy.
So what does this mean for you, Dear Business Owner?
It means that you may be able to go beyond sustaining your super fan bubble by embracing your competitors as allies and using goodwill to cultivate a larger super fan bubble. Sure you’ll be helping them too, but there’s lots of business to go around.
Here in the United States it’s looking like the waves of a “bad economy” are receding. That means that there are a lot of businesses out there just waiting to give you their money for your product or service.
Chances are you can’t service everyone, so build a bridge. Build partnerships. Cultivate relationships with the people that you traditionally consider the competition.
I can’t tell you that this model is foolproof, but I can tell you that every business (including my own) that has adopted a “friend” instead of “foe” policy has grown and done better than when they went at it alone.
So don’t just think about your super fan bubble as your own. Think about how you can introduce your super fan bubble to another audience and how you can leverage a relationship with a competitor or vertical to expand both of your super fan bubbles.
There is strength in numbers. But there is also strength in goodwill.
In the words of Dr. Ivan Misner, The founder of Business Networking International, “Givers gain.”
Let me know in the comments about your super fan bubble and how you can cultivate a larger richer super fan bubble for yourself and someone else.
As Ryan would say…
I am Ralph Rivera.
Before you go, give a shout out to Alisa Meredith on Twitter. She’s putting a lot of work into her new podcast that I’m not supposed to be telling you about.
Also, visit ContentWarfareBook.com. I don’t know what else to say except it’s an exceptional work for the modern marketer.
And no bubble would be complete without Jason T. Wiser and OnTrackTips.com. I’m drinking a cup of coffee out of my On Track Tips mug right this very moment.
I love all of these guys and gals.
I am their super fan.