sly : marketing

Turning Fans and Followers into Fanatics and Friends for Life

I am a huge fan of the podcast BlogCast FM. Srinivas Rao, is an amazing guy, providing fantastic content for his listeners. I listen to his interviews with some of the top people in blogging and marketing, every single week. When I listened to his latest interview, a few days ago, I started thinking about one of his books.

It’s been a while since I’ve read The Small Army Strategy: A Guide for Turning Fans and Followers into Fanatics and Friends for Life, for the first time. But, it was such an interesting book, so I decided to read it again.

small army strategy

The thing about the book, is that it turns something complex, into something fairly easy to understand and it makes everything doable. It’s not just about blogging, but the strategy can be used for any business and for your personal life.

The goal is to treasure and nurture the attention you already have. That’s what I believe causes blog readers to turn into tribes and content to turn into movements.

I probably wouldn’t have used his exact words, but Srinivas Rao tells it like it is. And, I do agree with him, this is what it’s all about (online and offline):

If you have one takeaway from this book it’s this, GIVE A DAMN. Give so much of a damn that people depend on you and rely on you. Give so much of a damn that strangers feel compelled to share their challenges and struggles. You can’t put a ROI on giving a damn.

To me, blogging has mainly been about telling stories and turning what I have experienced into a story you can learn something from. I haven’t focused much on emotions, but that might be changing:

What makes any blog memorable is the author’s ability to invoke emotion in their readers and tell a good story.

When you read The Small Army Strategy you’ll understand that there is a lot of competition, and you’ll understand what you really should be focusing on:

The blogosphere is like an unlimited NBA draft with tons of talent accessible to anyone who can shed their ego and look for an opportunity to connect.

I use social media as a great way to connect with people, and a great way to build relationships.

You’ll never hear somebody say, that status update changed my life. Tweets and status updates don’t change lives. The shelf life of social media is far too short to have a meaningful impact on people you connect with. Tweets and status updates are like televisions commercials. Blog posts are like episodes of TV shows and larger bodies of work are like movies.

The quote from Chris Guillebeau provides a great overview of the book:

If you only have a few readers, treat them like the most important people in the world, because they are.

I highly recommend that you read The Small Army Strategy. It’s a fairly short book, it’s easy to read, you’ll read it in one sitting. But, it has a very powerful message. I’m sure that, after you’ve read it, you’ll understand what you should be focusing on, if you want to turn fans and followers into fanatics and friends for Life.

11 responses to “Turning Fans and Followers into Fanatics and Friends for Life”

  1. Arun Kallarackal says:

    Interesting read. After reading this article, I’m curious to know more about the book.

    We can turn fans and followers into friends by networking and helping them out. I guess Social networking sites can be used as a platform for doing this 🙂

  2. Ed King says:

    I am surely going to check the book out! Michelle from New England Multimedia had recommended a webpage that showed how an artist can build a small engaging army of followers and sustain an income through their passion and work.. Have a great weekend !

  3. Jeevan Jacob John says:

    Seems like an interesting book (Chris Guillebeau’s quote makes me more curious).

    I have added it to my reading list. Thanks for the recommendation, Jens 🙂

    I loved the last bit comparing TV shows and ads to blog posts and advertisements. Makes perfect sense 😀

    Anyways, I hope you have a great weekend!

    • Hi Jeevan,

      I recommend that you read it. There are some really awesome quotes in it, and I believe that too many people are focusing on numbers and are thinking that we need to get a lot of visitors to become successful. So, for most people, I believe that The Small Army Strategy would be a great way to focus. Start with a few customers/fans, and make them the most important people in the world and go from there..

      Have a great weekend Jeevan.

      – Jens

  4. Stuart Davidson says:

    Nice resource here Jens.

    I was working with a client who wanted to turn his attention to attracting new customers. When I told him that the cliche stat highlights the fact that it costs 6-7 time more to acquire new customers than keeping existing, he quickly backtracked.


    – Stuart

    • Hi Stuart,

      That’s the thing. Many are just focusing on getting new customers, and like you said, it’s a lot harder to get a new customer than to sell to your existing customers.

      Thanks a lot for your feedback.


  5. Alysha says:

    Very interesting topics and authentic information and I hope it will work for everyone. I am so engaged after reading your post to read that Book. I think I will learn some thing new.

  6. Stuart Davidson says:

    Hi Jens, I gave this post some love on my recent article for top 6 reads of the week. Be good to get your thoughts on my piece!

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