1000 True Fans or 10 Constant Clients

By: Shama Hyder

Recently there was a brilliant article by Kevin Kelly called 1000 True Fans. In it he argued, that to be successful you don’t need hordes of fans. He was talking about musicians and artists in particular. You don’t have to reach rock-star level to earn a decent living (100k).  All you need is 1000 true fans.

True fans go out of their way to attend your concerts, buy your products, and evangelize to their friends.

The same concept of fans applies to consulting, coaching, accounting- really, all service professions. You don’t need a list of 50,000+. You just need a few constant clients who love what you are about.


1) Decide how many is the magic number. 10? 100? 1000? How many adoring fans do you REALLY need to be successful?

2) Figure out how you can attract them by adding value and by being remarkable-to them anyway.

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  • Alice

    This is per the 20-80 rule. Spend 80% of your time on the top 20% of your customer base to make any money and become successful.

  • Shama

    Hi Alice,

    It’s similar. But this is saying don’t go after everyone. You don’t need a million fans. You just need your dedicated few.

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  • Millie

    While this is all so very true and helpful there is on thing you fail to tell us and that is that we are in or going into a recession. No matter how true your client base is we the professionals/business owners are still losing out . I say this because I have a small business for two years now and it seems that no matter what I do my clients are becoming less and less every month even the faithful ones or dare I say the ones with “money”. I’m in the Spa business and believe me when I say that its hard for any business. Alot of my usual clients are going through hard times just like I am and don’t have the time or money to spend on a massage or a facial. For one, they are working longer hours to make ends meet and sometimes even working two jobs which means they have no time. How are you going to help this situation , when everything that can possibly be done has been done- from lowering prices to advertising and more.

  • Shama

    Hi Millie,

    I have addressed recession marketing in an earlier post. Just search “recession” in the search box to the right.

    I know this is a tough time for many businesses, but thats more reason to try and think outside of the box. As a spa owner, have you considered partnering with corporations to offer their employees massages? Partnering is a great idea during this economic time.

    How about creating joint ventures with nail salons and chiropractors (who refer out for massages)?

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