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Blog 310: How to Create More Fans

I have to confess … As far as offering an opinion on how to get more referrals, I don’t think I can share anything better than what I have shared already.

People who get talked about get more referrals. So give people something to talk about. The more you surprise, delight and engage a client, the better you do.

I’m a fan of Jesse Cole, who owns the Savannah Bananas baseball team. You have heard of him. You’ve heard of him because he has a lot of fans, including me. So if this is the first time you’ve heard of Jesse, then you’re hearing about him from a fan.

I’m a fan because Jesse believes what I believe is the worst thing you can do to win at business: believe you’re different but act like everyone else. Jesse set out to build a fanbase rather than a client base.

When he was chasing ticket sales in Savannah, nothing worked. He realized what so many other business owners realize, often when it’s too late, that fitting in is like being invisible. No baseball team had ever succeeded in Savannah, and he realized he would fail, too, because he was doing what everyone else had done.

He had a serious shift …

What works for the Savannah Bananas can work for you.

Fans First Way has five Es:

Eliminating friction is about putting yourself in your fans’ shoes and looking at every possible pain point and frustration. Every possible policy slows things down, heats tempers, and punishes fans.

Entertain always. Every business is in the entertainment business. If you are not entertaining your customers, you won’t have customers to entertain. Or heed this advice from Walt Disney. “I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.”

Experiment constantly. Everything is about the experience. A lot of companies don’t try new things. They do the same thing over and over again. That creates boredom.

Engage deeply. Human connection is everything. It’s not about the number of followers, ticket sales or customers through the doors. It’s about engaging deeply. If you want fans to be there for you when you need them, your job is always to be there for them.

Empower action. If you want to empower action in your team, start by changing your organization's mindset. Instead of focusing on failure, focus on what you’re trying to do.

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