When customers become fans, the dynamic shifts

A couple of weeks ago I received the new book by Pat Flynn: Superfans. A book dear to my heart, for a range of reasons. I dedicated a full chapter to this topic in my upcoming book since I believe creating fans, not customers, is a core trait of a Remarkable software business. I am convinced every software company can create fans, and therefore, it should be your prime focus.

Product StrategyHere’s why. Once a customer turns into a fan

  • …they will tell others about you
  • …they are getting more invested in your success – so the conversation becomes two ways
  • …they will tell you things they’d generally hide – that will give powerful insights and potentially another pivot point
  • …they will see more good than bad in your solution
  • …they will come back for more
  • …they will eagerly try new things out – be the first to take the risk when you release your next big thing.
  • …they will stand up for you when you need help

These are just a handful of arguments about the benefits you’ll receive for free. However, maybe I forget the most important one: It’s makes everything you do simply more fun and rewarding.

Creating a flywheel

By focusing on creating fans, you’ll be able to create a flywheel that, once in motion, is hard to stop. The focus will make you more resourceful – on every level of your business:

  • Product strategy-wise – because it will help separate the essence from the ‘stuff.’
  • Marketing wise – because of worth of mouth and because of your ability to truly connect around what resonates with your ideal customer
  • Sales performance-wise – because of the instant qualification with the right organizations that will be prepared to pay a premium because of the clear value you create for them.

The secret lies in one word: Focus. Sounds like an open door, I know. However, let me be more specific; It starts with being extremely rigorous around your segmentation. With that, I mean homing in on your smallest viable audience. Forget the traditional segmentation around demographics like ‘this sector’ or ‘this size.’ It’s simply too broad and too generic.

This sounds counter-intuitive, but trust me, the market is large enough to find enough like-minded organizations that love what you have to offer. Start by reflecting on who are your fans today. What characterizes them? Beyond industry and size, what’s different about them. What are their believes? What’s their worldview? What do they care about? What do they aspire?

Once you get more clarity on this, answer this: What about your solution triggers them to keep coming back and tell their peers about it?

I am eager to hear about your findings. Please share.

About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.