It took me from 11a.m. to 7:30p.m. to put this together…and I didn’t even fully finish it. I think it came out pretty decent… Also, thanks Mom for being my hand model.
So, I’m a big fan of Adam Lambert. I’m not his biggest fan, but I like him. Quite a bit. Most of this is due to his relationship with his fans. First of all, his fans are a family. They will accept anyone who is a fan of his, even if they only like one song. They’re not, however, nice to people who: butcher his songs, say bad things about him, or don’t ship him with the right person. (Shipping?) They are very passionate about him, let me tell you.
The reason they are so much of a family, is because Adam treats them like they are his (family). They have even branded themselves a “glamily”. Adam made his world of fans, made up of people from all across the world, and made it small. How did he do that?
The internet is a big place. There are so many opportunities for you to speak your mind and get your thoughts out there. Sure, this is true. But, um, why would you? It’s so big, that sure, more people can hear you, but not a lot of people will listen. Why? Because there are way too many other things for them to listen to, way too many other things. So, why would you want to get your thoughts out there, into a big place where not a lot of people will listen? You answer that. I think the real question is, how?
There are so many new things popping up on the internet. MySpace, then Facebook, then Twitter, then Instagram, then Google+, then this thing, then that thing, then things I don’t even know about, then things that will come in the future. Most people will thing, “Alright! A new place for me to share my thoughts with people!” The reason I never gave into Instagram was because too many people flocked to it (and now it will soon no longer be around. Good thinking Sarah. I don’t even have the phone for it anyway, so, that’s another reason). People flock to new things all the time (unless they’re not nerds/artists and can’t understand Google+ *wink*. Go us!) And with each new thing, adds to the clutter. You might be thinking, “But, I’m with that guy. It’s a new place for me to be known!” Ok, alright, you’re right, you’re absolutely right, but let me paint a picture for you:
You’ve got a great idea for a book. It’s called Twitter. You are so excited to write it. You sit down and plot everything, and you’re going along great until…book Facebook comes along. Oh, I’ll write both at the same time you say to yourself. So you write Twitter, and you plot Facebook and then start writing. Omg, book YouTube has arrived! Soon, you’re writing five books at once, and you’re slowing down your momentum on each one with every new idea. Same with social network. If you try to be active on all of them, you won’t be, and your potential fans will start to fade away. Let me give you a quote from One Big Thing by Phil Cooke:
As the alternatives increase, the clutter increases, making it even more difficult to find an audience large enough to support your work.
Now, how do we get an audience? I’m actually going to answer this question. Focus on one thing.
The majority of the readers of this blog come from Google+ (and I thank you all immensely). Mainly because I spend most of my time there (Facebook is full of immature children, and Twitter…no one pays attention to me anyway). Since I focus on Google+, and I’m there all the time, people start to get to know me. And when people start to get to know me, they make up their minds about me. If they like me, we talk. The more we talk, the more I feel like we’re a family. I respect them, they respect me, we all live in peace. There’s the start of an audience. Having an audience is key to being heard. (What?! I know, crazy huh?) Once you have an audience, you can begin to make them fans because some of them might like what they hear. And when they become fans, you make them family because you appreciate them, and want to show them that. Show them that by listening to them. Always listen and interact with your fans, they’ll respect you if you respect them. Here’s a scenario:
You decided to interact with your fans:
Not a fan: “Have you heard of so-and-so?”
Fan: Omg, YES! I just love them. They listen to their fans and make them feel so comfortable talking to them!”
Fan now: “Wow, *no one ever does that these days. I’m a huge fan now!”
You decided NOT to listen to your fans:
Not a fan: “Have you heard of so-and-so?”
Fan: “Yea, their cool, but they’re not really in touch with their fans. I never know what’s going on with them.”
Still not a fan: “Oh no, I like it when people tell us what’s going on. That’s sad.”
Exaggerated? Probably, but don’t you think that has an impact on people? Even if it’s just a little one, it could make or break some people’s decisions.
*I’m pretty sure more people do this than I realize, but for the sake of this story, no one does that these days.
**Yes, I do understand that there should be a level of privacy. That level is different for everyone. Your fans will understand what it is, because they’ll get to know you and respect your boundaries.
Take Just Bieber for example. He retweets his fans all the time. “How do you know that, Sarah?” I…well, I, you know… I follow him, alright? Geez. And you know what? He’s freaking famous! Why? He treats his fans very well. They might be annoying, but hey, they’re devoted.
I’m going to go hipster on you and talk about Chris August. You know why he’s well-known? “Who is he? He’s not well-known.” Yes he is, be quiet. You know why? Because he writes a rap about candy, and then stands in the middle of a sidewalk outside of the building he’s about to play in, and sings it for the people waiting. He is out, mingling with fans at festivals. He even responds to people’s messages. He makes us feel like a family! *Sniffles*
How did Adam make his world small? He focused on one thing, made his fans feel like a family, and he listens and interacts with them. He may not be super well-known, and he may not be up for awards (come on, Best Video With A Message? Don’t tell me “Better Than I Know Myself” or “Never Close Our Eyes” don’t have a message *rolls eyes*. Although, I might be biased because I like him and not Lil Wayne). Anyways, that doesn’t matter, because he has a family. He just did a few shows with Queen for crying out loud! Good God, he doesn’t need an award after that.
What About Afterwards, When I “Reach The Top”?
So! You focused on one thing, you peaked someones interest in you, they told all their like-minded friends, they became your audience, then your fans, then you appreciated them so much and engaged with them that they felt like family, they talked you up to random passer-byers, they became fans, and now, you have a following. Woot! You’ve been going strong for seven years, and now you have 5 million subscribers on YouTube. Woot!
I’m talking about Smosh. They were passionate about making random videos on YouTube, they stayed after it so much that they had to drop out of college because they didn’t have enough time to make videos (sound familiar? Maybe?). The bigger they got, the more they did. They got a website, merchandise, started doing more videos, having more channels, getting more involved. Now, they have decided to give cartoonists the opportunity to get their name out there, by putting their brand on their cartoons and putting them on their own channel. How nice of them! Really, it is. The bigger you are, the more you can do. But that’s only if you have the fans. The fans spread the news, talk about you (good or bad, although, if they talked bad, they wouldn’t be fans…), watch your every move. Really, fan is synonymous for stalker. You think I’m kidding…I’m not.
tl;dr- Make your world small. Your fans shouldn’t be your world, but they should feel like they’re included in it. That’s basically what I was trying to say.