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The Theory of One Thousand True Fans

true fans

1000 True Fans is an essay written by Kevin Kelly in 2008 which has been used by many online businesses since then. It’s been edited and updated for today’s world. If you know and apply this theory, good for you. However, if not, this is an opportunity for you to learn about the theory and how you can apply it to your online business.

Kevin Kelly stated that to be a successful business owner, you do not need millions of customers or fans. This applies to everything else you do, whether as an influencer, photographer, musician, entrepreneur, thought leader, podcaster etc. You only need a thousand true fans to make a living. You only need one thousand people who will buy anything you produce, share any article you write, listen to any podcast you air, watch any video you publish. These are die-hard or super fans who are ready to go any length to use what comes from you.

As you may have guessed, it’s pretty difficult to have one thousand true fans. However, it is possible. You start by having the first 10 who brings in the next 100 and then they bring in the next 1000. It is a simple math problem that can be solved or achieved via smart and hard work. Most importantly, it gets easier when you build a direct and quality relationship with your existing fans. It starts with what you have.

1000 true fans
Image by Kevin Kelly

It is way more difficult to have millions of people as die-hard or super fans when you are just starting out than it is to have a thousand true fans. Achieving a thousand true fans is easier than aiming for million fans. You will get to millions but first, aim at 1000. You can do this by aiming to add two or more true fans per day. This depends on how hard you can grind/hustle this out.

Kevin Kelly’s New Book: The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

The truth is, getting a thousand true fans is time-consuming and sometimes nerve-racking. This theory is not for everyone. However, if you do it well, you will have an empire system generating you results in cash and kind for life. However, please note that this theory won’t succeed in itself. You need to make sure you are creating and delivering real value for your 1000 true fans consistently.

The takeaway by Kevin Kelly is, 1,000 true fans is an alternative path to success other than stardom. Instead of trying to reach the narrow and unlikely peaks of platinum bestseller hits, blockbusters, and celebrity status, you can aim for direct connection with a thousand true fans. On your way, no matter how many fans you actually succeed in gaining, you’ll be surrounded not by faddish infatuation, but by genuine and true appreciation. It’s a much saner destiny to hope for. And you are much more likely to actually arrive there.