You Need 1000 True Fans

That’s the number of True Fans Wired founder Kevin Kelly suggested any creator needs to make a living.

“A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author—in other words, anyone producing works of art—needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.”

These True Fans,

“Will purchase anything and everything you produce” and guarantee you’ll have a livable income if you continue to produce great work.

It’s taken me years to realize how important this is.

I counsel my life sciences company clients that they need to do this. That they likely need fewer fans, depending on the cost of their product or service.

But until now I’ve done a poor job of it. My list has remained small so I’m working to expand it now.

1000 True Fans is all you need to build a business

Build Your List of True Fans. Now.

I know the 1000 True fans concept holds true. In the small audience I’ve built and cultivated, there is a smaller group that responds to every email. They are my few True Fans.

I consider them to be a very valuable asset.

Marketing guru Dan Kennedy argues that a company’s most valuable asset is its list. Not its intellectual property. Not its inventory. Not its office space. Not even the money in the bank.

A list of people that love doing business with you, he suggests, is more important than any of those.

If you’re launching a new product or starting a company creating that list is paramount.

One way to do that is to set up a blog, promote it and capture emails. It can be a video blog. It can be images on Instagram or Snapchat. As long you point readers or viewers back to your site where you’ll make them an offer in exchange for their email.

For that reason, I’m blogging more regularly. I’m focusing on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

I’m helping my readers understand how important their story is. Why they need to simplify their story. And, how they can become known by sharing ideas and telling personal, human stories.

Building a List of True Fans Requires Regular Work

I know that list building isn’t hard – I built a LinkedIn network to more than 22,000 members over the course of a few years. I’ll tell that story at another time but I will say, it took work. Regular daily work.

I believe that once you realize you need to build a list of 1,000 True Fans, you’ll start making the effort to do so.


If you can't see the image, here's the 3x5 cards I wrote the post on


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