Thursday, December 22, 2011

Serve the 10 percent

Funny, but here lately I've read several blogs that referenced "serving the ten percent." Easy to say, harder to do. Especially when you realize you are NOT serving 90 percent. 

Imagine speaking in a room full of, say, 100 people. Ninety of them walk out before you are through with your speech. Talk about a buzz kill! That's a pretty profound visual. It's enough to make most speakers leave the room with them!

But let's study what that means. When business and marketing gurus tell you to serve the ten percent, they are telling you to identify your loyal customers. Sure, you may have 10,000 followers on Facebook, but how many of them comment and message you? How many look forward to your next post, book or article? How many would buy your book the minute it's released? These are the equivalent of the ten people in your audience who did not walk out the door because they hang on your every word.

The experts swear by the ten percent rule. Blogging pros instruct newbies to strive for that loyal 100 or loyal 1000. Once you have them, you have momentum. You have word of mouth. You have the foundation for a solid platform. You have buddies who'll not flit away to the next new author or newest smart-talking blogger.

These people are there for you. Sure, 10,000 followers sounds better, but do you expect that 10,000 to buy  what you have to sell? Would they follow you wherever you went, in whatever publication you publish in? No. But that ten percent will. And they'll tell their friends who'll tell their friends. They'll Tweet and text about you, too.

Catering to your special followers, reaching them and writing for them, gives you more mileage than trying to write, reach and cater to everybody. Everybody might open your email, or they might not. They don't often leave comments on your blog. They won't attend your book signing. They'll occasionally read your newsletter. They won't answer your survey or Tweet back.

Continue to build a following. Don't feel you have to sift through the sign-ups for your email updates. Just know that is you have 550 followers, that only about 55 will wait for your guidance, talent or latest release.

Understand your ten percent and serve their needs, for these noble souls keep your work selling and will ask for more. There's where you focus your marketing attention, because these individuals will listen and act. Better to have a small hot loyal following than a large lukewarm fan case. Of course you can enjoy both, but know where to pour your energies when your time, creativity and energies are limited. They'll love you  back ten fold.


jen said...

Such great advice, Hope, and easy to get caught up in the BIG number, instead of the number that will actually translate into sales and $ in the bank.

Wishing you and yours a blessed holiday season.

Hope Clark said...

Thanks so much, Jen. It is hard to focus on what and who matters.

Merry Christmas!

Joe Duncko said...

I always thought about this "10%", however your post was the first that really broke it down and made me realize that even I have a "10%", and that I should focus on them more. Because, in all reality, I love my "10%" and appreciate their support.