1000 true fans theory

1000 True Fans Theory Explained: Monetise Your Online Following

1000 True Fans Theory Explained: Monetise Your Online Following

The 1000 True Fans theory explained

In this article, I will explain the 1000 true fans theory, made famous by Kevin Kelly.

It’s essentially the idea of how you can make money online through any social media following – with just 1000 true fans (or less).

When I first read about this, it changed the way I looked at social media.

It changed what I thought about building an audience.

It showed me that you don’t have to have a huge following to be able to make a full-time income online.

1000 true fans theory

What is the 1,000 True Fans Theory?

When you first start looking at social media, you might be thinking that the only way people make a lot of money from social media is by having a large following.

In this blog post, I want to completely challenge that idea.

There was this great article by a man called Kevin Kelly, which explained the idea of 1000 true fans:

‘To be a successful creator you don’t need millions. You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of customers, millions of clients or millions of fans. To make a living as a craftsperson, photographer, musician, designer, author, animator, app maker, entrepreneur, or inventor you need only thousands of true fans.’

I suggest you read it in full first, but the general principle was that you don’t need a million fans to make a good income.

You don’t need 100,000 fans, or 10,000 fans.

You only need 1000 true fans.

1000 true fans theory

Let me break that down for you.

The $10 example

If you have 1000 fans and you make $10 profit per person per month.

That would be $120,000 per year. i.e. ($10 x 1000) x 12

From just 1000 fans.

The $100 example

If you have 1000 fans and you make $100 profit per person per month.

That would be $1,200,000 per year. i.e. ($100 x 1000) x 12


That is the power of the 1000 True Fans theory.

1000 true fans theory

What is a True Fan?

A true fan isn’t just someone that will just watch something once and leave.

A TRUE fan is someone that relates directly to you.

It’s someone that will buy everything you produce and will consume everything you create.

They could also be known as super fans.

1000 true fans theory

The only way to create that kind of relationship, is to be honest, genuine and create something that helps that person.

You need to give value to that person.

Aim to make everything you create help at least one person.

That’s how you’re going to create those relationships.

It’s also going to be reciprocal. You’re going to give value to them and then they’re going to reward you for giving that value – and it’s that simple.

1000 true fans theory

How to Monetise Your 1000 True Fans?

To clarify, when talking about making money from your 1000 true fans, I DO NOT mean taking advantage of your fan base.

I’m talking about giving them value through your content, then creating a product or service that gives even greater value.

Once you’ve built a targeted audience of 1000 true fans, there will be a way to monetise your fan base that is a win-win for everyone involved.

For example, you could create an insider community that gives even greater access to you. Patreon is a great example of this – offering fans exclusive access to creators based on a subscription service.

You could create an additional product that gives further value to your audience. For example, an online course or info product.

READ MORE: How I Travel Continuously with YouTube – 5+ Years of Lessons

1000 true fans theory

How many true fans do you need?

The 1000 true fans theory is only an example. You could 100% create a full-time income with a much smaller number of fans.

The actual number is not that important.

If you have 200 people that follow you they each give you $10 per month, even if that’s through Patreon fan funding or anything else, that’s $2000 extra income per month!

That’s $24,000 a year (a full-time income in large parts of the World).

1000 true fans theory

The 1,000 True Fans Value Proposition

Let’s say your goal is to travel, to create a passive income for yourself, or just to have more free time.

Whatever your goal is, those 200 fans that you really connected with and resonate with have just enabled you to do that.

You’re improving their lives, you’re giving value to them and they’re giving you the freedom to do what you really want to do.

200 True Fans are far more important than 2000 regular fans.

1000 true fans theory

The Huge Social Following Myth

This is something that really resonated with me.

Most creators think that to make more money, they need to have more fans.

This is simply not true.

You don’t need to think about creating a 1,000,000 million strong audience.

What you need to do, is focus on the core people that you’re trying to resonate with and maintain relationships with them.

Focus on the 100 fans. Focus on the 500. Focus on the 200!

1,000 true fans are far more powerful than a million fans.

If you consistently answer their needs and if you consistently resonate with the person that you’re talking to, then you can scale your audience from there.

1000 true fans theory

Focus on Your 1000 True Fans

The most important part is to commit to helping the 1000 true fans.

Focus on the people that are giving you feedback.

Focus on your true fans and make sure that you’re giving them value and always relating back to them.

If you do that, you’ll be able to scale out and make a living from something you and your fans are passionate about.

1000 true fans theory

Attract Your Tribe

What’s that saying, your vibe attracts your tribe?

If you focus on what you care about and you create content about what you’re passionate about, then you attract other people that share that passion.

Then they will become your tribe – or they will become your true fans!

Focus on satisfying the needs of those people and build out from there, you don’t have to think about how this is going to affect a million people because they’re not your true fans.

1000 true fans theory

Focus on the few

You need to focus on the needs of the few and give value to the 1000 true fans.

Here is a great interview with Kevin Kelly, the man that originally came up with this concept.

At this point, I encourage your to stop reading this article and watch this video before continuing.

Is the 1,000 True Fans Theory Still Applicable?

It’s now easier than ever to find your 1000 true fans.

We’re at a time now, where technology permits creators to connect with people in a way that we’ve never been able to before.

You can find 1000 true fans around the internet relatively quickly, because new technology has enabled us to do that now.

It could be YouTube, it could be TikTok, or it could be on another social media platform – but you can quite quickly find, and be in direct contact, with 1000 new fans that are interested in the same thing as you are.

Then, if you can nurture that relationship and you can relate back to them in a way that they resonate with, they will become your true fans.

1000 True Fans Theory

1,000 True Fans Theory Outside Social Media

You don’t need to be an artist or a creator to make 1000 fans work for you.

You could also apply the 1,000 True Fans Theory outside of social media.

For example, you could use the internet to find a thousand customers within your niche.

You could then sell to those customers, create a direct relationship with them and turn each one of those people into a true fan!

1000 True Fans Theory

1,000 True Fans Theory Summary

The basic premise is that to successfully monetize an online following, an artist or creator needs to have just 1000 true fans.

With the Internet and social media, it’s now easier than ever for creators to reach a large audience.

As long as you can connect with even a small percentage of the people within your niche, you stand a good chance of achieving 1000 true fans.

Then, even with a small following, you will be able to achieve a full-time income.

You just need to relate to 1000 true fans.

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