The magic of 1,000 true fans

You only need a small customer base to build huge rewards for your business. Being a Sharing Superhero means you’re first in line to the spoils since everything you do is dedicated to long-range customer relationships.

Can you feel the force?

In one of the most influential blog posts I have ever read over at The Technium, if you cosset and caress ten hundred customers to the point where they’re threaded into the tapestry of your business being you have a perfectly successful business.

If you can allocate people to customer care positions where they demonstrate actual care, rather than an aptitude for reading scripts and saying no a lot, then you can scale this – but the road is strewn with cautionary tales of those companies who have strived for greater success setting off for the skies in their hot air balloon, only to look down and realise they’d built their business on everything but the balloon and basket.

The long tail of our times (the concept and book idea belongs to Chris Anderson of Wired) signifies we all have the opportunity to thrive, despite increased choice. Humans are human, after all, and we largely subscribe to similar ideas, hobbies and desires. So the chances are that if you got hooked on a passion, thousands of others the world over will share your thirst for more.

So as you thirst for world domination and exponential growth, it’s vital to remember that phase 1 – and perhaps the only phase of customer expansion you might ever need – starts with a relentless focus on that first 1,000. Walk in their shoes, belong where they are, understand their habits and concerns and be a leader in the world they crave.

What’s more surprising than this small number is the empowerment that tribe generates. Once those folks start loving your way, their power to raise your business way above your boldest expectations will be fully realised.

1,000 is achieveable. 1,000 is a number you can work with; your chief customer officer, whether that’s you or a colleague, will love you for setting your primary goals at that level. It’s perfect. And once the 1,000 is attained, you just need to work harder at making them happier. Then it’s time to turn on the celebratory tap and let the good times roll!


  1. Chief Customer Officer. I like that a lot.
    Something I’m working very hard on is “audience transition,” how to bring my people along the journey.  Brian Clark is succeeding brilliantly at this with Copyblogger.

    • Dave Thackeray says:

      Dave, I’d not come across audience transition before you mentioned it. I’d definitely love to hear more about that. Why don’t we riff on that on a short radio show for your blog?

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