Have you ever taken the time to tell someone that you love their work and that you can’t wait to see more? Well if you have, how many times has that person gotten back to you personally? How much more excited are you for their product when you get that personal message back saying that they thank you for your support? How much more willing are you to share that person’s work with your friends? That person just scored themselves’ more credibility.
What it means to nurture
Nurturing is the act or process of developing a person. It is bringing them up and developing them into something else. As a designer your goal is to nurture your fans from being casual fans to hardcore fans that will likely spread your creation. Casual fans just like your product and when they see it they will likely download it. Hardcore fans on the other hand, will take the time to spread the word because they feel that your work is worthy of others to experience. While casual fans are important, they are not what make the difference in advertising. Hardcore fans will get the word out that you have something new out and the casual fans will hear the word and download it. Hardcore fans will advertise for you. The more you have, the less you have to advertise, and the more time you can spend on working on new amazing content for your fans to enjoy.
The way of nurturing
Nurturing fans can be done in various ways. If I receive a comment on one of my creations I take the time to personally message that user and let them know that their opinion does matter to me. If someone asks for my help I do my best to take the time out of my day to try to work with them. Because I am giving back to them my credibility is raised in their eyes and they are more likely to come back and ask for more help and more likely to help advertise my works. As you get more popular though it becomes harder and harder to nurture all of your fans. At that point you have to take the time to decide who to help and for how long. If you spend too much time nurturing you won’t have any time to finish any of your works and you will start losing fans that are waiting for content. However if you spend too much time making content then you lose that strong advertisement base and the time you spend trying to get your future works out doubles. It is a difficult balance to find and one that you can only find through years of experience.
If you do not have time to nurture every person that comes to you or every person that enjoys your work at least take a little bit of time to acknowledge them. Something is better than nothing and most people will understand that you are busy and will still take the time to look out for your work or wait until you are less busy to ask you for help. Never leave a person hanging because the same way that one person can make you popular, one person can bring you down. You never know who will do what for or to you so never let something just slide by. Nurturing has been one of the best advertisement strategies that I have used to get my content out there, including these lessons. Don’t under estimate the power of personal and direct interaction. Remember that your time is money and giving it to others means a lot to them. Invest in your fans and future.