Loyalty. A funny concept. One that can mean so many different things to different people at different times.
Sports teams have loyalty from their fans. Well, the true ones do. Think Manchester City as opposed to Manchester United, where the latter?s ?fans? are more interested in prawn sandwiches than a good soccer team.
Indie bands have loyalty from their fans. Until they sign that big record deal, that is, then they become sell-outs.
Humans have loyalty from their dogs. But then you would be pretty loyal as long as you had someone cleaning up your shit.
So, yeah, loyalty ? a funny concept. And yet it?s something that?s so important to so many people, they spend their lifetime(s) trying to work out how they can build loyalty around what they do.
After all, build loyalty, you build bigger success, right? More sales; repeat sales; referrals. Get that gold rush and you don?t have to worry about marketing.
Okay, maybe just a bit about marketing (I?m a marketer by trade, so I?d be dumb to say you didn?t need my services, right?).
So, yeah ? loyalty is something pretty much everyone wants to achieve in some form or another. And not just loyalty, but fierce loyalty. Because if you grab that piece of gold, the world is truly your oyster. That shit starts revolutions.
And so companies spend thousands (millions?) on trying to create loyalty programs. Bloggers spend thousands of words trying to say the things they think their readers want to hear to become loyal. Social media ?gurus? spend all day on Twitter when they should be doing real work, just to try and get that extra loyal follower to buy into their crud.
And it?s all a waste of time. Seriously.
Because you don?t need to spend thousands, if not millions, of dollars trying to build loyalty. You don?t need to be that desperate typist. You don?t need to be that good-for-nothing-except-quotes-for-Mashable social media douche whose only loyalty comes from those laughing at him religiously.
If you want loyalty ? fierce loyalty ? it?s easy. Be fiercely loyal first.
Show people you care. Show people you mean what you say. Every time. Show people they can trust you. Show people you deserve that trust. Show people you?re not a dick who simply panders to those stroking your ego (or your dick). Show people every one of them is equal.
And it?s not fucking hard to do this.
- If you?re a blogger, encourage dissention of your views and don?t let fanboys be your voice.
- If you?re a business, embrace your critics as much as your fans (if not more so).
- If you?re a manager, let everyone speak and not just Tommy Kiss Ass.
In fact, no matter what you do, in what discipline and in what medium, it?s really not hard at all to build loyalty.
Think like the person you want to become loyal to you and ask what really matters to them.
Get that simple thing right and you?ll have loyalty so fierce you?ll wonder why you were making it so difficult to achieve to begin with.
This post originally appeared on Sarah Robinson’s 28 Days to Build Fierce Loyalty series.