Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans

This one’s going to blow your mind. It’s the past, present, and future all rolled into one. It is about exactly what the title indicates—finding ways to connect with customers by creating bonds between your company and your customers.

It’s interesting to note that one of the co-authors, David Meerman Scott, also co-authored a book 10 years ago called Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead in which he provided a breakdown of how the Dead has become the most iconic band in the world and has created the most loyal and dedicated fans ever by making rooms for their fans and by giving their product away. The band even has a special “Tapers” section set aside at their concerts for people to get a clear view of the stage so they can record and tape the concerts, then send them along to as many others as possible, thus creating an even wider fan base.

Bookshelf_Fanocracy.jpgThis was by far the most useful message in the book. The message was too antithetical to what I have thought, and it did indeed blow my mind. The message: Give my content away and engaging fans by literally giving them my content with the tacit agreement that they will give it to others. That is brilliant. After spending years protecting my tips, tools, plans, writings, and strategies, reading this advice left me feeling completely liberated.

Let’s look at my case for a minute, I’m not Stephen King or John Grisham. My content is not worth millions of dollars. I use my content to become better known and promote my business. I use it to help companies take advantage of what I know and how I can help them. So why not get it out there, for free, as much as possible?

The rule is simple: The more I give away, the more it is passed around, the better I will be known, and the more I will be appreciated. It all makes sense.

There were many more of these kinds of lessons in this book. For example, the authors detail how to create tribes and create your own “fanocracy” by connecting likeminded people. In one instance, the book shares has many real life stories from gamers who are playing the same games, and creating a society for campers who can come together at the same time. Think about just about any subject or interest from quilting to golf and you can create an active and dynamic fan base to create connections. Choose your pertinent products and offerings over your less connected competitor. Try it—it works.

This is a good one for all of us trying to make our way in business and organizations. So, join the other fans of this book and create your own fanocracy.

Dan Beaulieu is president of D.B. Management Group.

 

Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans

Authors: David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott

Copyright: 2020 by Penguin Portfolio Press

Pages: 284 pages with index

Price: Hardcover $26.00 / eBook $10.99

 

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2022

Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans

06-02-2022

This one’s going to blow your mind. It’s the past, present, and future all rolled into one. It is about exactly what the title indicates—finding ways to connect with customers by creating bonds between your company and your customers. The message is likely antithetical to what you've always believed. I know it was for me.

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Dan's Biz Bookshelf: Back to Human—How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation

05-19-2022

In some ways, the work-from-home situation works out fine, but in other ways, it's really not working. For many of us, we haven't seen our co-workers in person for over two years. While technology has done well to connect us, often we're still not "connecting." Author Dan Schawbel looks at the current landscape and offers some advice.

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Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: A One-Legged Stool—How Shareholder Primacy Has Broken Business

05-06-2022

Thank you, Ed Chambliss, for writing this new book. It is long overdue. I think I loved it so much because I agree with the whole idea, including the premise that the shareholders’ economics philosophy expounded by Milton Friedman so many decades ago is basically the root of most of what is wrong with our companies and our economy today.

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Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: Firms of Endearment

03-17-2022

Get ready to have your world rocked as I discuss this book, Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose. First, let’s start by how not to run your business and handle your employees.

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Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: Leaders Eat Last—Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

03-03-2022

Leaders create culture and the right culture is what makes great companies and organizations. Leaders lead by example. Leaders allow their teams to be great. No matter the size of your organization, whether it’s three or 3,000 people, culture is always important. Culture is what makes a great company in the end, and that must come from the top.

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Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: The Future of Sales

02-24-2022

As I told a friend the other day, I learned more in the first 13 pages of this book than any other book I have read in a long time—and I’ve read a lot of good ones. The reason I love this book so much is that it is timely. It is the perfect book for COVID-influenced sales both during and post (please let’s be able to say “post” soon).

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Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: Start With Why—How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

02-11-2022

This is the ad that Ernest Shackleton placed in the London Times to recruit the crew of the Endurance that was setting out for the South Pole: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.” Shackleton didn’t get just a crew; he got a great crew of brave, heroic men who went through nearly unbearable hardships and yet all came back alive, primarily because they looked out for each other. If you get a chance, read a book about their adventures. It’s a fascinating and inspiring story.

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Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism

01-14-2022

For those of us who grew up reading Tom Peters, it is always exciting when he puts out a new book. Such was the case with me a couple of months ago when "Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism" came out. I bought and read it with great anticipation. In fact, I based several of my recent columns on some of the ideas from this book. As always, Peters is right on the mark. This is the perfect book for our times. Reading it will help us meet the challenges we are facing today.

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Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: The EOS Life

01-05-2022

If you are asking why I read and recommending this book, it’s this: We are all entrepreneurs; we are in business for ourselves when all is said and done. This is especially true for salespeople, whether you are directly employed or an independent sales rep; you are in business for yourself. At least that is the attitude you should have. This an excellent book to read as the year winds down and you evaluate your business and your life turning the corner into the new year.

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2021

Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: The Cult of the Customer

12-30-2021

I am a customer service fanatic. I am nuts about great customer service, customer service stories, and most of all, good books about customer service—how to train people to deliver it and how it helps companies surpass their competition. This is an especially appropriate book because we are in the time of very poor customer service. I am sure this is because of the labor shortage which is certainly causing a dip in customer service. And then, of course, there are the people who are coming to work untrained. But being the glass-half-full guy that I am, I see this as an opportunity, especially in our business. What better time to improve your customer service while everyone else’s is terrible?

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Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: Love as a Business Strategy

12-22-2021

The basis of this interesting book is that we are all better together. If we can look out for each other, and we keep one another’s interest at heart, we will all succeed in the end. Sure, some of you will think that this a good basic premise for doing business, but realistically this message needs to be said repeatedly because some companies just don’t get it. If business is always between people, then the need for caring for those people we do business with is a true prerequisite for doing business.

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Dan's Biz Bookshelf: Amaze Every Customer Every Time

12-10-2021

If you could only buy and read one book on customer service, this would be the one. Filled with easy to read, understandable concepts for delivering great customer service this book would make an excellent primer for training your own customer service and inside salespeople. But it is much more than that. Among his nuggets of knowledge: The customer is not always right. Get this book.

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Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: Built to Fail—The Inside Story of Blockbuster’s Inevitable Bust

12-02-2021

Shall we talk about the epitome of a “woulda, shoulda, coulda” story? This is the real deal. "Built To Fail: The Inside Story of Blockbuster’s Inevitable Bust" takes us on a fascinating reverse fortune adventure illustrating how things should not be done in business. How the world’s leading movie rental business literally overlooked opportunity after opportunity only to find that straight path to failure.

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Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: Pogue’s Basics

11-19-2021

David Pogue is one of my favorite reporters on CBS Sunday Morning, one of my favorite programs. He is also the technology reporter for the New York Times. And he is the opposite of what you’d expect for a tech reporter for the “Old Gray Lady.” His Techno Santa features every December are not to be missed, and Pogue will be the keynote speaker at IPC APEX EXPO this year.

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Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

11-05-2021

This is another worthy title by the great Seth Godin. I am often asked why I am so enamored of this writer. And my answer is always the same: He writes the best and most common-sense books on sales, marketing, and strategy, and everybody knows, I love common sense. First, let’s get this out of way. The Icarus Deception is actually about the fear of success, of flying on waxed wings like Icarus, too close to the sun. The heat of the sun melts the wings and Icarus goes tumbling down. In this book, Godin urges us to dare to make art. And to Mr. Godin, we are all capable of making art, even our own art that no one understands.

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Dan's Biz Bookshelf: The Secret—What Great Leaders Know and Do

10-29-2021

Here is the simple truth of leadership from one of the most concise books on leadership I’ve ever read. This is actually the 10th anniversary edition and marks over half a million copies sold. So, I guess I’m not the only one who appreciates this one. Of all the books on leadership, this is by far the very best. It is the gold standard of leadership books.

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Dan's Biz Bookshelf: It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be

10-22-2021

You can read all of the business books on strategy that you want, but if you really want to cut to the chase when it comes to creative ideas for setting your business direction there are no better books than those on advertising by people in advertising. This is one of my favorites.

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Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: Experts Never Chase—The Hassle-Free Guide for Expert-Based Entrepreneurs

10-01-2021

Experts Never Chase: The Hassle-Free Guide for Expert-Based Entrepreneurs takes us to the next level of selling. The authors demonstrate from their own experience how to get close to clients on a more valuable and personal way than “selling them.”

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Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: Own Your Weird

09-23-2021

Take some cues from this serial entrepreneur whose ideas are refreshingly creative, even if they aren't all successful. Find lessons of inspiration in a way you've never heard before.

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