How (and why) to get 1,000 fans for what you do

The new podcast from Seth Godin, “Akimbo” was launched just a few weeks ago and the first two episodes are available from the iTunes store and other notable podcast channels.

In episode #1 Seth talks about “grand openings” – a term used to describe the hyper-activity that organisations get carried away with when they bring new products or services to market.

All that noise leaves us largely unaffected nowadays, simply because they have been shouting at us for so long that we have stopped listening.

The podcast allows Seth to remind us of one of his classic rules for product/service launches – that “1,000 fans is all you need” to get started and that the best way to enrol those fans is to ask 10 people that you know to tell 10 people that they know.

So the world’s most popular marketer advocates word of mouth. Go figure.

Nowadays that involves physical word of mouth – a recommendation to the person you are with – and digital word of mouth – a recommendation to your connected community.

10 x 10 x 10.

I see evidence of this every day as my clients engage with their existing patients face to face and online. There’s hardly a week goes by that a client doesn’t remark on the number of new patients who comment that they read the practice’s online reviews before making the first call.

Let me remind you, once again, that every daily huddle should be focused on your MR CREST list for patients at the end of a course of cosmetic treatment:

M = membership of our plan

R = referral business cards

C = check in

R = review

E = email address and newsletter consent

S = selfie

T = testimonial (video)

Not to ask for every one of these – simply to agree which are most suitable to the patient under discussion and to agree who will do the asking and when.

Every week I get reports from clients who tell me they have forgotten to do this because they are either too busy or haven’t developed the habit.

Every end of treatment review missed is a chain of 1,000 conversations that may never happen – a huge waste of opportunity.

Throw money at advertising or ask 10 people to share their story – it sounds very obvious doesn’t it?


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.

One thought on “How (and why) to get 1,000 fans for what you do”

  1. Very well written Chris! We are in a trust business and most high budget treatments are often taken by previous existing patients or by people who our previous patients have strongly recommended.
    It’s all about building and keeping relationships…..
    Of course as you rightly said, your service has to be top class as well.
    It was lovely experience listening to you for a full day on your trip to India.

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