A more detailed breakdown of the 1,000 true fans concept

The concept of 1,000 true fans was first made popular online by Kelly in this post. Seth just brought it back up in this post. As you recall, the concept is simply that if you can gather 1,000 true fans of you or your product, you can make a decent living.

The exact number might shift around depending on what you’re selling. But in general, if each of your true fans spends $100 on you per year, then you make $100,000 per year. Of course, this is nothing new. We’ve long had mom and pop stores selling to only a select few in a small town. Think of a baker or butcher in a local neighborhood.

The “new” part about this is that online you can readch your fans easier. You can specialize even more. If you want to sell oil for greesing hogs, you might just be able to find 1,000 fans who would be customers. That was pretty impossible before the Internet because you didn’t have a large enough ocean to choose from or net to gather with. That’s all changed.

So I’ve been thinking about this over the past few days. What’s the real breakdown here? Here’s what I’ve come up with:


$100 / true fan / yr
1000 true fans
=$100,000 / yr

Ave. time worked:

8 hrs / day
40 hrs / week
50 weeks / yr
=2000 hrs / yr

If you figure this out like I did, it means you spend 2 hours per year working for each of your true fans if you work with each individually. At that rate, though, each true fan would be paying you $50 per hour.

Now, that’s not an absurd amount, especially for private coaching. And with the Internet you could probably pull off a quite a few of those sessions per day. But if it is private coaching you have to start factoring in time to prepare and connect up with all your clients.

There’s another way though. Let’s shuffle things around a bit. What if instead of just teaching private lessons or selling one product to one person you sold one product or one lesson to multiple people. That’s where I think the power of 1,000 true fans really pulls through.

It seems like you’d be able to pull this off much easier if you did group coaching for example. You could set it up to do ten hours of group coaching at 50 bucks per person. That’s an insanely good deal if you ask me. The beauty of immersion kicks in, and your clients would really “get” what you’d teach. As a result, they’d get results, which would lead to better business for you.

Or what if we tweaked the number of fans. Many people have already talked about this possibility because it’s so obvious. You could sell $1000 worth of stuff to only 100 true fans and still make the $100,000 per year. That’s what my church is doing. My church doesn’t have 1000 true fans, yet it’s been able to support my dad and family.

Me, I’m looking at the 10 true fans per group idea (someone say 12 disciples). But tweak it to work for you.

My point is this: there’s no reason not to be doing something amazing, something you really love. Because somewhere out there are 1000 (or so) true fans who could support you doing whatever you want to do. The only block is organizing them… and that’s not even a block anymore because of the cool communication technologies we have.