5 Ways to Cultivate Super Fans For Your Business

While they may not paint their faces, wear your colors, or scream your name loudly on Sunday afternoons, the super fans of any business are a huge asset. They love what you do, and their gusto for your business are a part of how they identify and define themselves.

It’s always so complimentary to be liked that passionately, but super fans are more important for your company than just providing affirmation and reassurance that you’re doing great work. Super fans can be one of your best marketing tools: they act as genuine and organic ambassadors, spreading the gospel of your company and your brand to all of their friends.

They provide the positive word of mouth (and often social media) advertising that every business needs to thrive and grow.

Having a dedicated army of super fans is hugely beneficial, but building up that army takes finesse. Your customers need to arrive at their high level of passion for your business organically and on their own; you really can’t recruit super fans or hire them.

However, there are a number of things you and your business can do to cultivate super fans. Here are five tips.

1. Say yes. If a customer has a request — for anything — and it’s feasible for you to say yes, then you should say yes. This establishes your company as one that is willing to go above and beyond for your customers. It shows that you value people over procedure and relationships over rules. Being accommodating creates good feelings, and the positivity that comes from interactions with customers can spark the transition from fan to superfan.

2. Interact with your fans in a positive and gracious way. Just like saying yes, paying attention to customer feedback and responding to it in a warm and timely manner can make your fans feel like you’re really paying attention them. Should you receive any complaints, address them swiftly and professionally, and do what you can do eliminate their frustration and earn their trust. Positive communication helps customers feel like they are truly valued.

Related by Mark Jenney: 10 Habits and Behaviors that Lead to Success

3. Be a great resource. And more than that, offer something of value without charging for it. If your customers (or potential customers) have a question, be there to answer it for them. If you’re a trusted source of good and helpful information, customers will keep coming back. For example, RVShare is a company that’s just a few years old, but it already has one of the top RV blogs on the web. They’ve become known as a source of valuable RV information, and as a result the company has grown: they’re the number one peer-to-peer RV rental platform in the world.

4. Show your customers what’s in it for them. You put your all into your marketing efforts, but they predominantly benefit your own bottom line. It’s important to show your customers how much they can benefit from what you provide. RVShare , for example, facilitates RV rentals between owners and would-be renters. On their main webpage, there’s a large graphic showing RV owners how much money they can make by just renting their vehicle — and the numbers are impressive. Similarly, for RV renters, there’s a section that shows how they can benefit by using the website: roadside assistance, high-end security, and a rewards program.

5. Keep your fans close and your super fans closer. Once you’ve got customers who have reached the level of superfan, you want them to stay there. Offering things like special promotions, privileged news, special content, or even access to VIP events can all make your best customers feel valued. By giving some sort of reward for their high level of engagement with your brand, you’re more likely to keep your super fans sharing the good word about your business.

Cultivating super fans is all about building relationships, staying in touch, and showing you care. It takes a fair amount of effort, for sure, but it’s a worthwhile investment. The positive word of mouth advertising and enthusiastic recommendations that super fans provide for you is invaluable.

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12 Behaviors and Attitudes That Can Prevent You From Achieving Your Dreams

12 Behaviors and Attitudes

Our intentions are usually good, and our dreams are often achievable. Still, there are times when we have no one to blame but ourselves when we can’t do everything we want to do. We tend to hold ourselves back from greatness, and we might not even realize that we’re doing it.

What it comes down to are unintentionally bad attitudes and unintentionally restricting behaviors. If we can eliminate these poisons from our outlooks and our actions, we put ourselves in a better place from which to succeed and achieve everything we want to achieve. Here are 12 behaviors and attitudes that can prevent you from achieving your dreams. Are you guilty of any of these?

1. Worrying about what others think of you. If you are passionate and work hard  what other people think about you shouldn’t matter. There will always be unwanted judgments and unsolicited advice, but if you allow these things to define you as a person, you’ll never get ahead. Know your own value and don’t be dependent on the approval of others.

2. Not having a plan. First and foremost, if you don’t have a dream, you won’t achieve it; as Zig Ziglar is often quoted as saying, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time”. But more than that, starting off each day without a plan keeps you from being efficient and productive. Take the time to do short term planning every day, and set aside time once a week for long term re-evaluating.

3. Defining success by income. It’s good to have a lot of money, but it’s so much more important to be happy. And, a big bank account doesn’t guarantee happiness — it only means that you’ll have more money to throw at problems to make them go away. Follow your heart and consider your success in terms of how happy you are. If you do, chances are good that your bank account will be just fine.

4. Being resistant to change. Change is inevitable; the world moves forward, and you can either move with it or get left behind. If you want to achieve your dreams and be successful, you’ve got to be able to adapt in a changing environment. Otherwise, you’re stuck using old paradigms to solve new problems.

5. Associating with toxic people. You’re only as good as the company you keep, as the old saying goes. Surround yourself with negative people who complain all the time, and you’ll quickly become one of them — and that’s destructive if you want to get ahead in life. Surround yourself with positive, likeminded people, and you’ll greatly improve your chances of realizing your dreams.

6. Letting jealousy get the best of you. If an associate is enjoying great success, feeling envious is perhaps the least productive thing you can do. Instead, show that you’re happy for him or her! There’s plenty of success to go around, and the good fortune of others’ has absolutely nothing to do with your abilities or shortcomings.

7. Letting roadblocks stop you. Roadblocks, obstacles, bumps in the road — they’re all things to go around or work through on the path to success. If you see them as a complete blockage to your dreams, however, you’ll never get ahead. Instead of quitting when you find yourself up against a roadblock, rise to the challenge and work at overcoming the problem. Everyone faces problems, but people who are able to achieve their dreams are able to get past them.

8. Seeing failure as anything more than a temporary setback. A certain amount of failure is practically a given in any industry. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. Failure can be extremely instructive: it shows us where we went wrong and what doesn’t work, and it pushes us to grow into better versions of ourselves. No one’s immune to it, either, and in fact, most successful people will fail more than they succeed. A perfect analogy here is baseball, a game in which success is defined as a player who hits the ball into play three out of every ten times at bat.

9. Playing the victim. If you see yourself as a victim, you’ll never achieve anything. Victims relinquish control, while successful people are the masters of their destiny. If you’re not in control, you’re going to have a hard time achieving your dreams.

10. Making excuses instead of making progress. If something’s not going right, change your approach. If you make a mistake, admit it. If things don’t work out according to plan, take responsibility for them. Making excuses for these things gets you nowhere.

11. Not taking care of yourself. Being in good health is important for many reasons, not the least of which is that it will help you in your entrepreneurial endeavors. Eating right and getting enough sleep and exercise keeps your head clear, your mind sharp, and your motivation high.

12. Being ruthless. Other people aren’t just things to knock out of your path on your way to the top. Showing a marked lack of compassion for your fellow humans quickly makes you someone with whom others would rather not associate. And, no matter how talented and capable you might be, you’ll almost definitely need to call on others from time to time as you work to achieve your dreams. Plus, if you believe in karma, it’s always wise to be good to others.

You’ll have many challenges climbing the mountain of success, the most difficult of which may be brought on by you and you alone. Once you recognize that your own actions and your own behaviors are perhaps the most instrumental factors in achieving your dreams, it’s time to take a personal inventor. What are you doing that’s holding you back? It’s not a twelve-step program, but avoiding the twelve things listed here can put you twelve steps closer to dream fulfillment.

7 Things Successful People Do on Weekends

7 Things Successful People

On Friday afternoon, the upcoming weekend feels so full of potential. There are 48 wonderful hours ahead of you, and the possibilities seem endless. There’ll be time to relax, spend time with your family, do something fun, and really make the most of those two days.

And then, before you know it, you’re watching the sky darken on Sunday night, the weekend’s about over, and it doesn’t feel like you did much of anything. Even worse, Monday morning is quickly upon you, and it just feels like a continuation of the previous week. You’re not at all rested, and your mind is on all the things you didn’t do over the previous two days.

We’ve all been there.

How can you really make the most of your weekends? One way is by taking a close look at how successful people spend their Saturdays and Sundays. In general, if you’re going to be an entrepreneurial powerhouse during the week, you’ve got to use your weekends to recharge and do the things you simply don’t have time to do before and after work during the week. Here are seven things that successful people do on their weekends. Will you do them too?

1. They disconnect. We spend all week on the phone, answering emails, and replying to text messages. Having a smartphone may be great for communication, but it can start to feel like an extension of your hand. On the weekend, put it down. Yes, really: resist the urge to check your messages every five minutes. Additionally, step away from that laptop. I’m not saying that you should completely avoid communication with the outside world on Saturdays and Sundays — schedule one or two times to check in each day — but when it’s the weekend, leave the virtual realm at the office and join the real world. Unplug! No matter how successful you are, you can’t be on call all the time.

2. They also reconnect. Stepping back from technology for a few days opens up lots of time to spend reconnecting with family and friends. Work may be hugely important, but the best entrepreneurs know that people come first. You spend 5/7 of your life thinking mostly about work; successful people devote the other 2/7 to the people who mean the most to them.

3. They go on mini adventures. A full-on vacation can often be too much for a weekend, but still, it’s important to get out of the house. So, go on an adventure! Do it alone, grab some friends or a significant other, or get the kids out for a hike through the woods, some kayaking, or a fun day at the beach. No warm weather to be had? No problem — go skiing or find the nearest big hill to sled down. Those who are successful at work know that satisfying your sense of adventure on the weekends is essential to maintaining calm at the office.

4. They get some exercise. The sad reality is that many of us are behind a desk from Monday through Friday. We don’t move much, and that’s not good for our bodies. Take time on the weekend to get some physical activity. Go for a run first thing in the morning, take a sunset walk, or strap on your helmet and go for a bike ride. Not only is it good for your overall health, but moving your body can actually help you think in new and creative ways.

5. They make time for spirituality. I’m not talking specifically about going to church here, though if that’s what helps to give your life meaning, then you should do it. If going to church isn’t your thing, do something to recharge your spiritual batteries: reflection, meditation, whatever. Not only is it relaxing, but it can help you keep some much needed perspective. Successful individuals recognize that maintaining their spirituality, however it’s defined, helps them to take the long view — something that’s easy to lose sight of in the frenzy of work life.

6. They have a great meal — or two, or three. It can be hard to fit in a home cooked meal during the week, and it’s equally hard to fit in a leisurely night out at a restaurant during the Monday through Friday grind. On the weekends, use mealtime as a time to relax, unwind, and find some enjoyment in your sustenance. Whether it’s a big family dinner on Saturday, a relaxing brunch on Sunday, or four courses at the hot new restaurant on Friday night, give yourself time to take pleasure in your food.

7. They don’t let Monday hit them in the face. We all know that Monday morning comes around all too quickly, and if you’re not prepared for it, you’re always in for a rough start. To alleviate this, and to better prepare for the week ahead, the more successful among us spend some time on Sunday getting ready for the next five days. You should too! After the kids are in bed, or during a quiet break in the day, take a look at your calendar, block out time to complete tasks, and eliminate as many surprises in your week as possible. You’ll feel much more ready to deal with whatever Monday throws at you.

It may be tempting to spend your weekends vegged out on the couch watching sports, but that’s not at all productive. Instead, get up, get out, and spend your weekends living life to its fullest! If you want to be on your A game all week at work, you’ve got to use your weekends to enhance your personal fulfillment with life. Successful people know this, and now you do too!

What do you do on the weekends that contributes to your business success? Let us know in the comments!

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