How to Grow Fans

Right now I’m in the middle of a project with CMB that some of you may have participated in. It’s a “mood of the members” study intended to spotlight what the primary shared concerns are for CMB members (the results will be presented at Momentum later this year).

Predictably, one of those concerns is a common one: The desire to grow Cume.

We always want to grow our audience, right? And growing our audience means growing FANS. And growing fans means nurturing and leveraging fan enthusiasm, because what is a fan if not an enthusiastic consumer of your content and brand experience?

So last week I spent a few hours at ground zero for fandom in the entertainment industry: San Diego’s annual Comic-Con.  It’s no exaggeration to say that the world of entertainment stops for Comic-Con. It’s ground zero for a spate of major announcements about franchises new and old. It’s where all of the entertainment news is made for four days in July.

As I wandered around the convention floor, I asked myself: What lessons are there here that I can bring to my Christian clients and friends?

Here are some of those lessons:

  1. Fans like to get a deeper experience of the things they love. They like to meet those things up close and “go inside” the experience. Do you create these opportunities for your fans?
  2. Fans gravitate towards other fans – if you let them. What do you do to invite your biggest fans to meet up with each other?
  3. Fans don’t happen in a vacuum. Fans happen because the content is so crazy compelling that it becomes irresistible. Great content isn’t content YOU say is great, it’s content that fans can’t live without.
  4. Fans drive word of mouth. Comic-Con has industries which attend specifically to spread the word about what happens there. Do you create events which generate their own news, their own headlines?
  5. Comic-Con is all about fame. Bringing it closer to the fans. What do you do to bring the stars of your brand and your format closer to your fans?

If you want to grow Cume you should think less about “growing Cume” and think more about nurturing fans.

Mark Ramsey is president of Mark Ramsey Media, strategic research provider to many Christian music stations including K-LOVE, AIR1, KLTY/Dallas, WPOZ/Orlando, KTIS/Minneapolis, and many others. More information about his services is at Sign up for FAITHBRIGHT, his weekly email of smart and actionable ideas for Christian broadcasters here: Reach him at 858-485-6372 or

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