Find Your First Fans and Followers

Campaign Startup
April 21, 2017

You have a team but now you need fans and followers

You’ve come up with an idea to save the world. You’ve designed your logo, written a personal statement, launched a website, and designed a superhero outfit (you may have gone overboard with that last one). Now that your team is together, you need people to wear your shirts, flaunt your stickers, and cheer you on. In short, you need fans and followers.

Here are a few ideas of how to get started, and as you build out your initial list, use our handy template below to keep yourself organized and make sure you collect all the right information.


Friends and Family

The first place to look is always your friends and family.

It is more than coincidence that superheroes generally first save someone they love. These people believe in you, support you, and will want to tune into your life because they care about you. Superheroes aren’t shy, so don’t pass up on the low hanging fruit like your mom and dad, brother and sister, best friend from high school, and neighbors down the street.


Community Leaders and Stakeholders

Who are the stakeholders that might care about your cause? When Charles Xavier launched his School for Gifted Youngsters, he sought out other mutants to coach and mentor his students. Over time, he worked with Beast and Magneto, who connected with their own circles, to broaden his reach.

In your community, who aligns with or has a stake in your mission? Are there other non-profits that care about a similar issue or are working in the same space? Are there community, business, or political leaders that are committed to similar causes?

Don’t forget to think local. School boards, community centers, little league coaches and boy scout leaders, etc are people who are very connected and committed to the community.


People who have done this before

If you are a political candidate, there are people who have run the race you are running before. If you are a non-profit, while your niche may be a little different, there are other groups in your community working in a similar space.

Take the time to meet with these groups/people and ask about networks, organizations, associations, and individuals that have and are operating in your space and industry. Ask them who you should include in your list of supporters and fans.


Look through other lists

Sometimes, the best way to build a list is to look through other lists and jog your memory of people to add to your base. If you need some ideas of where to look, here are 20 common lists non-profit leaders, start-up managers, and candidates often look to when building their fan network.

  1. Immediate Family
  2. Close Friends
  3. Cell Phone Contacts
  4. Holiday Card List
  5. Work Colleagues and Associates (Current and Previous)
  6. Vendors and Clients
  7. Wedding Invitation List
  8. Facebook Friends and LinkedIn
  9. Community/Non-Profit Boards
  10. Clubs and Associations
  11. Church Directories
  12. PTA and Children’s Sports/Activity Lists
  13. Elected Officials
  14. Community Councils
  15. Chambers of Commerce
  16. Principals, Teachers, Professors
  17. Sports coaches and mentors
  18. Lawyers and Bar Association Directories
  19. Political Donors Lists
  20. Old Yearbooks

Need an excel or google spreadsheet template to get you started?

Matt Lyon
Matt’s experience includes overseeing up to fourteen staff members, administering budgets exceeding $1.1 million annually, directing million dollar paid media programs, raising over $5 million for various causes and organizations, and developing and implementing communications strategies that led to dozens of stories in local and national outlets, including the New York Times and Washington Post.
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