Marketing requires a critical mass. This is the point at which sales are starting to fuel their own momentum and you don’t have to carry an uphill battle. There is a point where if a book makes enough sales, the momentum alone will carry it to a best seller list. There is also a point where if enough people share a video, it becomes viral.
This point is not fixed but it exists – the critical mass. It is similar to a plane taking off. The plane uses most of its power to get off the ground and escape gravity. A good example are also rockets. I’m no rocket scientist but I know that up to 80% of the fuel used by a rocket is used to escape gravity.
The general theory is that it takes 1000 real fans to reach critical mass. These are 1000 people that love everything you sell, that are talking about you, writing blog posts about you, like your Facebook posts and generally, see you as a great person or company. At this level, their own activity and compounded influence is enough to make that product or service a best seller.
This depends from market to market and the 1000 fans theory is mostly true when it comes to publishing. In the technology world, it may take 100 times as many people. In the world of precision watches costing over $50.000, it may take only 50. Whatever the critical mass may be, you’re carrying an uphill battle until you are getting there. You’re escaping gravity through selling, doing lead generation, driving traffic, building your list and all the efforts required to succeed in online marketing. Once you’ve reached that point, leads start appearing on their own, traffic comes naturally and organically, the list grows by itself and in most cases, the business has gained enough momentum to grow by itself.
This is true in all fields where being known is important. A singer must reach a critical mass of fans. A movie must reach a critical mass of movie seers. After that key point, the effort required to grow drops dramatically.
The question is then how do you reach your critical point?
You reach it by continually growing your audience. You make your message heard to as many people as possible. You engage in normal list building / audience building marketing activities and you track everything. At any point there is going to be artificial engineered growth (what you are doing through your own efforts) and some degree of organic growth. You may grow a list 90% through posting new articles and 10% through others sharing and inviting peers. After the critical mass point, you are going to see that the organic growth grows at a very fast rate and that in most cases, you are growing organically more than you’re growing through your own engineered efforts.
It takes some time but once you reach that point, it is all downhill.