it's all about them

It's all about them: Scott Sigler

In my second post highlighting people and brands who put their audience first, I’m talking about Scott Sigler, another one of the speakers I saw at New Media Expo.

Scott Sigler

photo by Amy Davis Roth

Scott Sigler is a New York Times best-selling novelist. He is the author of Nocturnal, Ancestor, Infected and Contagious.  He is also co-founder of Dark Øverlord Media.

Before he was published, Scott built a large online following by giving away his work in podcasts. His fanbase grew and grew and eventually helped him get a book deal. This is the point in the story where, without ever having read or heard any of Scott’s work, I became a fan.

His fans are his priority

When it came time to sign a contract with a publisher, Scott insisted that it be written into the contract that he be able to continue podcasting his books for free. Why?

My father had a phrase, “you dance with the one that brought ya.”

His fans got him popular by listening to his free podcasts.  Penalizing them for helping him get to where he is now didn’t feel right to him. That’s pure awesome.

It’s about relationships

There are a lot of other great reasons he continues to give away content for free.  Ones that fall so in line with “it’s all about them”.  Provide great content for free and people will come because it’s free.  The opportunity to connect with them, to grow them into loyal fans who then WANT to help you and support you is so much more valuable than someone who paid $15 once and never came back to your work again.

This is how you build a relationship with your audience that can be sustained. Appreciating and rewarding the people who helped you get where you are.

It really does pay off

Scott sometimes includes some of his fans’ names in his books. It’s exciting for the fans and they get to show off that they’re in the book.  And then things like this can happen:


Can you even imagine what this kind of exposure is worth?

Make what you do about your audience.  Where would you be without them?

Do you know of any great examples of this? Leave a comment and let me know so I can check them out!  And if you liked this post, please share! :)

It's all about them: Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

Karen and I recently went to Las Vegas and attended New Media Expo.  

One of the themes that came up over and over again was that it’s really all about your customer, not about you.  By providing value to your audience, they are going to value you. Customers who truly value you spead your word for you

I’ve been noticing a lot of great examples of people, businesses and bands who have been doing a great job of this.  I want to highlight a bit about who they are what they’ve been doing as a series to demonstrate the power and beauty of putting your audience first.

Dana White - UFC

Dana White is the President of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).  He and his partners bought the dying business in the early 2000s and in the last ten + years have turned it into a success beyond imagining.

At the core of their success is their belief that they couldn’t be where they are without the fans. Dana White, as president, always makes sure the fans are well taken care of - and a lot of the time, he takes care of them personally!


White takes the time to talk to his fans directly on Twitter, with no apologies for his opinions or language.  (Granted, given his industry, there is certainly something to be said for the fact that his audience would accept this a lot more than many others would.)  But either way, what he does that is so important is that he is consistently authentic with his audience. 

Not only can you see that @danawhite is a regular user of twitter, you can see he engages with the fans on a regular basis.  He is known for giving away tickets and prizes on twitter, and always having a team in place to monitor what is being said on Twitter, especially during a fight.

There were two especially notable examples of the kind of above and beyond that he exemplies. 


What happens if you accidentally tweet out your cell phone number? If you’re Dana White, you own the mistake and you ANSWER THE PHONE.  

What could have been an incredible blunder ended up being really great publicity because White was willing to take the time to talk to the fans.  He took calls and answered questions and the popularity of that actually caused him to do it again, though not with his actual personal cell phone number again. :)

What happens if unhappy fans are tweeting about their seats at a fight? If you’re Dana White and you realize a group of seats ended up blocked by equipment giving the fans a really bad view of the fight - you immediately send people to move that entire group of people to new seats.  Better seats.

Creating the best online experience for fans possible

UFC livestreams fights from their Facebook page, they let (encourage!) the fighters to be on Twitter engaging with the fans and Dana White vlogs, giving his fans a great view into behind the scenes of UFC.  They are willing to go above and beyond to stay on top of new technologies and give their fans the best experience they can. There are apps, there’s an online community - they are everywhere they can be.

I may not be a fighting fan, but I’m a huge fan of how they operate! Check out a bit of what they do and leave me a comment telling me what you think, and if you know of any businesses that go above and beyond to build relationships with their fans the way that UFC does.