The Fred Phenomenon

Creating Fans

How To Create Millions of Fans

(I wrote this ten years ago, but it still works today)

I’m a big fan of children’s TV shows. I grew up with Gilligan’s Island, I Dream of Jeannie and The Brady Bunch. I still occasionally watch some of ’em with my kids on the random satellite channels (especially Jeannie, because I had a crush on her for years. I think my kids are suspicious).

Since they watch MY shows, I, in turn, have to sit through THEIR shows. I think I’ve seen the same Hannah Montana episodes about 20 times each!

YoutubeBut the other day, something AMAZING happened. I believe, probably the first time this thing has EVER happened in this way on this large of a scale. Juna and I both sat in awe and wonderment!

Here’s what happened. We were watching a commercial advertising a brand new Icarly episode. If you haven’t seen Icarly, it’s a kids sitcom on Nickelodeon about a girl (Carly of course) and her friends that have a webshow. Cute show.

They were advertising the guest appearance of Fred. Both Lily & Juna went completely ape-poop!! “omg, Fred, I can’t believe it….”

Now, who’s Fred? If you surf youtube at all, there’s no way you can’t know who Fred is. He’s the crazy, high voiced, insane teenager on youtube that always needs his meds. He’s become a viral phenomenon. He’s posted I don’t know how many videos on youtube, each getting 7 to 15 million hits.

Just about any kid with internet access loves Fred (and many adults including me)! That’s a butt-load of fans.

So what does Nickelodeon do? They get him to guest on their show about a webshow. Why is this so amazing?

Let’s see, Fred has millions of internet fans that were driven to the Icarly show through his sites. Icarly has millions of fans that are now introduced to Fred. Yes, they have a lot of cross over fans (fans of both already), but millions of new people are introduced to both shows OVERNIGHT. The show will play over and over and over (that’s how Nick does it).

That’s a multi-million person increase in each fan base. That adds up to lots and lots of advertising dollars. That’s one idea. Millions of dollars. Wow.

Disney must be pissed! But I guarantee, within the next few weeks, you’ll see Disney copying this model.

The Big Lesson:

Actually there are three big lessons here. First, Disney will model this and perfect it, add the Disney twist and make the idea even better (that’s what they do). So the first big lesson is this: What processes/systems do you see that you can model. Take a look at the people in and around your field that are successful, and model their “system” or “method” for becoming successful.

Secondly, can you combine your list of customers with a friend’s list to increase both of your businesses? Most customers have to do more than one event. Why can’t those events involve you and your friends?

Lastly, when you create a win win situation for everybody involved, there’s no stopping you.

About the author, John

Creator and host of The Variety Artist podcast. Making a living entertaining since 1998.

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