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Think Like A Rock Star by Mack Collier is about “How to create social media marketing strategies that turn customers into fans”.

Think Like A Rock Star is the third ebook in our challenge to read 10 must read startup and entrepreneur books challenge in 10 weeks.

Mack Collier is a social media strategist and speaker who specializes in helping companies connect with customers using Social Media. He also founded and moderates #blogchat the largest Twitter Chat on the internet.

Think Like A Rock Star provides step by step instructions and tips on how to connect and cultivate fans into advocates. It illustrates the tips with case studies from Lady Gaga to Johnny Cash. It might sound a bit contrived, but think about how passionate music fans become, my wife still talks about Spandau Ballet and the songs “Gold” or “True” with a glassy look in her eyes decades later. You don’t normally get this sort of loyalty with a business. Imagine if you could tap into it somehow. Think Like A Rock Star provides some practical tips to do just that.

Here are our 7 Think Like A Rock Star takeaways
The difference between Fans and Customers – Rock stars have fans and companies have customers because rock stars have an emotional not a transactional relationship with their fans, take Taylor Swift as an example. She spent over 13 hours continuously signing autographs for fans in one session as she didn’t want any to be disappointed. Or Amanda Palmer’s successful Kickstarter. Amanda was looking for $100,000 to fund a tour to promote her new album and art book. She reached out to her fans and offered backers everything from a digital download of a song for a $1, to dinner and her drawing your portrait for $10,000. Amanda reached her goal of $100,000 within just 31 days, but by the time the project closed she had almost 25,000 backers and a grand total of $1,192,793. She exceeded her target by more than $1 million!
The importance of word of mouth – A person is more likely to become a regular customer from a recommendation from a trusted friend. The ability to attract new customers tomorrow depends on understanding and delighting your fans today. Having an advocate who recommends you is the ultimate business goal.
Cultivate fans and advocates – First you need to identify who your fans are from the customers who like and use your service. Identify the top 3 or 4 reasons why fans love you ( tip: not all fans love you for the same reason). Then you need to connect with your fans – via an email list of a closed Facebook Group. It also helps to give them an identity and to facilitate a way that they can engage in conversations with each other. Ultimately fans want to help make you successful “help us help you” – so give them the opportunity and tell them ways they can help.
Tap into the bigger idea – find something that resonates with your intended audience, something that will evoke that emotional response and connection. For Selz this is web entrepreneurs, bloggers and independent artists, developers or musicians who want to realise their dream earning money online from doing what they love. Content and stories on why and how people will use your product is more interesting than you just talking continuously about yourself.
Teaching is better than just marketing – teaching creates competitive advantage, creates value, which earns trust and loyalty, and valuable content gets shared.
Advocates drive more sales – to cultivate advocates reward existing behaviour and don’t attempt to use it as an incentive for sales. Mack uses the case study of Johnny Cash who goes to Jail to perform a concert because that’s where his fans are. You can imagine the record exec when this idea is suggested! The album At Folsom Prison was a subsequent huge commercial success, and is now heralded as one of the greatest rock albums ever. Even if you’re not a Johnny Cash fan, if you’ve seen the film Walk The Line you would remember the terrific and memorable scene of this concert from the movie, so it’s no wonder it was such as success and why Mack uses this as a case study.
Brand ambassadors – tips on having an ambassador program such as defining a goal and how to measure your results. Plus the idea of a Customer Advisory Panel (CAP) as a way to engaging with customers and is an external group representing your customers, collecting information and providing feedback from customers.

I read Think Like A Rock Star over a single weekend. Mack illustrates his points with good case studies and I found every other page in my ebook had sections highlighted so it wasn’t easy to summarise it into 7 points. There is a lot of ideas and good tips in here. I really liked the recommendation of focusing on the bigger picture and teaching rather than on talking about your product or service you provide. I also found that Think Like A Rock Star like the previous ebook The Small Army Strategy by Srinivas Rao both explain the benefit of focusing on fans and with providing them with value, rather than concentrating on getting new customers. Look at the emotion that music, bands and artists brings out in people.

You should read Think Like A Rock Star if you want tips and step by step instructions on growing a loyal customer or fan base that recommends you to others. And let’s face it who doesn’t.

Mack’s website has more information on where to buy the book.

Leave us a comment below if you’ve read Think Like a Rock Star, we’d love to hear if you’ve implemented any of the ideas.

You can see the other 9 ebooks in our ebook challenge to read 10 ebooks on entrepreneurs and startups in just 10 weeks.

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About the author

Geoff Austin

I talk and write a lot. Some of it about ecommerce, selling online, startups, SEO, digital marketing.

Currently, head of analytics for an automotive business in Sydney, facilitating a culture of data-driven decisions. Delivering data-based insights and intelligence.

Chauffeur to twin daughters and a pizza chef master.


  1. Derry

    Thank you very much for the post.

  2. Mack Collier

    Geoff thanks so much for the kind review of Think Like a Rock Star! Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for reading!

    1. Geoff

      Hey you’re welcome Mack, any more books planned?

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