Early Adopters vs. Mass Market

Who’s more important?

Last week I talked about the importance of early adopters to the later success of our work, but it also prompted me to think about the response those same early adopters suffer when their favorite creators become mainstream.

Think of the first time you heard a great song and loved it—for me it’s Billy Joel’s “Honesty,” “Lullaby,” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant”—then dwell for just a moment on your response after you’ve heard it on the radio for the umpteenth million time… think “Let It Go” from Frozen! (Yes, please. LET IT GO!)

What we have to bear in mind as we continue our quest to ante up our next best work is that early adopters are not built the same as mass market fans.

Those lighthouse customers who proudly shout about the newest soon-to-be trendy trends aren’t the same people who consume only one product a year, one movie a year… one book a year. They’re constantly on to what’s new. Their pride of service lays in their ability to scope out and recommend what’s up and coming, not what’s already recognized as great.

But these early adopters are also different people than your loyal tribe of raving fans.

And you must treat them differently.

So if I have one nugget of wisdom this week, it’s to stop focusing so much of your thoughts on writing a breakout book, or getting a recommendation from Oprah… and instead serve your tribe. Show up. Infuse your writing time with joy! Reward yourself for progress no matter how great or small. Share your work with those who support you unconditionally. And then do it again.

You have a big story. It’s time to write it so the world can read it!

Write with joy!


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