Small Business Ideas – What is a fan club?

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning Blog!

In follow up to last week’s post, I have another interesting fact to share. Here is a link to last week’s post in case you missed it. A fun neighborhood theater experience

The Heights Theater gets involved with the community. From the movies they pick to hosting many local group events. The idea for the Laurel and Hardy Comedy Festival was brought to them by one of the local chapters of the Sons of the Desert, the International Laurel and Hardy appreciation society.

Sons-of-the-Desert-Poster

Members of this organization don’t refer to themselves as fan clubs, but as appreciation societies. It is unclear where the word fan originated, but if it comes from being a fanatic about something, maybe appreciating someone is more respectful. This organization was named for the lodge Laurel and Hardy belonged to in a full length film called Sons of the Desert released in 1933.

Each chapter of the organization is called a tent, keeping with the desert theme. The local tent who helped bring the comedy festival to The Heights is Block Heads Oasis #3, which is the third oldest tent in the entire organization.

There is probably a fan club or appreciation society for just about anything. I thought about it in the context of followers of my blog and fans of my book. Are you my fan club? In a way, I guess you are. Yeah!

How do fan clubs grow? How do they become more popular? How do more people learn about and grow to appreciate the object of the fan club? Maybe how they do it can help me find more fans.

Small Business Ideas

Love where the flow of writing can take you. I started talking abut Fan Clubs and ended up talking about how to increase blog and brand followers. This flow prompted me to add a Small Business Ideas section to my from the Writing House posts. Not only to give me a place to brainstorm ideas for my business, but maybe it can help you with yours.

I found an interesting article online. According to Eventbrite, there are five ways they suggest for increasing fan base. Here is a link to the article. Eventbrite – Using Data to Increase Fan Engagement

Here are their five ways. They based the article on promoting a sports team, so I added some notes on how I might be able to do it for my business.

1. Ask them what they want to see or receive from you. For me, this could be sending a survey to my email list and ask about what activities they would like to see on my blog or website. Maybe posing some questions on the blog too.

2. Listen to their social media activity. Find out where my fans are hanging out. Be sure to place my posts there. Interact with those platforms more.

3. Gather relevant data through interactions with fans. Open up a way for my fans to interact more with me. Is it a live post on Facebook? Is it a survey on my site? Maybe gathering with other YA book bloggers and interact with our similar fan bases?

4. Analyze the data and use the facts found right. Any comment is data gathered. Be sure to listen to what the facts are saying and implement changes if needed for the fans to stay true to my blog and brand.

5. Get fans involved and help them feel a part of the community. Have a contest. Let them have input on what they see on the site. Host a local event to meet the fans in person and do a reading. When we were at the Laurel and Hardy Comedy Festival, about 20 to 30 members of the local appreciation societies were at the showing. What a great event for group engagement and possibly finding new members.

The Hard Way Thumbnail

Since I decided to self publish my book last year, marketing is one of the many tasks I have to do on the business side of my writing. Since I am an author and not a promotional guru, I am doing a lot of learning as I go. Some days I need to do brainstorming sessions like this to come up with creative ideas to get my book out there. I hope you are able to find something in this post that may help you.

What things have helped you to promote your business or group you may be involved in? Please share those ideas in the comments below.

Be sure to check out the books tab on my site for information on how to get your very own copy of The Hard Way! A great teen read!

A fun neighborhood theater experience

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning blog!

It has been quite a busy month for me since I last posted. My day job continues to be busy in transition and the main project in the writing house these days is editing The Bully’s Way. I am about half way through the first in depth read through. There has been a lot of work done so far and I am excited about how the story is coming together.

Laurel and Hardy - Hog Wild

With all that has been happening in our world, Jim and I made the time to do something fun. Jim’s mom is a big Laurel and Hardy fan, so we took her to The Heights Theater in Columbia Heights, Minnesota to see the Laurel and Hardy Comedy Festival. They featured five short films from the 1930s. Hog Wild was one of the five we saw and I enjoyed the most.

According to their website, The Heights Theater is the Twin Cities classic theater experience. From the old fashioned decor to an organ player who plays before the show. We really had fun watching the movies in an old fashioned theater environment eating popcorn together. The way things were before dolby sound, 3D picture viewing and the plush recliner seating found in today’s theaters.

heights organ player
Photo by Jim Ham

A little history, it was constructed in 1926 by Gluek Brewery heir, Arthur Gluek as a prohibition real estate venture. It was originally just a neighborhood theater featuring local area actors and “high class vaudville acts” but became a place for upscale first run movies and old time favorites.

The Heights Theatre

Jim and I were introduced to the venue this year by close friends of ours who we went to see the movie Harold and Maude with in April. For those of you who don’t know, Harold and Maude is a cult classic released in 1971. It is a dark comedy where Harold, one of the main characters, is obsessed with death and falls in love with a much older woman who teaches him about living life to the fullest and that life and not death is the most precious gift of all. The current owner of The Heights Theater used to work at another local theater, the now closed Edina Westgate Theater. Harold and Maude had been shown there for quite a long time. From 1972 to 1974, it ran for 115 weeks and 1956 showings.

For more information about The Heights Theater and what their upcoming shows are, here is a link to their site The Heights Theater. I really recommend checking it out. And if you find a movie you would like to see, be sure to buy your tickets online ahead of time. When we arrived at the theater yesterday, both sessions of Laurel and Hardy had been sold out. Good thing we shopped early for our tickets.
One more note,The Hard Way Thumbnail
Have you been wondering what my young adult book, The Hard Way is about? Well, here is your chance to get a free preview of chapter one! All you have to do is subscribe to my email list and you will be emailed a link to the free preview.
What does subscribing to my email list get for you? A quarterly newsletter highlighting a few of my book reviews and other news from my writing house.
So, if you have been curious about what my book is about, why not check it out!
Please note, for all of you who have gmail, after you confirm your subscription to my email list, your email for the free preview link will probably wind up in your promotions inbox. That is what happened to me when I tested it.
Have a great week!