The “Dream 100” is an important concept that can move any business, especially an online business, forward when you apply it correctly. But it’s a concept that a lot of online entrepreneurs haven’t quite mastered.
I first heard of the Dream 100 when I was getting into the online marketing space. I’d read a bunch of books and learned that the concept is credited to Chet Holmes, who had written a book called The Ultimate Sales Machine.
The concept of the Dream 100 is that as an entrepreneur or marketer, you ought to go out and find a hundred people who have already captured your audience. But there’s a lot more to it. In this post, we’re going to break it down so you’ll know how you can apply it in your business, how to put together your list, and how to use it to move your business forward.
If you employ the strategy and do it right, it can become a key part of your overall marketing strategy, both paid and organic, and the first place you look when you’re ready to do something new. Let’s dive in.
What Is The Dream 100?
The Dream 100 has had a lot of different iterations. From a salesperson’s perspective, it was often the 100 dream clients that you wanted to get and how you would connect with them.
In the online marketing world, it changed into the concept of the 100 people (thought leaders, online entrepreneurs, other marketers, etc.) who have already collected your audience. In the traditional sense, it would be people who have already put together an audience of your “Ideal Customer Avatar.”
They’ve already done the hard work of getting leads and building the community. So the idea is, if you can tap into those communities, you will have a head start and you don’t have to start from scratch.
Traditionally, people think of the Dream 100 as being about people: thought leaders. The central thing is it’s a list of people.
But I think of it more broadly than people. I think of it as people, companies, software, or hashtags. I view it in the broader sense of asking, where does your ideal customer hang out and where could you get in front of them?
It’s a more holistic view. If I can use any of those to tap into an existing collection of people who fit my ideal customer avatar, then that’s in the Dream 100 for me.
Now, let’s step back a bit. For the uninitiated, the notion of the Ideal Customer Avatar is that you need to know some basic characteristics of your ideal customer.
- Who are they?
- What are they reading?
- What are they thinking about?
- What do they do for a living?
- What keeps them awake at night?
Those kinds of things identify the person who is your ideal customer. They’re the person who’s going to buy from you and not going to be a problem customer.
Creating Your Dream 100
The Dream 100 matters because it’s going to play a huge role in the marketing work you will do. If you get this piece right, you’ll be in a good position moving forward.
Here are some ways to create your Dream 100 and reach your ideal customers for free:
If you’re on Facebook, do you know which Facebook groups your ideal customer avatar hangs out in? Guess what? Those are going to be groups associated with your Dream 100, whether it’s a person, a company, etc.
These Facebook groups are places where you can listen and offer valuable comments. The keys are to give freely and not act spammy.
If you want to build your following on Instagram, what you have to do is engage with people, but you have to find the right people to engage with. How do you do that? Well, you use the Dream 100. The Dream 100 here might be persons. Engage with people who follow and comment on a thought leader’s posts.
Another way to use the Dream 100 concept is to find a thought leader whom your ideal customer follows, and you comment on that thought leader’s posts every single time they post. But don’t merely comment. You must comment in an authentic way and add value.
Sounding like an automated bot isn’t going to work. You should also take the time to like other comments that you like and maybe reply to people because those people are likely your ideal customer avatar. By engaging with them, you’re going to build trust and authority.
Come up with a list of hashtags that are related to your area. Then go in, comment, like, and engage with people on those hashtags because that’s a way for you to start connecting and engaging with people.
Another way to use the Dream 100 strategy is to listen to what your ideal customer avatar is hearing. For example, I listen to Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast. That’s a podcast by a woman for women.
So why am I, a guy, listening to it? Well, because I know my ideal customer avatar listens to that. Jenna Kutcher is part of my Dream 100. Someone like her, with her following, has gotten good at using the language that my ideal customer avatar is using. When I listen to her podcast, I’m able to hear words that my ideal customer will use. Knowing the language of your ideal customer can help you to refine your messaging.
I’m not saying copy them. Don’t do that. Listening to your Dream 100 will help you to clue into themes and ideas that will resonate with your community.
You can also pitch yourself to be a guest on a podcast hosted by someone in your Dream 100. You may not get on them to begin with, but once you start the process, you can build your way up.
On the other hand, if you have a podcast, anyone on your Dream 100 is someone you would love to have on your podcast. That just makes sense because if they have already collected your ideal customer avatar, that means that the people who are listening to your podcast hopefully will resonate with your Dream 100. You can serve your audience well by bringing on the right person to talk with them.
You may also use the Dream 100 concept to think of events you might want to attend. For example, I know that one of the software solutions that a lot of my ideal customers use is Kajabi, the online course software. So, I’ve put a Kajabi conference on the list of potential central summits for me to attend. I would get to hang out with, network with, and spend time with my ideal customer avatar at that event.
If you want to attend and network, then go to events associated with your Dream 100. That’s going to be the most fertile ground for networking opportunities with your ideal customers because there’s a natural overlap.
Using the Dream 100 In Paid Advertising Efforts
There are also ways to build your Dream 100 list through paid efforts.
Look-alike Audiences and Interest-Based Targeting
If you start to use Facebook advertising, you could start with look-alike audiences or Interest-Based Targeting. This is where you put your ads in front of people who have certain interests.
The best place to start again is with your Dream 100. Now, not all of them are going to be targetable on Facebook.
You can get very refined in this. If you want to, you might target messages to particular people because you know that if someone follows this person, they’re interested in subject X. So you could use some language in ads targeted just to those people.
Google Display Ads
At some point, you may want to use Google display ads. Google display ads are how, for example, you end up having a banner on someone’s website. Some of your thought leaders may be targetable in Google display ads, so it’s worth considering whether you want to use these display ads on those pages to reach your potential audience.
The people on your Dream 100 list are the ideal people to be your affiliates or for you to be an affiliate for their products. In other words, these are the people who theoretically have an audience that overlaps with your audience. So if they have a big audience and are willing to promote your product, that can be huge. It can be incredibly valuable to you if that person will become an affiliate and actively promote your product. At the same time though, your audience is likely to be interested in the products offered by the people on your Dream 100, whether it’s a company or a person.
You shouldn’t promote something as an affiliate unless you truly believe in the product. You should make sure that you like the product and believe in it.
Your Dream 100 is also the place where you would like to recruit your potential affiliates because if any one of those people who have already collected your audience is willing to promote your product, your service, or even your freebie as a way into your system, that can be incredibly valuable to you. It can be a great way to expand your list and also make sales in the process.
Build Your Dream 100 Like A Scientist
What I want to stress next is you need to approach building your Dream 100 list from the viewpoint of a scientist. This means that you’re going to be testing different things to see what works. At the start, you may have to start with your instincts and educated guesses, but you’ll eventually need more information about your ideal customer.
When I was starting the process, I wondered, “Okay, who are the people who are out there talking to online entrepreneurs? Who are the big names? What are the main software platforms people are using? Who is already serving online entrepreneurs?”
As you niche down further, you’ll get more specific. You’ll think through things like, who are the email service providers that your customers are likely to use? What are the software solutions that people will likely use if they’re your ideal customer? You’re going to have to make some educated guesses, but you’ll need to start collecting data. There are a few different places you can do this that I’ve found useful in my own work:
Survey Your Audience
You can survey your audience, and as your audience grows, you can start to build a catalog of information about that. One way to do this is to send an email to your list and ask them to answer a short survey on SurveyMonkey or Google Forms. You can ask questions like: “What software do you use? Who are some thought leaders that you follow?”
Look at Hashtags
You can also do some investigating on Instagram. Look at your posts that perform well and what hashtags you used. You could also find out who else is using the same hashtags. This might help identify some people that are potential thought leaders. Then, you could look at the hashtags these people are using in their posts, which again might lead to some more hashtags.
Use Audience Insights
If you have a Facebook page and it has enough followers, you can go into your audience insights and see who are the people who follow your page. You can also check who they follow and who they correlate the most with. Facebook gives you a lot of great information, such as the relevance ranking.
Look for patterns. My Facebook ads manager and I were looking at my audience insights for a couple of months when it appeared to us that there was a pretty good indication from these highly-rated pages that a big part of the people who follow my page are female corporate. You know, people in the corporate world who have a side hustle in the entrepreneurship space.
Patterns like this can help in the thought process of building your Dream 100 and can affect other parts of your marketing. This information can be hugely valuable in messaging and the types of products and services you offer.
Ask Questions in Your Facebook Group
A Facebook group is one of the best places to collect data. One of the questions that I now ask of anyone who wants to get into my community is: Who are the thought leaders that you follow? It will give you a sense of who are some valuable people in your space.
Two other questions that are useful to ask are whether they follow you and how they found you. The information you get will be useful for marketing and for knowing how to get in front of people.
It could also help you check your Dream 100. For example, if you don’t see a name on your list being mentioned by people, you might need to rethink whether to keep the person on your Dream 100.
The main point is to collect the data in your group if you have one because that’s a great way to get some of this insight. You also have to be an investigator and have a curious mind. Look to different sources where you can find this stuff and figure it out.
What Should You Do With Your Dream 100 List?
When you’ve done your research and assembled your Dream 100 list, what else should you do?
Make sure that you collect some information about them once you put together the list. Look at their social handles on Twitter and Instagram and the type of content they post.
Decide Whom to Focus On and Build a Zone of Influence
The idea of the Dream 100 is a concept of a hundred. But you can’t focus on a hundred people, a hundred software things, and so on. It’s just not possible. At most, I think you’re going to be able to focus on 10-20, so maybe it’s 10 hashtags on Instagram and 10 thought leaders.
You have to make some decisions here. How do you do that? How do you decide whom to focus on? There’s a lot of different ways you could do it. Some examples are who they have a connection with, community size, and connections between people.
Look for connections and build this concentrated zone of influence where you’re interacting. Your ideal customer is likely to be concentrated around these few different thought leaders. You’re going to have a lot more success becoming an authority if you choose to concentrate and build yourself around this concentrated group.
You Can Start With Fewer Than 100 But Keep Building Your Dream 100
Build your Dream 100. It doesn’t have to be 100 people. If you can only come up with 50 at the beginning, that’s fine. You’re unlikely to concentrate on more than 10 at a time anyway. Start building your list and keep adding to it over time, and you’ll get there. And once you do, you will be able to consistently market to people and then scale. So work on your Dream 100 and then make sure to use that in your marketing on a day-to-day basis.
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