10 Growth Strategies from Inc. 500 CEOs

Andy Levine, pictured third from the right, with the band 311. Courtesy Company
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Reward your fans

By 2001, Andy Levine, then the manager for the band Sister Hazel, had built an army of passionate fans that did everything asked of them: They put up posters, called radio stations, and even let the band sleep on their couches. Eventually, the fans approached Levine asking for a vacation, just "a weekend to grill out hot dogs and hamburgers and drink beer with the band." Levine realized that by super-serving the fans he already had, they would be so thrilled with the experience that they would recruit more people to come join. "That's the strategy I've had the most success with, and it's the core of what we're doing today," he says. Levine's company Sixthman brings entire communities of fans together with their favorite bands, like 311 and KISS, on theme cruises and vacations.