As Seth Godin teaches it, over the last century, we've seen several phases in the way that we create and influence our audiences of customers, followers, practitioners, etc.
First there was the industrial revolution which brought mass production to just about everything from objects to ideas.
Then there was the mass media, first radio and then television, where advertisers presented their “good” ideas and told the masses what to do. If we wanted to become faster, stronger, smarter, cleaner, or better, we only needed to buy whet they were selling.
But somewhere along the way, many of us wised up – or got jaded.
And that's when we returned to something simpler.
Creating change (and building businesses) by connecting with those who already shared our own world view.
Tribes – or communities – are nothing new.
But in the age or the internet, they are more powerful than any time in human history.
If you want to influence more people, sell more widgets, change more lives, advance a political or social cause, cure a disease, and/or make a bigger difference in the world, having a tribe around you will help exponentially.
And the great thing is, tribes don't have to be any particular size. They can start small and grow organically (there's no spamming people's inboxes or buying lists required). Tribes are not about any one individual, but helping an entire community move forward… together.
What might take an individual a lifetime or longer to achieve, a committed community or tribe, can accomplish in a whole lot less time – and probably have a bigger impact.
What You Need to Create And Grow Your Tribe
Start By Defining Your Tribe.
In marketing, we often talk about a customer or client avatar. That is to say, you've got to know the make-up of that person you are speaking to. Who they are in every respect. Demographic. Psychographic. Behavioral.
The same goes for defining your ideal tribe. Who are the people you wish to attract, and what makes them the right fit is for your tribe? What are the qualities, experiences, backgrounds, values, beliefs, and other things that they share in common with each other?
What is Your Purpose?
This is an area that often doesn't get the attention it deserves. By defining beliefs and values, both simply and concretely, you can help those in or considering joining your tribe determine if you are a good fit.
A simple purpose statement or manifesto can be used creatively in so many different ways. You can use it when you introduce yourself. You can use it in an email autoresponder series. You can use it in webinars and presentations. Etc.
Be Consistent and Be Persistent
Here's a question you should never ask: “am I annoying my list by emailing them too much?” That is, of course, assuming you are providing them with great value. If you are just spamming them with offers to spend money, then that may be another story.
But when you are the leader of your tribe, you absolutely need to be consistent and persistent in your actions and your presence in the lives of your community members. Whether you are using social networks, blogging, sending out an ezine, communicating through email, speaking publicly or online, or other means of communication, you are the core of the tribe.
You've probably heard the concept of leading with value. Well, when building a tribe, it's vital to nourish your tribe with as much value as possible. It's all about that crucial “know, like, and trust” factor. You tribe feeds on the value, experience, expertise, and warmth you bring to them. Be sure you feed them well.
Reward Your Tribe with Gratitude
Don't take your tribe for granted. They're not a “list,” they are people… and remember that it's an honor and a privilege to have a tribe. They may be in more than one tribe for more than one reason, but what matters is that they are in your tribe and because of that expect something from you consistently and persistently and will give back with their support, their sharing of your words, and their own gratitude.
BONUS: Streamline Your Tribe Building
Building your tribe effectively could take a lot of different forms. And there are MANY tools out there to help you along the way. I know… I've bought most of them. But there's one tool that's been part of my tribe-building arsenal for a few years.
It's called 22 Social, and to attempt to describe how you can benefit from it here would simply do it an injustice. Suffice it to say, 22 Social will help you grow your list of followers, convert them through webinars and training, enable you to protect and even sell products – both physical and digital, and even manage a community of your tribe members… (and that's not to mention the vast amount of collective knowledge that exists inside their community that can benefit you and your tribe).
22 Social is a Facebook-based tool that comes as a monthly or annual (best value) subscription. But before you commit with an investment, why not try it out for free first?