Are you familiar with the concept of the tribe? If you aren’t I really recommend this book and this TED talk by the brilliant Seth Godin:
Why does having a tribe matter if you want to grow your influence?
We all like to be part of something- Human beings like to join with others who believe in/are interested in the same things that they are.
Power and creativity in numbers- Harnessed properly, the power of a community of people can be amazing. If you listen to your tribe carefully, you can get new ideas and feedback which helps you become better at what you do.
Building a sustainable business- If you have a group of people who are consistently interested in what you do and the products you create, you will have made a sustainable business.
Amplifying your voice- If you have people who are interested in hearing what you have to say, they will spread the word to others and your tribe will grow. It is inevitable that they will know people that you don’t and so your connections (and opportunities) have the chance to grow exponentially.
What are some ways to build a tribe?
It is easier to build a tribe in the modern world than ever before. There are more people out there who think like you, (and are waiting for you to contact them and lead them) and (especially via the power of the Internet), more ways to get to them.
Here are a few ideas:
Email list- If you build up an email list of people who are interested in your work over time and build up your relationship with them (for example by sending them a weekly newsletter) you have a better chance of growing your tribe.
Work with others who have similar tribes to mutually build your reach- If say, you are a fitness instructor and you have a small tribe of people who are interested in learning from you, it might be worth teaming up with someone who is a nutritionist- just to give one example. If there is crossover between your audiences the other person’s audience is likely to want to hear about you and vice-versa.
Try to have targets- If you set yourself some targets for growing your tribe it is likely that you will be more motivated. I don’t have specific targets for the growth of my tribe (because I am just getting started and it is quality of connection rather than quantity of followers that I am aiming for) but I do have targets for things like site views, (I especially did for the week of launch), video views etc. By working hard to hit those targets I am more likely to be able to build a successful tribe over time.
Consistency and authenticity- To build a community of people interested in what you have to say, you need to have consistent communication with them and to be authentic in everything that you do. One false move could mean that you do a lot of harm to the way you are viewed by your tribe, but hopefully if you have built up a relationship with them over time you will be able to undo the damage.
Build a sense of community- It helps if you can build a sense of community. It is not just about the relationship that you have with your tribe but also the ties that bind them to each other. For example you might have a membership group or ‘real-world’ meetups.
Learning from your membership of other people’s tribes- As well as leading a tribe you may be a follower in another person’s tribe. What do they do to build up their connection to you over time? What makes you happy to be part of that tribe? Hopefully there are things that you can learn and apply to you building your own tribe.
An important thing to consider:
Don’t worry if some people don’t want to join your tribe/unsubscribe from your email list. If you are passionate about your message/confident about the material you are putting out, you should feel secure in the knowledge that some people just shouldn’t be in your tribe. Them leaving will make the tribe stronger and more coherent.
What would it mean if you had a successful tribe? What would it mean for you and your message?
Look at people who have tribes. What can they do that other people can’t?