In any industry, there gets to be some pretty strange jargon. Well, in the online world, one such phrase is:
Building a Tribe.
Despite the images that it evokes, we’re not going to go compete on Survivor or learn to spearfish. There will be no fighting other tribes, no scantily clad clansmen, and no huts, teepees, wigwams, dugouts, or other primitive styles of homes.
Building a Tribe means Building a Community
I don’t know why somebody decided to coin the term “building a tribe” rather than just call it “community building.” It’s probably just some really awesome marketing, because would you rather have a community who loved your product, or a rabidly supportive tribe at your every beck and call? I’ll take the tribe for 500, please.
But How do you Build a Tribe?
Like anything worth building, building a tribe takes time. It takes effort. It takes dedication. And it takes cultivating a community of supportive fans. Where do you start? Well, where did you start with any of your fundraising projects back in grade school?
Start with your family and friends. Ask them to like your page, to subscribe to your newsletter, and to reshare your posts or tweets. If Aunt Matilda is more hesitant to do so, tell her that this could be your Christmas (or birthday) present for the year. Once you have a basic tribe of family and friends, it’s time to expand.
Expanding Your Tribe
After you’ve built a basic tribe, it’s time to expand. Maybe you have to bribe your friends and family with super-cool birthday presents or even-more-awesome content, but get them to start sharing the word for you. Ask them to share it with five other people that they think would love to know more about what you do. That way, it’s a win-win situation.
From there, there are always the paid-tribe options: find your tribe by placing ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, or wherever else makes sense for your ventures.
Please, don’t try to do a Facebook ad to get more likes if your company isn’t on Facebook! I know – common sense. Not that common, right? I’m so glad you’ve got it, though.
As your tribe continues to expand, you’ll still have to connect with them. You’ll still want to reward them with great content, infographics, information, and other fun stuff.
Leverage Your Tribe
Once you’ve built up your rabid fan base, it’s finally ripe for action. That means you can continue to ask them to spread the word. It also means that you can do the following:
- Get key information for future product releases
- Do product launches via your tribe for increased oomph and results
- Share products and services with your tribe that will make their lives better
In other words, this is the part that every entrepreneur and business person loves. This is the part where people buy your goods and services! It just so happens to go a whole lot better when you have a giant fan base already in place.