If you want to succeed in business, you need a group of humans (people, if you prefer) who care about what you have to say and who share your worldview. You need a group of humans who see you as invaluable to their success.
You need to have your very own tribe – also known as a clan, followers, audience, stalkers, friends, fans or even your herd, if you wish. As long as you are referring to a group of humans who share the same worldview, then I’m satisfied.
You can build a tribe through your work, your blog, a webcast or, if you’re lucky enough, a stage. The medium is irrelevant. What matters most is that you establish trust with your people. Blogging (for example) is pretty easy. What’s hard is building an audience of people who want to hear from you.
You need to be more personal (human), relevant and anticipated.
When we say that people are more ‘human’, what we really mean is that they are real. And when we say ‘real,’ we mean authentic, someone who is true to themselves and true to how they represent themselves to others. I follow a few simple rules: I speak to my business audience the same way I do to my friends. I am accessible and easy to reach, and I answer emails as quickly as I can. I am not afraid to be personal, to talk about my life and some of the wounds I have.
Because of this, you read the blog. You know it’s me, you know I mean it, and you are giving me permission to speak into your life. Thanks for this.
What matters to the tribe is what matters to the tribe. Don’t make the mistake of thinking about yourself and your needs. Think about how you can help people. What do they want? Who do they want to become?
They want to become connected to like-minded people.
Grateful Dead fans. Boston Red Sox fans. Starbucks customers. Yoga people. Bronies (you’re welcome). Jeep drivers. People who wear Vans or Chucks or Docs or Blunnies – all of these people believe in the same thing, and they want to be connected to other people who get it.
What is it that you offer to your clients that they have to get? Are they buying into you or from you? If they are buying from you, it’s over, you just don’t know yet. Eventually they’ll get it from someone or somewhere else for less.
But if they’re buying into you – into your worldview, into what you have to say, into your process and your promise of transformation, then you don’t have a care in the world.
The quickest way to grow your audience is through generosity.
Tom and I give away a lot of stuff, including this free download that will help you. We send out a blog a few days a week. We will talk to anyone who calls in and try to help, and our generosity isn’t contingent on someone eventually doing work with us. We do it to do it. That’s who we are.
Whatever you have that is so amazing you can’t stand it (and you know it has value and you know someone would be happy to pay for it), give it away. Nothing builds an audience quicker than giving freely without expectation of compensation. Trust me.
Of course, it wasn’t free for you to create. The toolkit we give away at seriousshift.com cost a lot, actually. But in return, it earns me something that is more valuable than money. Trust. When people get the help they want, and there really were no strings attached, then they join the tribe and become part of the family. You can’t buy that, but curiously you can give it away!
You do that by doing this:
Find a niche with a worldview, or find a niche (financial advisors) and create a worldview.
Give them what they want and shun everyone who isn’t willing to buy a ticket to your show.
Shun the non-believers. Pay attention to the tribe; whoever isn’t in the tribe has to join the tribe to get your attention.
Every week, someone stuffs my mailbox with mail I never asked for. Every week I throw it right into my recycle bin, which seems almost poetic.
The guy dropping off the SPAM believes he can wear me down, that one of these days I’m going to bring it into the house and hunch over it with a coffee and buy something. Wrong. All that is happening is that I hate your SPAM and I’m questioning your sanity.
If people are not anticipating your message, they’ll just tune you out. You have to earn it. Speak directly to them and deliver what you promise.
Give them what you said you would and make it as easy as possible to quit the tribe.
Respect begets respect.
Generosity is reciprocated.
Being helpful gets you noticed.
Have a great day.