Tribes are more than your target market. Tribes are more than your audience. In essence, tribes are those people who are passionate about the same things you are passionate about.
Seth Godin defines a tribe as a group of people with stirred up passion and strong commitment to pursue a common vision and mission.
In today’s market a good term to use may be ‘raving fans.’ These are the people who willingly share you stuff and go out of their way to encourage you to do more of what you do.
Tribes follow you because you are passionate about the things they are passionate about and you are not afraid to put your voice out there for others to find. They have found their family and you are the leader they chose to follow. Honor that leadership by leading them to greatness.
The strength to developing a solid tribe is to pick a side. Decide what values and beliefs are important to you. Then communicate those values and beliefs in everything you do. You may even create a manifesto for your tribe where you pin down exactly who these people are.
Tribes take time to develop. Be consistent with your voice and consistent with your message and your tribe will find you.
Tips for connecting with your tribe
Think about what you say. This seems like a no-brainer, but seriously put thought into what you put into the world. I have seen people rant enough that they are hard to follow. Think about what you want to say and say it in a way that communicates empowerment.
You are the leader. You set the pace for the whole group. If you use certain words, the tribe will pick them up. If you wear certain things, you will see that mirrored in your tribe. Culture is what makes a tribe unique unto themselves.
On this note: do what you say you are going to do. One of my pet peeves is when someone says one thing and does another. If you tell your tribe to vote or sign a petition, you had better be right there. Record yourself or take a picture and show them what you want them to do. The quickest way to lose a tribe is to betray their trust.
Communication is important to a tribe or any culture. If you don’t speak the language, you quickly find yourself uncomfortable. Learn to communicate in a way that bonds your tribe together. Use words specific to your niche and define new words based on your interactions. Make sure you let others in on your lingo. You want everyone to feel like they are part of your family (tribe). Communicate in a way that brings the entire group along with you.
Life is a journey to be shared!