Becoming part of a tribe or creating one has become a limitless opportunity, especially in the cyberspace. We have communities of everything and anything. Business tribes/communities, in particular, are essential in helping you grow since you get access to information and support. To find your tribe it’s important that you research on the one that matches your interest and helps you grow. If you’re creating one, it’s important to ensure that new members align to the tribe’s vision and mission.
Here’s how entrepreneurs and business owners find their ideal tribe;
#1- Pick one social media channel and be active on it regularly
When I started using Twitter, I was actively following different people, and as I followed my feed and responded to posts – or to those responding to me – I very quickly (within a couple of weeks) filtered down to 100 or so people who became my tribe. From twitter chats, we sometimes went to Skype conversations. During a Skype chat, I had with a coach in England I suggested that she should chat with another person I’d connected within Mexico. It turned out they knew each other and Skyped weekly. It was amazing how quickly I zoned in on this community – just by being active on one social media platform.
Thanks to Ravi Tangri
#2- Through various ways
This includes social networking (Instagram, Facebook groups), professional coaching groups, conferences, and workshops. I think it’s best to be open-minded in making connections wherever you go. You need a mix of similar people plus environments where you would encounter your targeted client, which may mean networking outside of your industry.
Thanks to Melissa Chiou
#3- Building relationships
When I launched my company, HGC, a tabletop gaming business, I knew I would have to build a community, a tribe and a list. The first step I believe is getting engaged with people in your industry. I joined Facebook groups, Reddit groups and engaged with industry players on Twitter. Then I started by own blog about Game Design, featuring some of the industries top designers, and continued to build relationships. I solicited feedback in the Facebook communities, not directly promoting to them, but rather asking them questions about X or Y, to get them involved (and people love to offer their opinion). Finally, I demoed the game all over California, and collected email addresses of people that liked the product. I think it’s all about building relationships, social media AND boots on the ground when you are getting things kicked off.
Thanks to Casey Hill, HGC!
#4-Diversify your Network
I have been networking ever since I was in college, which really allowed me to make connections not only on behalf of the organizations I worked for, but for myself as a person as well. I belonged to organizations that catered to my industry and those that did not, because I wanted to diversify my circle. When I got laid off and started my own business, I found that in addition to the local networking groups I run (Professional Women’s Roundtable and Party Partners of Philadelphia), I found myself gravitating toward more entrepreneurial meet-ups, such as Wellstruck Lady Boss and the Soloist Collective, both of which have online and in-person components. Working solo, it’s phenomenal to have those people who understand what you’re going through and can offer advice from someone who has ‘been there’.
Thanks to Beth Lawrence, Beth Lawrence LLC!
#5- Test many groups
I test drove a lot of groups, organizations, clubs, etc. to find the right place for me. In the early days I went to lots of networking events sometimes more than one a day. Some groups have great content but not much community. Others have a very strong leadership team at the helm but the rank and file members are not engaged. Ultimately I realized that there were really only a couple that it made sense to actually join because they hit on all cylinders shared values, like-minded members, alignment with the groups’ mission and after every encounter I was glad I had come. It was the right balance of professional, educative, social and fun. I made friends, referrals and clients. I still go to the other groups¹ events when they interest me but I just pay a surcharge as a nonmember. It is like the old saying goes, you have to kiss a lot of toads to find your prince 😉
Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!
#6- Wheel and Spoke Model
Growing your business today is all about finding a community of like-minded people. This approach can be best thought of as a Wheel and Spoke Model, whereby your ideal customer is in the middle (hub) and your referral partners are on the outside of the wheel. The spokes are those referrals to your future customers. The key is to identify referral partners that have frequent touch points with your buyer, who when fully educated by you on your offering and value proposition, can refer you in to your ideal customer. Why would they do this? They would meet with you to learn more about your business and act as a possible referral partner in exchange for you doing the same for them – think about it, your customer is also their customer! In addition, you are also able to refer one another to other referral partners on the outside of your wheel because of your shared commonality, getting you that much closer to your next customer. Build the outside of the wheel first and you will find the spokes will lead you directly to your next customer!
Thanks to Mark Thacker, Sales Xceleration!
#7- Look for Values Alignment
Start with your underlying values. You don’t need a tribe of business people who will rubber stamp all of your ideas. Too many people are looking for validation, rather than like-minded people who value the same things. When you start with your company’s values, you gather folks who can rally around the purpose of your business. This then makes it easy for people to plug-in in ways that make sense for *their* work. Your business will grow faster and more effectively when you are challenged by people with different ideas and ways of doing things and also understand the dent you are trying to make in the universe. We all want to belong. Give people a clear understanding of your values and help them belong to your mission.
Thanks to Katie Huey, Trebuchet Group!