The internet is proving to be an amazing place to create your virtual tribe and I’d like to share a few secrets on building and growing this tribe for you and your business. Over the years, I’ve learned so much about how to tap into your target market and gain followers, which I’ve decided to call your tribe. Ultimately, it’s all about how many people want to stay in touch, hear what you have to say and keep a finger on the pulse of all that you are doing.
There are 3 phases for building your tribe: branding, initial growth and establishing yourself, then nurturing and giving your audience what they want.
Branding: A great place to start, here, is by defining the 3-5 aspects of your company that set you apart. And don’t be satisfied with “price, quality, service and people!” Figure out the values that “you and only you can own and deliver upon.” Then proceed with visuals. Understand that these things DO NOT need to be perfect and, as you grow, things will be refined and shifted to match how you evolve as a company or superstar. Basically, when you put stuff out on the internet, there should be at least one thing that you do, say or some graphic that is innately your own and helps people begin to identify you – think green mermaid for Starbucks, “Alright, alright, alright” by Matthew McConaughey or the Swoosh by Nike. You can even test some of these ideas with your friends, clients and customers through Facebook posts, www.surveymonkey.com or just by putting some things out there and seeing what people respond to most frequently. Here’s a sample of logos I worked on for a recent client for their logo. See the final logo at www.tndnature.com.
Initial growth and establishing yourself: Once you’ve gotten your look and feel down, it’s time to do some market research and define your ideal customer/avatar/buyer/follower. This will be a deciding factor in which online platforms you use and types of marketing that you do. Then figure out pains, problems and desires existing in the market and how you as a company/expert are the best provider for solutions to those – the solutions are, of course, the packages, products or services that benefit and fulfill your customer. This information is the gold that you mine for your success. Keep track of what your customer wants as often as possible, adapting if necessary. This will directly correspond to your success.
It’s time to go to market, implement and distribute. Being cohesive on all platforms online and offline is important. You may want a professional to help you define your goals, objectives and establish consistency. With your background knowledge of the pains, problems and desires of your customers, creating content and messages will be easy. If you are working with Facebook, identifying your audience and then using great messaging will go a long way. Recently, we had some great success with college admissions expert Andi Frimmer, and her business, Prep4CollegeNow (https://www.facebook.com/Prep4CollegeNow/). We picked two audiences – teens and mothers of teens – created LIKE ad campaigns and took her tribe/following on Facebook from 89 to 877 likes within 2 months! Now her content is reaching more people and we are building her tribe.
Nurturing and giving them what they want: Listening to successful millionaires like Laura Neubauer is a great way to pick up jewels of information. Most recently, in an interview at the Connected Women of Influence Owner’s Summit, Laura shared this: “Treat your customers like guests and your employees like people.”
Nurturing your audience is all about education, and creating awareness through promoting all the opportunities, successes, events and awesome content you provide. This information is a valuable resource they gain by being part of your tribe. Again, we can use the research from above to address their pains, problems and desires and let them know just how much you understand them and can help them achieve their objectives. Of course, once you let them taste and experience what you have to give, then, in the best cases, it will go viral and these solid followers will share with their friends, which will further help you to grow your tribe. Growing your business is a whole different blog, but for now it’s all about building that audience and then figuring out what you’re going to do with them now that you have their attention!
This is Laura Hendrickson and I work with coaches, consultants, mentors, experts, athletes and businesses who want to create that “epic life experience” for their tribe by providing the best education on their products, packages, services and offerings. Learn more at www.OpenOceanMarketing.com.
Contributor: Michael Duffy, Branding