Don’t be a Lone Wolf, Identify & Connect with your Tribe

“Years ago, there were tribes that roamed the earth, and every tribe had a magic person. Well, now, as you know, all the tribes have dispersed, but every so often you meet a magic person, and every so often, you meet someone from your tribe.” – Carrie Fisher

When Carrie Fisher wrote those words in her autobiography, Wishful Drinking, she was talking about her engagement to Paul Simon. And I completely understand where she was coming from. In life, there are occasions when you instantly connect with someone on a deep level; much, much deeper than should be possible given the limited time you’ve known them. This can happen in romance, in friendships, in art, or even in business.

It’s all about finding your tribe.

Personal Tribes

When you boil right down to it, a tribe is a group of people who share an interest, passion, and sensibility and work towards a common goal. I’m sure that if you put some thought into it, you could come up with tribes that you already belong to right now. They can make up key parts of your identity and personal life.

Building a tribe isn’t about trying to convert people to your side; it’s more about finding those who are already on the same wavelength. The power of the internet has allowed people from around the world to reach out and connect to members of their tribe, even if they’re continents away. If you look up any sort of special interest on Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit, you’ll find a subgroup dedicated to it.

Do you like knitting? Then you have a healthy tribe you can find online. Do you love Star Wars? There are dozens upon dozens of websites dedicated to it, made by people just like you. What about yoga? There’s surely a community right in your neighbourhood.

Professional Tribes

But what about your professional life? As a business person, how important is it to build up a tribe around you and your business?

Take a look at your industry. All of your competitors and fellow small business owners belong to your tribe. Yes, in some ways you compete with these people, but it’s important to remember how much you have in common. Building bridges and finding places where you can help each other can strengthen community ties that will help you grow your business. You might find a member of your tribe who has more experience than you do, giving you the opportunity to learn from them. Similarly, you might meet someone who’s just getting started in your industry to whom you could lend a helping hand. That’s what it means to be a member of a professional tribe.

And when you connect with your tribe, boy can it be powerful!

Doors open!

Opportunity knocks!

And feelings of “fitting in” are so gratifying. If you’ve ever felt lonely in your business, then finding your tribe can make all the difference!

Customer Tribes

There’s another part of your professional tribe, and that’s your audience. These are the people who you’re marketing your services and products towards. As a business owner, it’s essential that you quickly identify your tribe/audience in order to target the right locations, language, and imagery to engage your ideal customers. That’s how you effectively grow your business.

Once you know the types of people who are in your tribe, it’s time to start engaging them. Today, one of the best methods of reaching out and connecting with your tribe is on social media. This is why you need to create robust social media channels (including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more) that’ll allow you to reach out as your business. Just creating these channels is not enough; you actively need to engage with your audience. Post relevant and exciting content that provides value to them (blog posts, for example). Then like and comment on posts through your business social media accounts. And don’t forget to ask questions and pay attention to the answers!

Related Article: A Return to Service

But even if you work virtually like I do, never underestimate the power of connecting in person with your local tribe. That may shrink your tribe’s pool, but it may also open up new areas of your tribe. For example, you might look for entrepreneurial groups and events for women if that’s your vibe. Or you might join a co-working space to meet other entrepreneurs and freelancers, who will inevitably have a lot in common with you. It’s amazing who you might meet and what you might learn along the way!

Another way that you might want to build your tribe is through email marketing. A robust email marketing list is one of the most valuable tools a small business owner can have. Starting to develop one is as simple as putting a newsletter signup on your website. Even better is to have an enticing free giveaway that you provide in exchange for their email address. Encourage more visitors to sign up by adding an extra incentive like a coupon or freebie.

A tribe is all about connections. It’s about being a part of something with other people. A tribe can be your biological family, or the family that you choose. A tribe could be you and your friends going out to dinner together, or it could be a bunch of you having an online chat. I genuinely believe that to be happy in this life, you need to reach out and find other members of your tribe. It can be challenging, and it takes a leap of faith (I’m quite shy, so this can be especially difficult for me), but it’s always worth it. You should care about building your tribe, personally and professionally, because they can give you help and support towards your goals. And likewise, as a member of a tribe, you should definitely help support others too. It’s a beautiful circle of support!

Do you belong to any tribes? Are they personal or professional? I’d love to hear about it!

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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