7 Ways to Build Your Tribe (Hint: It’s Not What You Think)

I learned a TON at the TRIBE Conference this past weekend. And when I was going back through all the notes I took, I looked for 5-7 specific things that really nailed the overall “how to build a tribe” thing. (Oh, and “tribe” in case you didn’t know, is just another name for fanbase, audience or following.)

Something that I found interesting is when I pulled together those overall points, none of them had to do with specific ways of marketing or growing your audience. They were all foundational pieces that you really can’t build a tribe without.

And the 7 things I came out with are as follows:

1. Authenticity

Being real is the name of the game. If you’re not real, you’ll never build a true tribe. These days there’s so much fake BS out there, that people are looking for authenticity. They want to see humanity and vulnerability.

That’s the stuff that really connects you to your audience.

2. Live Your Message

Whatever your author message is (and yes, you need one), you need to not just share it, but you need to LIVE it. You need to walk your talk and be a full representation of the message you want to get out into the world.

My message is that you can create anything you set your mind to, and so I live that message day in and day out, in my actions, thoughts, behaviors, and the content I create for my tribe.

3. Speak Your Mind

People want to know what you believe and how you really feel about things. That’s how they self-select and decide whether or not you’re someone they want to hang with.

So don’t be afraid to put out there what you really think and how you really feel about things. I know it can be tough, but this goes back to the authenticity thing.

People want to follow people who are real. And speaking your mind is as real as it gets.

4. Pay Attention

You’ve got to pay attention to what your tribe needs, to what they’re asking for, and to what they want from you. And then you’ve gotta give it to them.

There are ideas for content and stories EVERYWHERE, and your audience is a great starting place to figure out what to create or write about.

I’m constantly thinking about my ideal readers to determine what I should write my blog posts and books about and the topics I should create workshops around. So pay attention to everything around you–you never know where your next content idea will come from.

5. Be Generous

This goes without saying, but people love free stuff and they love to follow people who are giving. One of the things I hear most from people is that they love how much stuff I give away to my audience for free.

Yes, I charge for some things, but I mostly give stuff away for free. This is my way of giving back to the writing world because it has given me so much over the years.

So find ways to be giving with your audience, whether that’s with the content you create, or doing giveaways, or offering free 20-minute phone sessions–whatever you can come up with.

6. Give Yourself Permission

This goes for whatever it is you need to give yourself permission to do–write that book, publish that book, make money from that book, make money from your creative gifts, grow a massive following, etc.

I’ve decided to give myself permission to be imperfect. As a perfectionist (it’s the Virgo in me), it feels really freeing to give myself permission to not have to be anymore. What a relief!

What do you need to give yourself permission to do?

7. Go Pro

When you “go pro” you’ll finally start treating your audience like a pro writer would. You’ll write to them regularly, you’ll reach out and connect with them on a consistent basis. You’ll do what pro writers would do.

And going pro doesn’t always mean getting paid. TRIBE speaker, Shawn Coyne (author of The Story Grid), says that “a pro self-validates.”

What that means is, you don’t wait for outside validation–a published book, another person, making money from your writing–to decide that you’re a pro writer. You just decide that’s what you are and then you live into it. (This is like what I call “acting as if” you already are the author you dream of being.)

If you do these 7 things, you will not only grow a following, but you’ll keep them for life.

Share With Us

Which of these 7 things will you implement starting today? Share in the comments. 

And if you’re ready to act on these 7 things, be sure to check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind–a high-level accountability, strategy and success mindset group for emerging authors.

This group isn’t just about serious productivity (although that’s a big part!), it’s also about having access to the tools and resources you need to grow the tribe you dream of having, to finish the books you want to write, and to GO PRO in your mind and in reality.

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