One of the biggest marketing buzzwords in recent years has been the term tribe. Coined by marketing expert Seth Godin, the word tribe refers to any group of people who share a common interest, who communicate with one another about that interest, and who have a leader directing the group discussion.
A tribe can be as small as a nuclear family or as large as a nation. What matters most about a tribe is its shared purpose and how to achieve it.
For us writers, a tribe serves as a forum for discussing and promoting our writing. This forum provides information, connection, and interconnection. In essence, a tribe not only helps the tribe leader get her message across, but it helps all tribe members get their messages across as well. A tribe is, therefore, a win-win situation.
For the Christian writer, a tribe has supernatural ramifications. A tribe can provide a venue for encouraging fellow believers, for praising and worshipping God, and for pointing people to Jesus Christ. So how does a writer build a tribe? Here are a few tips:
• Have something significant to say. In order to attract followers, we need to provide something worth following.
• Be consistent in saying it. Followers require consistency. Hit-or-miss just won’t cut it when it comes to building a tribe. Whatever your tribe-building venue, be consistent in providing the worthwhile information for which your tribe is following you.
• Affirm and acknowledge your tribe. We said earlier that one purpose of a tribe is interconnection. Tribe members want to belong. They want to feel that they are an important part of your tribe. They need affirmation, so give it to them on a regular basis. We all need to be needed. Your tribe members are no exception. Show them that you need them, too, and that you appreciate them and their unique input to your forum discussions.
Building a healthy tribe is like building a healthy family. It takes love, patience, and a ready sense of humor. But the rewards you will gain in terms of loyal friendship, solid professional growth, and genuine goodwill will far exceed all the effort you expend.
Do you have a tribe? If so, how did you build it? If not, how do you plan to build your tribe?
For additional information on building a healthy tribe, see the articles below:
Tribe-Building Techniques by Seth Godin
Three Benefits of Finding Your Tribe and Leading It by Mary DeMuth
How to Build a Killer Tribe by Jeff Goins
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