Build a Tribe - Not a List
I know it can seem like the buzz word of the decade, but I wholeheartedly believe in building a tribe - not just a mailing list.
When you're building your tribe, you're building your own little space in the online world where your online family creates a community linked by social, economic, religious, mindset, health, gender, habits, illness, business - or whatever it is you're passionate about.
There are two main reasons why you should focus on building a tribe, rather than just a mailing list.
1. Members of 'tribes' recognise the benefits of becoming a ‘tribe’ and the power of the ‘we’ instead of 'I'. Meaning they support each other, connect with each other and thrive together.
2. Tribe members who are engaged with the benefit of being tribe, will seek to find solutions for making the tribe more impactful.
And if you're still not convinced - grab yourself a copy of Seth Godin's, Tribes. It's GOOSEBUMP kinda stuff!
Get To Know Them Personally
The best way to get to know them is to get to know their values. Once you know their values you can align your goals with THEIR values, because it's not actually about YOU!
Once you know who they are, what they do and many other things about their day to day life, it's time to explore who they are in terms of their values.
For example, if your target market is mummy-bloggers in Melbourne, their values may be to build a business from their blog that allows flexibility but also supports their inner-city lifestyle. They value financial freedom and the luxury of watching their newborn grow up, first-hand.
If your goal was to create a 6-month intensive course that helped them rush through what they'd cover in business school, but require them to study 40+ hours per week, chances are your product is not going to get off the ground; because THEIR values are not aligned with your goal or end-product.
Once you get to know who you're really trying to help you start to attract more of these people into your business because you start to speak directly to them, develop newsletter content that is made with them in mind - and in return, they start to love your business and brand.
Show Up Regularly
Hands up if you haven't sent an email for a month? (Don't worry, my hand's up too!).
When we stop showing up regularly, we start to lose all that good JuJu we've been building with our tribe members. So to ensure that you show up at your regular times that you've promised your mailing list, work out a schedule that suits YOU! Too many times in 1:1 workshops with my clients I hear this:
"I was told that I should be blogging twice a week" or "I know I need to send out a new email every week, but I just can't get to it at the moment".
If you're putting pressure on yourself to keep to standards that you know you just can't keep, then you're going to give up pretty quickly and end up not sending anything for months! So choose a schedule that you know you can stick to - whether that be weekly, fortnightly, monthly - WHATEVER.
Just keep it consistent.
I know so many online entrepreneurs who struggle to email their list regularly because they don't feel particularly connected to them. They feel as though they're writing into the abyss, not sure if their words are falling on deaf ears, or whether anyone actually cares.
The best way to prevent these feelings is to get to know your tribe, and develop a sense of community around it. Consider ways that you can get your tribe connecting with each other and learning about each other.
Here's some ideas:
- Ask your tribe to ask a question. You can then answer the question in an email to the entire tribe, and (with their permission of course) share a little bit about the tribe member who asked it.
- Develop a facebook group for members of your email list. Facebook groups are definately where it's at, for building a connected community of like-minded tribe members. Why not give exclusive access to the group to members of your email list
- Conduct a reader survey. If you've got a bit of a following, why not conduct a survey that not only helps you to determine your own reader demographics, but also lets your readers know who else is in the tribe and what they're also interested in.
Want to welcome the new members of your tribe and help them learn more about how you can help them?
Simply pop your details in the boxes below, and you'll receive a copy of our free workbook to help you plan your welcome email series.