Have you come across the idea of having a tribe yet?
In case you’re not familiar with the concept, allow me to explain a little.
Having a tribe is basically shorthand for the idea, coined by Kevin Kelly, that if you can find a thousand “true fans” and serve them with some product that they’re willing to part with £100 a year for, you can make a pretty decent living.
The maths certainly seems to stand up to scrutiny. £100 x 1000 = £100,000. I don’t know about you but, less the expenses of actually creating the product and getting it out there to my fanbase – I could probably live on that.
And on the face of it, finding a thousand fans (or let’s call them what they really are – customers) can’t be that difficult, can it?
Well, no… But also yes.
The hardest thing about building a tribe is that you have to find your own way. The whole idea of having a tribe is built upon the assumption that you have something of value that you can offer to the world that those thousand true fans are willing to part with some cash for.
But that something of value has to be something relatively unique. It needs to be something that stands out from the crowd. At least sufficiently for you to be able to distinguish yourself from the next person pitching a competitive product.
Figuring out what that unique attribute is can be a challenge. Here’s a few ideas that might point you in the right direction.
 Decide what attributes you want your tribe members to have.
If you’re not sure what distinguishes the members of your tribe from the rest of the world, start by taking a look at yourself. What kind of person are you? What are your core values and beliefs?
 Figure out what kind of activities, hobbies or interests are important to your tribe
Following directly on from 1, what kind of things do you like to do, watch or read? Do you have an obsession, passion or hobby that sets you apart? If you do then you probably have a good idea where to find your tribe already. If you don’t, maybe you can extrapolate some things from your passions that are useful or interesting in other areas?
 Use social media to help you find the people you’ve identified in 1 & 2.
Get onto Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or any of the other social networks and start connecting with people. Bear in mind in the process that each network has its own particular focus. Folk on LinkedIn aren’t going to be so interested in your latest culinary achievement for example, whereas Pinterest or Instagram users may be. Be selective about where you network and use each platform appropriately.
 Have a focus in your own local geographic area. Get out into the real world and find them.
In our ultra-connected online world, it’s all too easy to forget that the people we meet in the street, at the shop or elsewhere in the community could be our tribe. Talk to the people you meet and find out what makes them tick. Do they match any of the attributes you identified in 1 & 2? If they do, maybe they’re you’re people!
 Start a blog or post regularly to an online space so that people have somewhere online to find you.
It’s important to have your own space on the web. Ideally your own website or blog. You can create a page or a space on somebody elses platform, but you can’t rely on it always being there. And even if it is, at some point you may have to start paying for it. Why not just bite the bullet and build your own place now. Once you’ve got the foundations, you can tailor it any way you like!
 Once you start connecting with people find out what their goals and objectives are.
Hopefully by this point you’re starting to gather some people around you. Now’s the time to start figuring out what they want out of life. What are their hopes and dreams? Where is life lacking or boring for them? Start to probe and try to identify patterns and common themes among them.
 Figure out how you can help them achieve the goals and objectives identified from 6
If you’ve managed to pinpoint some holes in where your people are and where they want to get to, ask yourself – is there some way I can help them plug those gaps? What service or product can I provide or create that will help my tribe do the things they want to do or be the people they want to be.
This is The Key. If you can build a product or service that meets the needs of your tribe, then you may just have found your ticket to a sustainable, profitable and highly enjoyable income!
There’s a caveat though. Probably along the way you will find that the 2/3rds vs 1/3rd rule comes into effect. What’s the rule?
- 1/3rd hate you and your work
- 1/3rd could care less about you and your products
- 1/3rd love both you and your products
What you need to do throughout this process is focus on the 1/3rd of the people out there who love you and who love your product or service. You need to ignore the 2/3rds who either hate or are indifferent to you and your work.
If you can do that, and follow the steps above to build an audience – you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful and profitable business. Of course, there will be some additional considerations – like how to actually design and build a product or service, ask your people to buy it from you and turn everything into a repeatable system or process. But assuming you’re able to do those things – it’s a great business model!
If on the other hand you’re struggling to get started, why not check out our free guide here. It shows you how to get your first 5 online customers in an easy step-by-step format.
And please consider joining our tribe, here!