Need help building a Tribe around your Brand? Here’s how.

Are you fighting for followers or cultivating a community around your brand?

We’ve been following celebrities for as long as we can remember—whether it was flipping through trashy gossip magazines in the checkout line, perusing gossip blogs during down time at our 9 to 5, or indulging in Joel McHale’s antics on episodes of The Soup.

These days, however, there’s a new celebrity in town: YOU.

  • You have a hit YouTube show (well, it will predictably become a hit when more people learn about it).
  • You have a blog where you put those CNN correspondent-worthy journalism skills to use to share the latest on The Hill with your twenty readers (okay, eighteen, not counting your mom and sister).
  • You’re the next big thing in the world of Downtown Los Angeles landscape photography, and you attracted other aspiring artists to your work.

Whoever you are, wherever you are (Twitter, YouTube, WordPress), and whatever you specialize in, you have a call to make. You owe it to your brand, your business, and your peeps. Answer me this: Are you fighting for followers or cultivating a community?

Followers v. Community

follower is a devotee—often, someone who wants what you have.

A community or tribe member is a fellow instigator—often, someone who is inspired by your brand and starts their own initiatives.

I want to argue that “Follow me!” should not be your prevailing request. I believe in cultivating community to bring like-minded people together to exchange ideas, support each other, and move mountains.

As Seth Godin defines it, a tribe is a group of people who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea.

(S/O to Krissdidit.com for the fun graphic!)

“Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  -Margaret Mead

How do you know if you have a tribe? (Hint: Take the Tribe Test.)

Although some of the most prolific tribes formed organically with almost no prodding from the tribe leader, a lot of tribes sprout roots because the tribe leader takes the initiative to bring their peeps together. Here are four ways (five, including the bonus) to give your peeps what they need to form a community.

LET’S #GETBRANDNEW!

  1. Provide a place for your peeps to gather. This could be online or offline, public or private. Nomadness Travel Tribe has a private Facebook group and meetups all over the world for members.
  2. Empower your peeps to talk amongst themselves. You’re not the only one engaging with your peeps, but they’re engaging with each other. They seek and provide specialized advice they can’t get readily from anywhere else. In the Nomadness Travel Tribe private Facebook group, members exchange travel saving tips, organize group trips, and provide moral support. For instance, a member expressed frustration regarding single friends’ unwillingness to travel by themselves, and this garnered 66 comments in just two days! (We’re new here are Brand New Nation and are building up to this!)
  3. Rally your peeps around a common purpose. Every tribe has something that binds them together—a common passion, set of beliefs, goal they want to accomplish, specific way they want to change the world, etc. At Brand New Nation, we rally our peeps around the desire to #getbrandnew—that is, constantly learning new skills and knowledge to drive our brands and businesses forward.
  4. Inspire your peeps to start their own initiatives. Followers watch and admire you from afar. They admire your accomplishments but take no actions themselves. You know you have a tribe when your brand has legs. You find that your peeps are starting initiatives of their own, inspired by your brand. For example, at the 2012 World Domination SummitChris Guillebeau gifted all attendees a $100 bill to invest somewhere (in themselves or others). Because of this, WDSers are off starting their own revolutions with the $100, including Natalie Sisson who created the $100 Change program.

BONUS: Address your peeps by a special name. One way to create a sense of community amongst your peeps is to address them by a name. Lady Gaga created an online community for her peeps and refers to them as her Monsters. We call our peeps—you guessed it—Brand New Nation. This isn’t an essential step in establishing a tribe; it’s merely another way to cultivate a sense of belonging to a larger body.

Who has grown a tribe around its brand? Let me know in the comments below!

—-
This post originally published at Brand New Nation.
If you need help building a business around your passion or turning your side hustle into your full-time, join the Do Love list to receive notes from me on how to do what you love and convince the rest to follow.

 

Get the Digits

Know Your Brilliance

Know Your Common Thread (Do Love Daily No. 4)

Attract your next customer with these five words. (Do Love Daily No. 3)

Get the Digits!

Email_opt-in_MarieForleo

Stop asking people to follow you on Twitter and ask for email addresses instead! If you’re planning to make any money from your blog or online business, the last thing you should be doing is telling people to follow you on Twitter or Like you on Facebook. (Okay, maybe not the last thing, but it should not be your […]

Continue reading...

Join me online August 8th :: Do Love Talk feat. Arel Moodie

How to Get Started in the Speaking Business and Become Profitable Immediately Danielle ‘D-Love’ Leslie interviews Arel Moodie, National Speaker and Founder of Empact Join us live online Wednesday, August 8th at 6:00pm PST/9:00pm EST  Email Address First Name   Arel Moodie went from a kid on welfare in the projects of Brooklyn to running a million […]

Continue reading...

Claim your independence :: Do Love Daily (video)

Claim-your-independence

Today is (Claim your) Independence Day! If you’re feeling lost and in a rut or at a point in your business where it hasn’t been growing as quickly as you planned, then I want to encourage you to claim your independence today. In today’s Do Love Daily, I discuss what it means to claim your […]

Continue reading...

Plan for the Impossible :: What I learned in Therapy

Plan-for-the-impossible

I had twelve—that’s right twelve!—Do Love Therapy & Strategy Sessions last week, and the number one thing I learned is we all have limiting beliefs keeping us from stepping into our strengths and planning for the impossible. What does it mean to plan for the impossible? We tend to adjust our master strategy and plans […]

Continue reading...

I am imperfect, but I am resilient.

Imperfect but Resilient

Whenever I get teary-eyed, I can see more clearly. It just hit me today. I got off the phone with a new client moments ago, and as I wrote the follow-up email telling her how she truly made my day and reminded me why I #dolove, I got teary-eyed. And as the tears started forming, my […]

Continue reading...

Know Your Brilliance

Bottle-your-brilliance

Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is believing you’re worthy of the trip. (Tweet this.) I remember speaking with someone who had recently tried doing what he loves, and he had the most peculiar response to the experience. He said, “It shouldn’t be this easy.” I said, “Wait, that’s the point!” It is supposed […]

Continue reading...

Join me live online June 20th :: Do Love Talk feat. Amber Rae

Danielle-Leslie_Amber-Rae

How to Manifest Your Boldest Dreams into Reality (in less than 6 months) Do Love Talk featuring: Danielle ‘D-Love’ Leslie, Founder of Do Love Project Amber Rae, Creator of Bold Academy Join us live online Wednesday, June 20th at 6:00pm PST/9:00pm EST You missed it! Enter your email below to receive the recording.   Email Address  First Name  Once […]

Continue reading...

Know your common thread :: Do Love Daily (video)

Screen shot 2012-06-08 at 10.17.40 AM

A few months ago, I had a bit of an identity crisis. I looked back on the companies I’d worked for, the ventures I started, the client work I’d done, and I thought: Who am I? After I got over being dramatic, I asked myself, more specifically: What drives me to do all of these […]

Continue reading...

Join me live online June 13th :: Do Love Talk feat. Geada Ford

DanielleLeslie_GeadaFord_DoLoveTalk_HellYes

Becoming Part of a Hell Yes! Culture Danielle ‘D-Love’ Leslie interviews Geada Ford, Creative Director for Marie Forleo Join us live online Wednesday, June 13th at 6:00pm PST/9:00pm EST  You missed it! Enter your email below to receive the recording. Email Address First Name Once you enter your email, you will receive the recording of […]

Continue reading...