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!

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 priority!)

Your #1 call to action for anyone visiting your website, reading your content, or watching your videos should be to subscribe to your email list. If you have 500 Facebook Likes and 12 email subscribers…then you’re doing it wrong. If you have 2,000 YouTube subscribers and 0 email addresses, then #youredoingitwrong. Allow me to explain…

What is an email opt-in, and why do I need one on my site?

An email opt-in is where visitors add their email address to subscribe and receive email updates from you. (See an example above from MarieForleo.com.)

When I co-founded GenJuice in 2010, a few people I sought advice from told me “the money is in the list.” I distinctly remember Tim Sykes insisting on us “building our list” before anything else.

At the time, I didn’t understand why building an email list was so important. I thought growing our following on Twitter and accumulating Facebook Likes was far more important. Boy, was I wrong.

This is precisely why it concerns me when bloggers and online business owners’ go-to call to action is “Follow me on Twitter and Tumblr! Subscribe to me on YouTube! Like me on Facebook!” 

I know from experience that, although having a couple thousand Facebook Likes and Twitter followers is a great ego boost, it often does little for your pocket book if those Likes and followers aren’t also email subscribers.

The reality is: 1) most people don’t know how to convert followers to paying customers and 2) it’s much easier to get an email subscriber to purchase from you than a Twitter follower. Why? When you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, you’re just another fish in the sea. When people visit these social networks, they have so many other profiles vying for their attention.

On the other hand, when I’m in your email inbox, it’s just you and me, babe. It’s one-to-one (not one-to-many) communication, so you’re more likely to focus on what I have to share with you. If I’m a musician, I may have a new track or new merchandise available for purchase. If I’m a coach or consultant, I may have a new service or offer available for sale. If I’m an artist or make jewelry, I may have new prints and products for sale.

What better place to build a relationship with a potential customer than their inbox? What better place to invite them to buy your goods (music, merch, services, jewelry) than in the intimate space an email inbox affords us?

Remember, people tend to check their email several times a day and notice new items in their inbox. However, it’s easy to miss posts on Facebook and Twitter because others are also constantly posting updates.

I’ll close this portion with wise words from Drake in “Amen.”

Worrying about your followers; you need to get your dollars up. (Tweet this.)

I’m sure Drake didn’t have email opt-ins in mind when he said this, but I snagged the line for this discussion. Stop worrying about your Twitter followers and build that email list so you can get us buying your goods!

 

How do I add an email opt-in to my site?

So, now that I’ve convinced you about the importance of building a list versus accumulating followers on Twitter, Tumblr, etc., let’s talk about how to add an email opt-in to your blog or site. You have several options when it comes to managing your email list and email marketing. I recommend Mailchimp or Aweber. I use the free version of Mailchimp, but I plan to switch to Aweber (currently $19/month) as my email marketing needs grow.

Mailchimp is user-friendly and has tons of instructional videos to get you set up with little difficulty or head-scratching. Aweber is more robust than Mailchimp, but I believe it’s pretty straightforward to set up, as well. Both services have excellent customer service, so you’ll be in good hands.

I won’t walk you through the setup process, but from a high level, you will design your email opt-in form (colors, fonts, message, etc.) within your email marketing service, and they will give you an embed code to copy and paste into your blog editor to add the email form onto your blog or website.

 

If you already have an email opt-in but want to step your game up:

For you advanced users out there who are serious about stepping your email marketing and list building game up, check out Optin Skin (h/t to Sean Davis for this awesome resource). Optin Skin is a WordPress plugin that enables you to place an oh-you-fancy-huh email opt-in at key points throughout your site. If you’re serious about capturing email addresses, give people ample opportunities to give you their digits!

Here are some locations to place the email opt-in throughout your site:

  • above the fold
  • on the sidebar
  • at the end of each blog post
  • in the footer
  • on your About page.

See Think Traffic for an excellent example of email opt-in design and placement.

There’s your guide to adding an email opt-in box to your blog or website (and more importantly why this should be a bigger priority than getting people to follow you on Twitter, for goodness sake)!

LET’S #GETBRANDNEW!

  1. Create an account with Mailchimp, Aweber, or an email marketing service of your choice today.
  2. Design your email opt-in form, and add it to your site.
  3. Get them digits!! Start collecting email addresses and building your list. (Don’t be annoying or spam people. :))
  4. Stop telling people to follow you on Twitter before you tell them to subscribe to your email list!
What’s your biggest takeaway from this post? Do you know of any sweet email opt-in examples? 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.

 

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)

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 

 

Arel Moodie went from a kid on welfare in the projects of Brooklyn to running a million dollar company because of his ability to inspire others with his message. He used his speaking to build his brand, grow his following, and it laid the foundation for his company Empact 100. Arel has spoken to over 1000,000 people in 43 states and four countries—all before his 30th birthday.

If you want to use speaking to build your brand, promote your expertise on a topic, and learn how to profit from a speaking career immediately, then you do NOT want to miss this Do Love Talk with Arel Moodie. We’ll be live during the Talk and will allow plenty of time for Q & A.

During the Talk, you will learn:

  • How to give back, share your message to inspire people, and make a full time living doing it
  • The already existing markets that will pay you to speak
  • How to pick the best market for you even though you think your message is for “everyone”
  • How to get directly in touch with decision makers of an event
  • How to position yourself as an expert so that people come to you instead of you chasing them
  • The most important word in the speaking profession

Enter your email address above to receive info for the Do Love Talk!

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Arel Moodie, known as America’s Top Young Speaker, has spoken to over 100,000 people in 43 states and four countries—all before his 30th birthday. Arel is the best selling author of Your Starting Point For Student Success, a high five lover, and has a Super Mario surprise wedding dance with over 200,000 views on YouTube because of his dance moves. Arel went from a kid on welfare in the projects of Brooklyn to running a million dollar company, and he is the Co-Founder of Empact and their flagship product is the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour. Arel also speaks to students about leadership skills and preparing for success in college. Arel has been quoted in the New York Times, USA Today, Essence, and Inc. Magazine.

Danielle Leslie is addicted to doing what she loves and created the Do Love Project to give individuals the inspiration and tools to build businesses around their passions. She previously organized and completed the national sponsored GenJuice Tour where she met with over 300 first-time entrepreneurs, co-founded a web startup helping Gen Y entrepreneurs start their first companies, completed SeedStart startup accelerator program, and helped startups build their brands online with her marketing consulting We Are BIGFISH.

 

Do Love Talks are online conversations featuring fearless individuals doing what they love and earning what they deserve unapologetically. Each person in the series has built a business around their passion and inspires others to do the same.

 

Claim your independence :: Do Love Daily (video)

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 independence and why it’s essential that you start claiming it today.

Ready to claim your independence? …or maybe you already are? Let me know in the comments below how you are or plan to claim your independence.

How are you claiming your independence today? (Tweet this.)

 

Know your common thread (Do Love Daily No. 4)

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

How to say goodbye to your fear of failure. (Do Love Daily No. 2)

If you need help starting a business around your passion or growing your side hustle into full-time income, join the email list to receive tips on how to do what you love and convince the rest to follow.

Plan for the Impossible :: What I learned in Therapy

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 according to what we “should” be doing, what we see others doing, and what has worked before, instead of imagining and then planning for the impossible.

When is the last time you planned for the impossible? (Tweet this.)

Today is July 3rd—we’re officially over halfway through the year. What is one impossible thing  you’re going to make a reality in the next six months?

If your impossible thing is related to starting or growing a business around your passion, I have two things that will help:

  1. Watch the first video in the Press Play series to find out how treating your passion like a discpline can help you birth and grow a business around your passion. (If you’ve already watched the video, now’s your chance to leave a comment!)
  2. Schedule a Do Love Therapy & Strategy Session if you’re on the fence about joining us for Press Play, Fast Forward, or working one-on-one with me. You better believe we’ll be planning for the impossible!

I just had an incredible session with a “Why Wait?” client this morning that has me fired up about the impossible. What is the one impossible thing you’re conquering over the next six months? Let us know in the comments below. Perhaps we can help!

If you need help building a business around your passion or turning your side hustle into your full-time, join the email list to receive tips on how to build a life and business around what you love.

I am imperfect, but I am 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 vision became more clear.

So, let me explain…I wear contacts. And for some reason, lately, the image hasn’t been crystal clear. (Yes, yes, I probably need eyedrops. We got that outta the way, so can I continue my touching story? :)) So, whenever moisture enters my eyes, I’m startled by how suddenly and clearly I can see the world. I look around in wonderment as if it’s my first time seeing everything.

Aside from my dry contacts situation, it’s no accident that I can better interpret and understand the world around me when I’m tearing up…because it’s when I’m teary-eyed that I am most vulnerable and most fragile. It is me letting my guard down and admitting, “Yes, this is a lot for me to handle. I surrender.”

But don’t be mistaken. I’m only surrendering to my feelings of disappointment, insecurity, or in this case joy. I’m not surrendering to the obstacles or seeming impossibilities. Never that. To those things I remain resilient. I always will.

But my feelings of joy or disappointment? I will bow down to my feelings every time—it is in the bowing down that I remember what gave me the strength to stand in the first place. And then, I stand again.

I am imperfect, but I am resilient. (Tweet this.)

 

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)

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.

Know 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 to be “this easy.” You are supposed to bottle your brilliance and ship it to the world. You are supposed to love your work and live your dreams.

But of course recognizing your brilliance is not always easy. Figuring out the best way to bottle it is not always easy. And mustering the discipline and courage to ship stops a lot of us from sharing our gifts with the world.

This Wednesday, Amber Rae, Creator of Bold Academy and inspirational force of nature is joining me for a live, online Do Love Talk: How to Manifest Your Boldest Dreams into Reality (in less than six months).

Most of us don’t see our own brilliance because we live our realities everyday. We compare ourselves to others and let our failures keep us from recognizing our gifts. Choose to know your brilliance today. That’s the first step to bottling it and shipping it to the world. I hope to see you on the Do Love Talk tomorrow at 6pm PST.

 

[The opening quote is from Glenn Beck. I don't agree with his politics, but it's a damn good quote.]

If you need help building a business around your passion or turning your side hustle into your full-time, join the email list to receive tips on how to do what you love and convince the rest to follow.

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

 



Once you enter your email, you will receive a recording of the live Do Love Talk.

Do Love Talks are online conversations featuring fearless individuals doing what they love and earning what they deserve unapologetically. Each person in the series has built a business around their passion and inspires others through their pursuits to make a HUGE impact.


How did Amber Rae take Bold Academy from idea to a team of 11 heart-centered doers and $75K in revenue in less than 6 months?

And how does she plan to reach millions of people with her new movement?

Amber gives us a glimpse into how she approached and conquered this larger than life vision and how she plans to continue its massive growth in the future.

How did Danielle start the Do Love Project and launch the 5-week Press Play program by accident? 

 And how does she plan to grow the “Do what you love; convince the rest to follow” culture?

Danielle dives into how the Do Love Project was born and how she plans to grow the #dolove tribe by living the #dolove philosophy.

 Tell me about a time you…
  1. Turned have nots into haves and created something from nothing.
  2. Let your fear fuel you and your curiosity lead you.
  3. Convinced someone to pay you what you deserve to do what you love.

 

If you want to learn how to achieve what you never thought possible by unleashing your superpowers, transform your idea into a real-life venture or business, and grow a meaningful movement, then you do NOT want to miss this Do Love Talk. We’ll be live on the call and will allow plenty of time for Q & A. Enter your email address above to receive a recording of the live Do Love Talk!

Danielle ‘D-Love’ Leslie is addicted to doing what she loves and created the Do Love Project and PRESS PLAY to mobilize people to build their lives (and start businesses) around their passions. She previously co-founded and helped GenJuice grow to 100+ content contributors and completed a startup accelerator, met with over 300 first-time entrepreneurs during a national sponsored tour, and helped startups create movements online with her branding and marketing consultancy We Are BIGFISH.

Amber Rae is obsessed with unrealized human potential. In the last 365 days, she said Hell Yes to: Working with Seth Godin to launch the Domino Project, helping Derek Sivers make his book a best-seller, helping hundreds of people claim the lives they’re meant to live with the Passion Experiment, and launching a “Bold Academy” dedicated to unlocking potential. She contributes to Fast Company and has been featured in the New York TimesInc.Forbes, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, BBC, and ABC World News.

 

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

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 things? How on earth can I connect the dots between these things?

The answer was simpler than I thought. 

In this video, I reveal the common thread running along all projects and people I get involved with. Watch it to see what my common thread is and more importantly, how you can determine yours!

So…drumroll…

What’s your common thread? (Tweet this.)

How do you connect the dots of things you’ve done and aspire to do? (Tweet this.)

Leave us a preview in the comments below!

 

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

How to say goodbye to your fear of failure. (Do Love Daily No. 2)

Are you in your Element? (Do Love Daily No. 1)

If you need help building a business around your passion or turning your side hustle into your full-time, join the email list to receive tips on how to do what you love and convince the rest to follow.

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

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.




Once you enter your email, you will receive the recording of the live Do Love Talk.

Do Love Talks are online conversations featuring fearless individuals doing what they love and earning what they deserve unapologetically. Each person in the series has built a business around their passion and continues to inspire others through their pursuits to make a HUGE impact.

SHARE THIS!

This Do Love Talk “Becoming Part of a Hell Yes! Culture” features Geada Ford, Creative Director for Marie Forleo. If you’re familiar with Marie, you know that she recently underwent an entire branding and website redesign, and, well, Geada Ford is responsible.

If you want to learn how to build a business around your passion, take your freelancing or consulting to new heights, and work with someone you absolutely admire, you do NOT want to miss this Do Love Talk featuring Geada. We’ll be live on the call and will allow plenty of time for Q & A.

Enter your email address above to receive the recording!

Geada Ford describes herself as a Brand-thropologist. She create cultures—places where brands live. By mixing together her knowledge of branding and design with what real people feel, need and want in a light hearted way, she removes the wall between you and them. That’s right—design can break barriers (cue the Celine Dion track).

Danielle Leslie is addicted to doing what she loves and created the Do Love Project to inspire and inform the next generation of passionate entrepreneurs. She previously traveled around the US and Asia as a social media evangelist, organized and completed the national sponsored GenJuice Tour, co-founded a web startup helping Gen Y entrepreneurs start their first companies, and founded her branding and marketing consultancy We Are BIGFISH.