The short answer:
A tribe is a group of people connected to an idea, connected to a leader and connected to each other.
What does this mean for you, the author? Let’s go through each element individually.
Connected to an idea
When people join your tribe, what are they becoming a part of? What is the bigger “idea” behind your work? If you are a non-fiction writer, answer the question “How are you trying to make the world a better place?”. For the fiction writer, start with a question like “What is the world I’m inviting people to be a part of?”
People join a tribe because they want to be connected to something bigger than themselves and, even when it’s your fans, something bigger than you. What are your ideals? Why are people connecting with you instead of one of the other millions of authors out there?
Answering these questions is a key step towards building your tribe. The ability to put this into one phrase or sentence allows you to easily communicate to people why you are someone worth following and connecting with.
Connected to a leader
In this case, YOU are the leader. In next week’s email I will go into more depth as to what your job is as the leader, but for now, know that for your tribe to exist, you will be inviting people to connect with you.
This can look different depending on the tribe you are building (more on this subject in the weeks to come) but start thinking about how your tribe is going to connect and interact with you.
Connected to each other
You are one person and can only do so much. It is important when you build your tribe to connect the people in your tribe to each other. This will allow them to engage around you and your ideas without your direct involvement. Give your fans opportunities to share with each other how your work has changed their lives for the better.
By connecting your fans with each other you will increase their enthusiasm about your tribe, give them comradery around your idea and allow you to distribute the work of building and supporting your tribe to others.
Take the time to sit down and put together your tribe’s “idea”. Start by writing out everything you are trying to accomplish with your book(s) and your career. What are you calling people to be apart of? Then put that idea into one sentence. This will be the sentence that drives everything else you do.
December 1, 2010