Mastering The Frequency Of Your Tribe

Every tribe has a frequency—a set of wants, needs, behaviors, standards and expectations—that you must tune into if you’re going to have real impact, influence and leadership.

The challenge? If you want to tap into existing tribes to grow your own, you may have to do some digging.

Take Susan Cain’s quiet revolution for example. Read 10-20 posts AND the reader comments and you’ll get a deep sense for what matters to this tribe. Ditto Jeff Goins and Marie Forleo.

Industry associations—what are they really but tribes—can be a little trickier. Members rarely speak in one smooth voice and you may have to find your posse at the fringes (especially true for big old associations with deeply entrenched beliefs).

In either case, tribe members have some unspoken and yet very real beliefs:

“People like us do/don’t ________”.

“People like us say/don’t say _________ and believe _________”.

Want to see how this works? Go to Erika Napoletano’s site. If you just take a peek there and on her Facebook page (where she gets stellar engagement by the way), you’ll quickly see her tribe’s beliefs might include:

“People like us swear. A lot.”

“People like us root and fight for the underdog.”

“People like us aren’t afraid to take on anyone who gets in our face.”

“People like us value humor.”

Now if you’re building your tribe from scratch—like all of these folks did—you can build it around your unique voice, values and standards and pull your tribe to you.

This is both harder and easier than it sounds.

Harder because you’ve got to have the courage to do and say the right thing consistently, even when—especially when—the trolls take their pot shots.

Easier because what’s more effortless than being who you are with a like-minded tribe?

My recommendation: build your tribe in part by tapping into existing groups of kindred spirits.

Women business owners. Fortune 500 C-suite. Gay couples. Coaches. Men under 35. Ad agency creatives. Fast Company readers. Social entrepreneurs. Start-ups. Introverts. Writers. New moms. Or some exquisitely refined subset: Fast Company reading, new mom business owners.

You get the drift—who’s in your tribe? What do they believe? What truly matters to them?

Listen closely and they’ll tell you.

Then just tune in and start being part of the conversation. Find your voice with your tribe and you’ll never look back.

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