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I’m involved in an online writing class.  This class has become much more than being about writing.  It has put together a diverse group of people.  We come from different ages, businesses, business experiences, and expectations.  We’ve also become a group of people who have learned to trust and respect each other; a tribe of sorts.

You might ask how did this happen?  You might even be very skeptical that an online writing class can get to the point where many of us go way out of our way to help others. 

The important thing I’ve learned and you could learn is that when you have a defined commonality, building a tribe is an easy thing to do.  Do you have a natural group of customers in your company that have the same interests?  Do you spend time hanging out where they are?  Have you learned their language and do you have a way of communicating in shorthand with each other?  If so, you likely have or are in the process of developing a tribe.

Tribes are where business gets easy.  When you’ve developed a tribe, others who fit in to your group will find you.  It’s easy for these potential members to self-select. 

Have you ever had the experience where you’ve entered a room and immediately felt at home?  You want your potential customers to immediately feel that comfortable.  They’ll do that if you build a community for them to be part of.

This is what it feels like when you trust someone.  When trust is high you let your guard down.  You feel that those in your tribe would never take advantage of you.  It’s easy for you to talk with them because you can use a common language with each other and you both know exactly what the other person means.

Building a tribe comes with certain responsibilities.  When you build a tribe you need to realize the trust you earn can be burned very easily.  When I build a high level of trust and become vulnerable, you better not take advantage of me.  If you do, I’ll do everything in my power to make your life miserable.

I’ve never been through a divorce and hope I don’t.  I bet that much of the tension that comes from divorces is because both feel that they’ve allowed themselves become vulnerable and the other took advantage of them.  If you’ve been in that position I bet it took you a long time to build trust with anyone again.

Building a tribe takes time.  You start down the road of building a tribe.  Sometimes things go as planned, but more often than not it will be a process of trial and error.  You’ll need to keep doing what works and recognize what isn’t working.  Change what isn’t working and eventually you’ll get there.

You’ll not only need patience, but you’ll have to be congruent.  If it becomes clear that you’re building a tribe for your own interest others won’t participate.  You must make sure you’re doing this for the good of your community and not your personal gain. 

You will likely get some personal gain, as will the others in your tribe.  But, and this is important, you must not build a tribe for what you’ll get.  It’s almost guaranteed to backfire in a most unpleasant manner.

What do we call a tribe in the business world?  It’s a niche.  Niches are the most powerful and easy way to build your tribe.  Moving your customers from being part of your niche to part of your tribe will provide both of you some real advantages.

We’ve written a special report on how to discover and develop an A customer.  Click on the button below to get your own copy of this report.  This is the first step in developing your customer based tribe.

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Stage 2 Planning Partners and NFPSI are not affiliated.

This article is published for residents of the United States only.  Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered.  Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed.  Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed.

Topics: business coaching, business relationship management, trust, niche management, niche

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