In 2015 something seismic happened in the world of Instagram. At the time, Taylor Swift overtook Kim Kardashian in terms of followers, surpassing her at the 45 million-follower mark. At the time Kim had released a coffee table book called “Selfish” and to date has published 4396 posts.
Swift, on the other hand, has only published 188 posts.
So what did Taylor do differently?
At this time Taylor realised she had to shift her focus onto looking after her tribe. She spent more time engaging and nurturing her die-hard fans. She replied to comments on her feed, stalked her most passionate followers and started to host secret listening sessions at her home(s). They were pre-release events, intimate and were like a girls night sleepover. Of course, her fans were beside themselves with excitement.
Watch the interview with Taylor here to learn how she did it:
Celebrities alike couldn’t believe what she was doing and that she would consider creating such access to her. Excited fans blogged about her and she leveraged events with video and social media and they went viral. As a result of focusing more on her tribe and less on selfies, she has grown her brand to one of the biggest in the world. In fact, she has an estimated net worth of over $280 million and Kim at around $128 million.
So how does this work if you’re a non-celebrity? And why should we even care?
Well, times are changing fast. Last month Facebook reported a decrease in Monthly Average Users (MAU’s) from 17 million down to 15 million. Simply relying on Facebook and Social Media to grow your business alone is certainly not the solution.
If social media didn’t exist tomorrow, how much control do you have over your business?
What if Google shut down tomorrow? Would you still have a business?
It was Seth Godin, author of Tribes, who said, “It’s easy to love a brand when the brand loves you back. And the only way that you can have enough bandwidth to give that love is to create a tribe.”
Anthropologist and TED speaker Robin Dunbar, author of How Many Friends Does One Person Need? identified the metrics that create a tribe that will not only survive, but thrive. His theory of Dunbar’s Number says 150 is the ideal number of people any one person can maintain relationships with.
But according to Matt Church founder of Thought Leaders Business School, when it comes to the number of people in your tribe, the magic numbers are 15, 150, 1,500 and 15,000. The first 15 people in your tribe are those closest to you – think of them as your tribal elders, the people who help you grow your business. Your top 150 are your customers. Your top 1,500 are the people on your list and who open your newsletter each week. And your top 15,000 are your social media followers.
The benefit of moving from a transaction mindset to a tribe mindset means you can build greater trust with your customers. And when you have greater trust, you have a high level of positioning. If you obsess about the numbers in your transactions, you will lose your purpose. But if you obsess about your tribe, you become the biggest and best version of you. You gain more flexibility when it comes to growing your business.
There are three key elements that create a truly powerful tribe for an influencer:
Who do you truly love working with? If you can work this out, you can step into the greatest version of you. People will be able to see where your energy lies. They will see the kind of people your sense of being is centred on. The essence of you will come to life, and you will engage with the people you’re meant to engage with much more effectively.
What problems do your customers have? What are their specific challenges, fears and experiences? If you can show you understand their problems, you’re far more likely to be able to show them empathy and understanding. This creates trust and loyalty. You will also have more energy for them and in turn, you will become more energised by them.
What is the higher purpose you see for the people you love working with and for yourself? What is the benefit of helping them become the best version of themselves? And what is the benefit of you becoming the best version of you? If you can get your purpose aligned with that of your people, you’ll get a high level of engagement. Because when your purpose comes to life, particularly when you are edging towards the $1 million-plus mark, people see themselves in you. They relate to you and think, “I want to become you. I want to be like you.” In other words, they buy who you are.
When you have a powerful tribe, you get high-level positioning. You have a high value in the market and people will tend to pay more for you. They know you have a specific understanding of their needs and that they can trust you. This is far more valuable than any transaction.
How are you using these three elements to foster your tribe? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Jane Anderson is a communications expert, speaker and the author of 4 books including “EXPERT to INFLUENCER: 12 Key Skills to Attract New Clients, Increase Sales and Leverage your Personal Brand to Become an Industry Leader.” With over 20 years experience helping people step into their personal power, she is obsessed about creating human connection to drive business growth in a world of disruption and automation. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.