The 2018 midterm elections saw record-high voter turnout in several states. Regardless of political inclination, the idea that Americans are taking advantage of the right to vote now more than ever is a good sign.
After all, voting is how we choose our leaders which ultimately has a direct impact on our quality of life. And that’s why voting for a candidate who reflects and understands your community’s values and problems is crucial.
You are an implied leader
But the concept of a chosen leader representing a group of people, whether formally elected or simply implied, is not unique to a country or nation. In an office, there’s a manager who handles a group of employees. In a school, the principal governs the teachers.
Entrepreneurs, although they work for themselves, are no exception.
As an entrepreneur and expert in your field, you’re an implied leader of your clients. They expect you to understand their needs and provide solutions accordingly.
Everything from your daily business decisions to high-level strategies are ultimately based on what your clients desire. And you must be of service to them to stay in business.
The only way to do this successfully is by understanding your tribe.
Big brands are already doing it
In recent years, we have seen an influx of “free” services, and I quote the word on purpose.
Websites like Facebook, for example, don’t require you to pay for a profile. But the fact that Facebook makes money selling your data to advertisers is no secret. Brands pay a handsome sum for user data.
Why? Because the better they know their tribes, the more products they’ll sell.
This method doesn’t stop with websites and online services. Brick and mortar stores do the same thing. They may offer you a small freebie in exchange for signing up for their loyalty program, which is really just a means to get your contact information.
While it’s a harmless trade and can be a genuinely good deal, keep in mind brands are giving away these perks to get more information about you. Eventually they’ll use this data to make a sale more likely in the future.
Know your tribe to refine your message
Everything you do as an entrepreneur should add value, whether to your company or to your clients (which eventually comes back to your brand). This includes your core story as well as other communications that your customers receive from you.
When you know your tribe well, you understand what they want and need to hear. And you’re able to refine your message accordingly.
If your clients want to increase their profits, knowing them well helps you decide whether to say, “I will help increase your sales,” or, “I will help lower your costs.”
This is true for big corporations and ones who use online ad targeting. The advertisements you see when browsing the internet are often a reflection of what brands know about your interests.
It’s no coincidence that just a day after searching for new shoes, you get bombarded with ads for those exact shoes. The search engine you used is now aware of what you want and is using this knowledge to refine the ads you see.
Tools to get to know your tribe
As an entrepreneur myself, I understand most of us don’t have the resources to hire big agencies to gather data about potential customers.
Luckily, with the internet and social media on our side, there are several ways for you to get to know your tribe better without having to spend a fortune. Let me share a few of them.
1. Mailing lists
While social media platforms go in and out of style, email has proven itself to be an industry mainstay and continues to be a useful tool to connect with your clients.
Think of some of your favorite websites that offer a certain service or product. Have you noticed, after a few seconds on the homepage, a small box pops up asking for your email address?
Incorporate this opt-in feature to your website. This is an opportunity to acquire a client’s email address without forcing it out of them. And suddenly there’s a direct line of communication between you and your client.
Be sure to only send emails when absolutely necessary. Get to know your tribe’s preferred communication frequency, or you risk upsetting a customer for spamming.
2. Facebook groups
Facebook groups are another great way to get to know your tribe better. With features like polls, multimedia posting and other interactive tools, Facebook groups enable organic conversations with your clients.
They are also a community where clients can interact with each other. Creating community and building a platform is advice I give to the entrepreneurs I coach and is a whole separate topic of its own.
Monetizing what you know about your tribe
While we want to build genuine relationships with our clients to provide the best solutions for their needs, we also need to find a way to convert connections into sales. Getting to know your brand’s tribe is only a small piece of a large puzzle. As someone who has gone through the process several times, I am honored to provide coaching to other entrepreneurs.
My program Monetize Your Movement shares the lessons, tips and tricks that took me many years to find out for myself.
Taking the next step
I want you to think about your existing relationship with your clients. How well do you know them, if at all? Are you able to use what you know about them to fine-tune your communications? Do you know what keeps them up at night and what motivates them?
If not, I want you to take what you’ve learned here and put it to use. If you need help, I’d be glad to provide assistance.
Always remember that as an expert in your field, you have a tribe of people who look to you for solutions. The better you know them, the better you can serve them.