by Kaya Singer, business owner, entrepreneur, mentor and author of the book “Wiser and Wilder: A Soulful Path for Visionary Women Entrepreneurs“
Every one of us has a purpose and a mission. Building a business requires you to walk your soulful path and manifest your vision.
Success comes to those who focus on being authentic, in the right circle of people, in a balanced and actualized way, with a strong voice. It also means being willing to face the unhealed parts of yourself that hold you back.
Finding your tribe is perhaps one of the most important steps to focus on in business.
Your tribe is made up of all the people who love your business, products, services, and you. It’s your fans, current and potential customers and clients, and your colleagues. They enjoy hearing what you’re up to, and they spread the word to others about your business. it’s just as true now as it has been down through the ages: women thrive in circles with other women (Think quilting bees, knitting circles, etc., and now through businesses.)
To grow your tribe, increase your fan base, and continue to build your business, you need to connect with others. This may seem obvious, but not everyone does this strategically.
Here are seven important key ways to grow your tribe:
Search for Women’s Networking Groups and Business Clubs in your Local Area.
You can do a Google search by typing in “women’s networking groups” along with the name of your city or town, and see what comes up. Providing you get some results, scroll through them and see what and who might be appropriate for you to reach out to. Then plan to attend their next networking meeting, which is often free for first timers. When you attend, remember to be a good networker. This means be curious and learn about others and their businesses before you share all about yours. When you’re a good listener, others want to learn about you.
Do online searches through the social media channels.
For example, open up Facebook and inside the search bar at the top, type in the same words as in the example above. “Women’s networking groups” and the name of your city or town. Notice what comes up here? Then, to get even more specific responses, look at the top of that page and click on the link that says “groups”. The results should be good opportunities for you. If you don’t get any responses, try changing the key words in your search until the information you want comes up.
Tap in and take advantage of your own networks.
Who can you ask for suggestions or referrals? Make a list of people you think could be helpful, and then ask them if there are there any groups they know of that you should be a part of? Or do they know any individuals that they think you should get to know. Not only are you tapping into the wisdom of your own networks, but you are also allowing others to help you, and they will feel good about that. Ask them if they’d be willing to introduce you so that it is a “warm” connection. Be sure and return the favor when you find someone or an event that they would likely benefit from. This is called building social capital and it’s networking at its best.
Set up coffee or tea dates with women you meet and feel a connection toward.
When you’re together, look for ways you can collaborate with one another through your businesses. You may come up with some great ideas, and if not, you’ve at least made a new friend. Magic happens when you show up, but first you have to ask. Make a list: Who would you like to get to know better? And then reach out and ask.
Start your own Meet Up group and invite people to come.
Think about the kind of group you would like to be a part of, and the kind of women you want to attract. What are your interests? What are you values? Make a list and imagine the kinds of people you like to know. Go to meetups in your local area. Experiment with the best key words to use, and when others search using those words, your event will come up. Don’t stop there though. Invite people on your email list, or in your address book, and be sure and post it on your favorite social media channels too. Creating a group is one of the best ways to be seen as a leader and an expert in your field.
Go to a local tea shop or cafe with your lap top and work from there.
You may not know anyone personally, but just being out with other people can make it feel like you’re a part of a larger community. Eventually you will see the same faces and you’ll start to get to know others. Be open to others; You never know who you’re meeting until you talk to them and get to know them. You just may find your next partner or best friend.
Build a community on social media.
Your tribe members are not limited by geography. Through the Internet, your tribe can be anywhere in the world! It’s important to do a little research and find out the platform that your clients and tribe are more likely to be on. Simply ask them through an email, or as you’re meeting people, find out which platform they are on the most. Track the top places where your tribe likes to hang out. Then, you’ll need to make some decision. You will likely not have the time or energy to focus on every platform your tribe mentions. It’s better to pick one or two social media channels, and do a deeper dive with them. You can have a presence on more, but really get to know and understand just one or two of the channels, preferably the top two where most of your tribe hangs out.
Join groups on social media.
This is so you can meet more people and they can also get to know you. A good place to begin is Facebook groups because so many people are using the platform. In the Facebook search bar at the top, type in the topic or focus that interests you. Join a group and get involved by making comments, posting and liking other people’s comments. Notice who stands out to you and why and then reach out to them. You can comment on their posts, or send an invitation to connect outside the group. This is another good way to get to know others. You can also start your own FB group and invite others to join you. It is easy to do. Simply go to what looks like an upside down triangle at the top, right side of your screen, and click on “help”. Type in, “How do I start my own Facebook group?” and you will get a step-by-step guide. Once you set up your group you can invite all your FB friends or select certain individuals. Beyond being seen as a leader and expert in your topic area, a side-benefit of Facebook groups is that it’s very easy to build real relationships without reading tons of posts you don’t enjoy.
Start Your own small Mastermind Group.
A Mastermind Group is a fabulous way to offer and receive support from others. Many women want this, but they wait for a group to drop in their lap rather than initiating one themselves. Don’t fall into that trap. If there isn’t a group for you to join, create the kind of group you want. Be selective and choose 3-4 people who are at a similar level as you are and are also looking for support. These might be colleagues you have met a local groups or even met online. A group can be local or you can meet on phone or Skype. Begin by writing out an intention with your own culture and values and then you will attract women who want something similar.
Look for ways you can promote others.
This key is huge and may be the most important one of all. Building good relationships means being there for other people and sharing help and resources when you can. Refer people to an awesome massage therapist or tell people about a web designer who is good. Promoting is giving in the highest way for entrepreneurs as it helps them to build their tribe. Gifting to others builds positive energy and expands your community too, so It is a win-win.
Connecting with supportive people not only helps build your business, but it builds real community, plus it helps you to grow personally as an individual; this is particularly helpful if you tend to be more introverted.
Kaya Singer is a “wise woman” entrepreneur, mentor, artist, and writer. Having never fit into a traditional business box, Kaya’s been self-employed for over 40 years, beginning with her first business selling pottery on orange crates. Her book, “Wiser and Wilder: A Soulful Path for Visionary Women Entrepreneurs“, goes beyond the usual how-to business advice and instead places its focus on “how to be”.