Principle 9: Build a Tribe
21st Century Marketing
How do the right people hear about my startup?
Why is this principle important?
Your brand is a story. It is a story about how you see things and what you are trying to change in the world. Brands are like people – the best ones are entertaining, approachable, interesting and – crucially – human! Great marketing doesn’t involve broadcasting at people, it involves having an exciting point of view and engaging people. What will your brand be an authority on? What type of community do you want to attract? Stand for something, build your tribe around it.
What should you focus on at this stage?
- Learn the core principles of marketing in the digital age.
- Experiment with new tools and techniques for marketing your brand.
- Turn your value proposition into a story and share it through different channels.
- Develop, launch and measure different ways to attract attention.
Have a point of view
If you blend in you won’t get noticed. Stand for something. Share your ‘why’. Your startup doesn’t need a polished exterior – show people why this matters to you: ‘I think we should drink better beer, read better books, eat more healthily, enjoy our jobs, find rooms more easily…’
Introducing interesting people to each other in your space increases your value and your chance of getting noticed. You don’t need to be the expert or guru of an industry to start a meetup or online community.
Be genuinely useful
If you’re not really helping other people they won’t listen. This isn’t about you. Good content marketing gets people’s attention not because of the product but because of the content – it helps, entertains or shocks.
Lead your Tribe
People are often as interested in the person or people behind a startup as they are the product or service itself – make your story accessible and authentic.
Contribute to the conversation
Help others solve their problems. Paying it forward raises your profile as well as reputation (and it feels great). This works really well online – through blogs, forums, social networks and you can do it from the sofa!
Meet people where they are
Ask the right questions. Use empathy to understand why they’re feeling a certain way.
Don’t push people into liking or listening to you. Ask nicely if you can have their email, time, attention, money!
Hustle absolutely but don’t bullshit. You’ll be found out very quickly.
Join The Tribe Forum for Q&A on the 21st Century Marketing principle.
- How do I choose which social media to focus on?
- How do I do PR for my startup?
- How do I drive people to my website now I’ve built it?
- How does paid digital marketing work?
- What are the best digital marketing tools?
- How do I get public speaking gigs (& do them well)?
- What are great examples of content marketing?
- How do I build a Tribe?
Have a question that hasn’t been answered yet?
Jump into the forum and ask away (just click “New Topic” in the top-right of the screen. Write your question as the Topic title, with your context / explanation as the Description).
Tools & Resources
Email: Sometimes it’s best to cut out the fluff and just email. But make it personal!
- Mailchimp: Claims to be better than email. Often is.
- Facebook: Still the biggest referrer of traffic for most startups.
- Tweetdeck: Manage your social media marketing easily
- Hootsuite: If you don’t like tweetdeck — great for scheduling.
- Instagram: Fashion, food & travel startups — this is your home.
- Periscope: Create your own tv channel
- YouTube: The second biggest search engine in the world.