Building Your Tribe

It isn’t a secret that successful entrepreneurs don’t make it on their own.  They are usually supported by a tribe of people that know who they are, love what they do, and tell anyone they meet about how amazing they are.  Having a tribe of people that loves your business and champions you is nothing short of amazing – you get great referrals, people to brainstorm ideas and challenges with, and it makes the entire entrepreneurial journey enjoyable.

So how do you build a tribe?  Let’s examine a few common mistakes that I’ve seen people make:

  • being unclear about why customers buy from you (if you don’t know why, your tribe will get even more confused and won’t know how to refer you)
  • pitching for referrals before they even know who you are (same issue as this)
  • diving too early into the alliance details (I’ll do this for you if you do this for me)

Remember that people have to know you, like you, before they trust you and will recommend you.  Guess what’s the best way to determine if someone should be in your tribe?

Get to know them.  Figure out if you like them.  Decide if you trust them.

I had a meeting last week with an IP lawyer.  My clients often have questions about issues that are outside of my coaching domain (accounting, tax, legal questions, SEO, etc) and I rely on having the right people in my tribe to refer clients to.  In working with clients that are licensing out their products and services, trademarks and IP protection often comes up.  Since I’m no lawyer, it was great to meet with a recommended expert who specializes in this field and find out more about how to best prepare for IP protection.

It was like any other coffee meeting, except it was like no other coffee meeting with a lawyer.  We talked about how we got into our field, laughed at lawyer jokes (he brought it up), chatted about sailing (which I know nothing about), bringing up kids (where I am a few years ahead of him), and at the end, we found out more about each other’s services and how we might work together.  He mentioned a few people he would introduce me to, said he would send me his fee schedule and gave me a few tips for my clients, and offered to talk at Mom CEO Academy if it would prepare more entrepreneurs to start off on the right foot.

It’s no wonder his firm gets 95% of their business from referrals.  I am now a big champion and can’t wait to send people to him.

So what is the key to building a tribe of champions?  Do as this lawyer did, don’t focus on the “doing”, focus on the “being” when you’re meeting with a potential champion:

  • be curious about who they are and what they do
  • care about where they are and where they want to go
  • enjoy the discovery process
  • have a bit of fun (note: lawyer jokes are funny when told by introverted lawyers with a slight self-deprecating humor)

Want to find out more?  Join me at the next Entrepreneur Mom Now Webinar series where we will discuss how to prepare, build, and manage a strategic alliance the right way.

 

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