When I announced last week that I was going to stop publishing an ezine, the response was strong, and mixed. It led to some juicy conversation in the comments on that post, and a lot of personal emails that really touched me.
I know many of you will miss getting the ezine or the full blog post with your email. I feel badly about that. And I know that if you read your email on a mobile device, that makes clicking through and reading the blog online more of a hassle.
But here’s the thing. I want more from you. You all are my tribe. I want to do what I can to encourage you to join the conversation on this blog, because that will make the blog a richer resource for everyone.
I’m also hoping that for most of you, the new way will be more respectful of your time, because there is less coming into your inbox.
Tribes Need Connection
All this has got me thinking about how coaches connect with their markets. What kind of relationship do coaches want with the people we serve?
It’s become fashionable to talk about business in terms of tribes, but if you haven’t checked out the source of that trend – Seth Godin’s brilliant book Tribes – I recommend it. The message is: business leadership is not about building factories anymore, and it’s not about using advertising to push an idea on people. It’s about connecting like-minded people and leading them to a place they want to go.
By Godin’s definition, a group of people needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate. So the lesson is, if you want to strengthen your tribe, help them communicate.
People working together are smart – smarter than the smartest individual members of the group. Whatever generates connection within the tribe helps to release this collective intelligence. That’s why I like live training environments better than canned ones, and blogs better than ezines.
I’m not dissing ezines. There are some great ones out there that I always look forward to reading. But blogs can help a tribe connect and communicate.
Are You Connecting Your Tribe?
I’m suggesting that you think of your coaching niche as a tribe. Of course, not just any tribe will do. A coaching niche needs more than a shared interest and a way to communicate, to be a viable market.
But once you’ve settled on a profitable niche to serve, it’s useful to ask yourself how you can treat them as your tribe. How can you help them connect and communicate? How can you help lead them where they want to go? This is what I call championing your coaching market.
A blog is not the only way.
- Social media and online forums are made for this. You don’t have to build the platform. If you bring people together, and add valuable content, you are helping your tribe communicate.
- Mastermind groups also qualify. So do other group events, face-to-face or by telephone, if you are hosting a conversation that matters to your niche, and giving them an opportunity to contribute.
- If your coaching programs are based on listening to your market to find out what they really want, you are helping to lead them where they want to go.
But a blog is one of the best ways, because when you build a blog, you are building a platform where your tribe can come together. That adds value in itself, over and above the valuable content you provide.
What about you? When you think of serving your niche, do you think about how you can help them connect and communicate? How do you champion your tribe?