To Get More Business, Go Where the People Already Are

by Gail Z. Martin

Want to find your tribe? Start by going to their favorite campfires.

The people you want are your tribe.

The places they gather, I call “campfires.” Just like the cavemen.

Your tribe is already gathering around other people’s campfires, where there is a common interest, and they’re waiting for you to join them.

This is SO much easier than trying to find your tribe one person at a time.

And I know so many people do that—looking for potential customers one at a time. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. I bet you’ve done it, too.  And it drives you crazy. It makes you frustrated.  You feel like you’re never going to find the people who are interested in your business.

And the truth is, those perfect prospects—your tribe—are just sitting around another campfire, waiting to meet you, and you can find dozens—maybe hundreds—of them all at once.

And once they get to know you and you have a relationship with them, they will come over to your campfire.

You will be more successful building relationships that lead to sales if you focus on finding the campfires where the tribes you serve are already gathering, and go there to meet your tribe.

It’s a lot harder to build a campfire and then try to get total strangers to come hang out with you.

Instead, find your tribe at the campfires where they’re already gathering, and get to know them. Let them get to know you. Then you can invite them to visit your campfire, and they’ll come gladly, because you have a relationship with them.

Now let me be clear here.  I’m NOT talking about joining a mastermind group or an expert’s Facebook page and trying to poach their clients.  That’s not professional, and it will backfire on you. I’m NOT talking about posting spammy links on people’s blogs or hijacking the conversation to turn it into a sales pitch.  If you do that, your tribe will run the opposite direction.

So where are these campfires and how can you meet your tribe without getting into trouble?

Look for groups where people are united by their interest in a particular topic, but where the group isn’t owned or run by any single person or expert. So, for example, on Facebook and LinkedIn, there are groups on just about every business topic. There are groups on marketing, investing—all kinds of topics.

Join the groups and be a good neighbor—not a salesman. Answer questions. Make referrals. Suggest resources and solutions. Don’t sell.  You won’t need to sell—if you give good, helpful answers that aren’t self-serving, you will earn the respect of the group. The people who are really your tribe will begin to like and trust you.  They’ll feel a connection because you’ve invested in building a relationship.  And if your responses include a short signature with your name and the name of your company and a tagline that makes it clear what you do, the people who are drawn to become your tribe will make a connection outside of that group, and that’s when you can invite them to come over to your campfire—your web site, your Facebook page and blog.

Not only that, but people who find what they need around a campfire invite other friends who will be a good fit.  Your tribe will invite their friends to become part of your tribe. That’s the magic.

Now this is where a lot of people get lost.  You’ve been out on Facebook and Twitter trying to make good connections and you feel like you’re wandering around in the dark.  You can’t find the right people.  You feel like you’re wasting your time.  Or you attract followers, but they don’t buy anything.  It really hurts. You start to feel overwhelmed and ready to throw in the towel, but you can’t, because you’ve got a mortgage to pay and college tuition to pay and kids to feed. It really hurts. And it makes you want to scream.

Cindy was one of those people who got lost.

Cindy owns a national company that sells craft supplies.  She knew that teachers are always assigning craft-related projects.

She also knew that teachers and homeschooling parents are always looking for fresh project ideas—and she had a ton of them to share.

But Cindy was overwhelmed when it came to social media.  She knew who she needed to reach, but finding them on Facebook seemed worse than looking for a needle in a haystack.

She was trying to find teachers and homeschooling parents one at a time, and it was burning her out.  Cindy was pulling her hair out.  She was wasting HOURS hunting through random strangers on Facebook, following every Tom, Dick and Harry on Twitter—and not getting any results. She was ready to give up and walk away from social media.

She needed a blueprint.

And then I let her in on the most powerful secret.

Find your tribe around other campfires. Then invite them to join your campfire, too.

You do this in real life.  If you want to find people who like to play tennis, you don’t start calling through the phone book asking if the person you’ve called likes tennis.

You go join a tennis club.

So Cindy started to connect with her tribe on Facebook groups for teachers and homeschooling parents.  They welcomed Cindy with open arms.  She won their trust by sharing first—project ideas, ways to use craft supplies to do more, last longer, tips for saving money on craft supplies—all the things those teachers and parents NEEDED to know.

They were HAPPY to go to her web site to download craft supply shopping lists and project designs.  They were THRILLED to get coupons for her company’s craft supplies.  They COULDN’T WAIT to go to the store and BUY her products.

Cindy didn’t just find new customers.  She created raving fans.  And those raving fans not only bought Cindy’s products, they introduced their friends to her who bought even more products.

Then I shared a secret with Cindy that blew her mind.  Facebook isn’t the only game in town. It’s only one campfire—but there are lots more!

I showed Cindy how to find other campfires outside of Facebook—websites, blogs, forums– where teachers and homeschooling parents were already gathered, people who were DESPERATE for her project ideas and craft material tips.

So Cindy joined those groups, became a helpful good online neighbor, and attracted more people to her tribe—and ultimately, to her campfire.

It all starts with finding those places—campfires—where your tribe is already gathering. And when you find the right campfires, it’s like finding a gold mine.

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