The days of going out prospecting are far behind us. People don't want to be sold to any more - after all, in most western countries we're lucky enough to lack for very little. We get a whim and we satisfy it.
The biggest hole in people's lives these days is LEADERSHIP.
We're all looking for someone to help explain the world, someone to show us the path that avoids all the traps and pitfalls, someone to make our problems and challenges and questions just go away. Someone to be our leader.
So for example, I'm working with a group of internet marketers to put on an event in London later this month (http://bit.ly/a0NoAo) because there are many, many people out there who can't figure out social media, and they're looking for someone to tell them what to do. Enter this group of speakers, each solving a different part of the problem, each willing to guide them and lead them.
Now, in order to become a leader, you need people to lead: you need a tribe. A tribe goes far beyond the usual marketer's goal of finding a group of people who know, like and trust you.
Yes, all of that has to be present (who would want to follow a leader they don't know, like or trust, after all!), but there has to be more: a tribe shares a single, unifying vision, supported by common purpose and goals, and they have a real sense of belonging, engendered by shared values and passions. Often they'll rally to a common cause, or against a shared "not-us" that defines who "us" is.
Your role is to define all of those factors as far as possible, or to be the major proponent of existing ones.
Of course, all of that is much simpler the smaller your tribe is, in other words the narrower your niche is.
Without a niche you're trying to tell everyone how to solve every problem, and what to think about every issues. It's just not going to work.
So, who could be in your tribe?
You are about to write one of the most important business assets you have.
- list your past and existing clients. They already know, like and trust you, and they've already bought into your ideals. If they're anything like my past clients and students, they are keeping in touch anyway, so they're half-way to being a tribe already
- list your prospects, within your niche. This could be your customer avatars (idealised clients) or specific named individuals and organisations who you have been targeting
- list your key referrers. Who is already sending you business?
- list your current and prospective joint venture partners
These four lists define the people you already have influence over.
Now ask yourself what unites (or could unite) them. What beliefs do they share? What challenges? What attitudes? What questions do they ask themselves? WHAT KEEPS THEM AWAKE AT NIGHT?
That is what you have to craft your vision around.
Take a stand. Voice an opinion and be prepared to defend it. Be controversial (without being contrary or just plain awkward or nasty!)
And take that message out to the world by as many channels as you can.
As that message spreads, new tribe members will find you. You just have to let them hear the message first!