Marketing in a tribe is great way to boost sales, increase awareness and earn word of mouth evangelism. This 10 step list is proven. I’ve successfully marketed products this way and I’ve seen many other people and businesses successfully market this way.
1) Forget everything you think you know about marketing.
2) Locate a tribe with members who would benefit from purchasing your product/service. For example, if you’re in the gun safe business, a tribe of passionate firearms enthusiasts is where you need to be.
3) Join the tribe.
4) Don’t attempt to “market” anything. If the tribe meets in an online forum, don’t even put your business website on your signature. You’ll be seen as a spammer and you’ll never truly become a member of the tribe. Other tribe members and leaders won’t allow it. Regular marketing in a tribe is a big “no no”. If the tribe has a “profile page”, it’s okay to list your business and what you do. The important thing is that the tribe members don’t view you as a someone marketing a product.
5) Make quality contributions to the tribe in areas unrelated to your business (i.e. Start discussions, respond to discussions in a meaningful way, etc.).
6) Make connections with other tribe members. Find a few tribe members you resonate with and make a conscious effort to connect with them.
7) After you’ve been accepted into the tribe, it will be inevitable that tribe members ask what you do - or what business you’re in. Only now, is it wise to tell them your business (no sales pitches). If curious, perhaps they’ll check out your “profile page” and learn it from there.
8) When you see a discussion that’s somewhat relevant to your business - contribute to that discussion with facts (not sales attempts). Facts about the product/service are needed. That's probably why the discussion was started. NO sales pitches.
9) Eventually, word will get around to other tribe members that you’re in the “whatever” business. That's okay, because you're now an accepted tribe member - not just someone trying to make a sale.
10) At this point, the tribe has accepted you as a member and a few of the members know what you do. If you’ve been a good tribe member, other tribe members will view you as a “trusted expert” in your business and they’ll be coming to you for recommendations. Remember, trust is very important, so even at this point it’s not wise to try and make a sale. Only present the facts. More often than not, the other tribe members will come to you and choose your product if it meets their needs.
Aside from my own endeavors, one of the best examples I’ve seen of this kind of marketing occurs everyday in a firearms enthusiast tribe. This tribe meets in an online forum. One of the members happens to be in the gun safe business. In fact, he’s a gun safe expert. The key is that he’s NOT there to market. He’s a member of the tribe, just like me. However, anytime there’s a discussion about gun safes, you can bet he’s participating by talking facts (NOT marketing). In the eyes of the tribe members, he’s a “trusted expert” and many tribe members go to him with their gun safe needs. He sells many gun safes this way without any traditional marketing. You can do the same if you follow these ten steps.