Building Your Tribe
We have this funky hand-painted sign in our offices. Actually it hangs right over the main work table. It says "Call it a Clan. Call it a Network. Call it a Tribe. Call it a Family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." It spoke to me the first time I saw it. And it rings truer to me now, more than ever as we build this business out to new heights. The most major surges of growth I've seen in this, and other businesses I have been a part of, happen when we have collaborated & relied on a team. Solopreneur-ism is fantastic. But it only works if the solopreneur has a support system. This can be your family who listen to your excitement when you have your first hugely successful sales event, your customers & shoppers in your VIP group, or even us here at Leetie HQ. It can also be that you have several mini 'tribes' that make up your bigger core group of supporters. However you work it, you always have to make sure you are being authentic & putting out value to attract the people you want surrounding yourself. Here are a few ways you can do that.
Your vibe attracts your tribe.
Talk to People
This seems like such simple advice. But how often to we sprint through our kid's elementary school to drop off their forgotten lunch & walk past several staff people and neighbors without even picking our head up. Grocery shopping? Compliment the woman in front of you on her top. You were thinking it anyway, right? Why not say it out loud. It spreads good vibes & brings only positive things your way. Your goal is not to make these light exchanges lead directly to a sale. Your goal is to practice interaction. The more you are interacting, in real life, in an authentic way, the more you'll attract people who are like you. People who like what you like. People who you might end up friending online. People who you might end up going out for coffee with. It never hurts to have a business card on hand for moments when your jewelry gets complimented. But the goal is to Practice Authentic Exchange.
Build an online safe space
For many people your online safe space might be your personal Facebook page. It might be our Instagram feed. If you're starting a new business venture such as Leetie, it might be that you take those spaces a step further & start a Facebook group or a Shoppe page. Whatever space you are in or start to create, be sure that what you are posting there is
1. Of Value to the Customers you want to attract.
2. Authentic to you.
Value: We are inundated with 'stuff' in online spaces these days. It never ends & it's not all bad. It's just a LOT. Be sure what you are putting out into the world (online or otherwise) is of value. Share styling tips. Post peeks into your day to day life. Incorporate family life (if you are comfy with that) info your 'biz spaces'. People want to buy from & follow 'people'. Share things that can help them. Show them what you're good at & why they should care.
Authenticity: There are already enough people out there sharing their edited selves. This isn't to say that you need to over-share or post private moments. Editing is key to staying professional. However people want to connect with other people who are real. Be yourself. If you hate vintage clothing, don't start sharing vintage clothing Polyvore links just because you think it might be 'on-brand'. If you love Victorian clothing, style Leetie alongside that. Make Leetie & even non-business posts conform to your likes, your styles, and your brand.
Reach out & ASK
This has always been a hard one for me personally. I am naturally an extrovert. However over the years, I think I have had a lot of missed opportunities simply because I haven't asked. I didn't want to 'bother' the person who I was hoping to mentor by asking them to coffee. I didn't want to subject myself to the feelings of failure that I might have if I asked a store I adored to stock Leetie & they turned me down. I have had to really over come these feelings & take bold steps to 'reach out' to people.
An invitation is never accepted, if it is never offered.
Invite that mentor to lunch. Ask that person who you think is an absolute go-getter at her finance job out to coffee and see what you might have in common. Message that person whose blog you adore to just tell them "Hey I'm a fan & I think you rock!" You never know where these small, but sometimes difficult steps, might lead.