Building A Tribe

"Building a tribe is not a matter of a miracle. Instead, it’s about converting tiny groups of people at a time, leading them, connecting them, building an audience. When a self-published author does this, she has a new job. Not the author part, the publisher part. She’s not putting a book into the universe and hoping it will be found. She’s not even putting a book in a journalist’s hands and hoping it will be hyped. No, she is engaging in a years-long journey to build a platform. It might take a decade to become an overnight success, but if you keep it up, if you keep building, the odds keep getting better and better."  from the blog by Seth Godin

This paragraph from Seth Godin's blog today really hits home with me and I hope it does with you. If you have a product to sell, or information to sell, you should be spending time daily building your tribe and your platform. If you understand this, your odds of becoming successful or being able to make a living with your creativity increase exponentially. However, I must add the taking action part. Once you understand it, you have to take the steps of getting out of your comfort zone and reaching out on a regular basis, to build that tribe.

This is a tribe of people that you communicate with and encourage regularly. You may never meet them face to face, but you care about them and they feel like they know you. This can happen through a weekly or monthly newsletter, a blog, speaking engagements, concerts,  gallery showings, a forum or even twitter. Somehow, someway, you need to build a tribe of followers who relate to and draw strength from your message.

When you have a tribe and you release a new CD, painting, book or e-book, you have an audience who is ready to push the 'buy now' button!

I'm wondering . . . what are you doing, or planning to do, to build your tribe?


  1. Oh yes, Deby! While Seth describes the "what," you are describing the "how." This is difficult work! It's like working on a garden with a long growing season. Some things work, others don't. Sometimes what you thought was a 'whim' turns out to be just the right stuff! And overall, bit-by-bit, our tribe grows. Honestly, I can't say it enough: we're rebuilding hopes and dreams and at the same time, reaching to a future that's better. We have to keep at it!

  2. Deby, excellent subject for blogging! I am so grateful to have the Artists Arise group as a support base. I think of reaching out and building a tribe through various art collector and artist groups on facebook, and also commenting on at least five blogs per week. I also use my newsletter, but am considering doing a blog too.

  3. An excellent post for me at this moment. I am beginning this journey in building a tribe for my writing (inspirational historical romance) which will soon be published electronically. I have chosen this route as I am nearing retirement age and don't have the luxury of years to wait for a brick and mortar publisher to snatch my work from the slush pile. E-publishing requires a higher commitment to self-promotion which, I must admit, is daunting for an introvert scribbler like me. But I am actively researching good strategies for getting the best results for my time. I am a member of two writing groups that include multi-published authors with whom I can network and share critiques, reviews and book launch activities. I am building a website that includes blog features and links to most social platforms at Be aware the website is not fully finished and functional yet. Suggestions welcome. I enter, and have placed in, national level writing contests to get my work in the hands of judging editors. Eddie, I garden and loved the analogy. That is how I view this process, hard, challenging,ever changing but,in the end,rewarding.

  4. @Eddie Hudson
    Eddie, thanks for your comment. I think it really all boils down to interactions with people. Yes, it is like a tending a garden. We must water, feed and weed our garden, which is our tribe. It's time consuming and it's work, but over time we reap a harvest!

  5. I just recently joined twitter. Following anyone that appears they might even remotely have an interest in my watercolor paintings.

    I've been creating a newsletter for the last two years. It goes out each time I create a new painting. 220+ followers on it.

    Joining the 48 Days network. Linking arms with like minded people.

    Per Dan's and Seth Vore's inspiration I have started a kickstarter project.

    Cascade Of Watercolor

    Talk about setting yourself up for rejection! Running the risk of emotional injury when people you counted on let you down or don't appear to care.

    Watching the hours tick past waiting for the first pledge. Will it ever come? Was the goal too ridiculously high? Won't know until it's over. It launched last night. 31 days will tell.

    Succeed or fail, I chalk it up to one of the lessons that will take me to bigger and better things.

    I'm open to creative ways to promote it. I'm hoping some good ideas are offered from creative thinkers.