Finding the right tribe is key to your success. I’ve been at this blogging thing for 4 years and full-time for the last year. I’ve met so many people throughout the years and can truly only call a few of them friends. Finding the right tribe is hard. It just is. It takes time and it definitely doesn’t happen overnight. You have to know who you are and where you want to go. Most bloggers starting out don’t know either of those two things. I’m the perfect example.
When I first started blogging 4 years ago, I started out as a fashion blogger. I was 22 and in college, still trying to figure my life out. I knew that I wanted to work in the fashion industry but that’s hard in Orlando. When I started my blog I was working in retail as a sales associate and then moved on to doing visual merchandising for a major maternity brand. I loved it but it’s not what I wanted to do. I started blogging as a way to hopefully get my foot into the door in the fashion industry.
But then my blogging style changed. My priority was no longer wearing cute outfits and taking photos of them to share with the world. Do I still do that from time to time on my blog now? Yes but with every outfit I style or every makeup look that I share, there’s a story behind it. 4 years later I finally know what I want out of this blogging thing and where I want to go with it. I have a clearer vision now and have finally nailed down finding the right tribe. Here’s some tips on finding the right tribe.
1.Know who you are and your why.
The first step to finding the right tribe is knowing who you are. I know that’s something hard to say because we’re constantly evolving as people but that’s okay. Who are you today? What are some goals that you’re currently working towards? Why do you do what you do?
Once those questions are answered you can move towards trying to build your tribe. Remember that it’s your tribe and you’re the leader of it, and as a leader you must know who you are before you can lead others.
2. Have a vision and a plan.
I’m really big on planning and having a vision. How can you lead your tribe if you don’t know where you’re leading them to? Have a vision of the goals that you’d like to achieve and a plan for how you’re going to achieve them. With the right tribe you can get to where you want to be in no time.
3. Support them too.
An important part of being a part of a tribe is everyone has to be supportive. Support everyone in your tribe not only because you want them to support you but because you believe in their dreams too. There shouldn’t be anyone in your tribe that you wouldn’t go hard for. If you win, they win and vice versa.
Share their blog posts, giveaways, events, whatever. Be there for them when they need you. Comment back, let them know that you hear everything that they’re saying and you’re grateful that they’re rooting for you.
4. Know your audience.
I didn’t really get this until I had Tristan. I always thought that my audience was just millennials. I was wrong. Millennials could care less about my motherhood struggles and life as a mompreneur. Let’s be real, most millennials can’t identify with my lifestyle. Hell most people my age aren’t even married or have kids yet. Most of my real life friends are single and still trying to get their shit together.
It wasn’t until I realized who my true audience was that I started to thrive. My writing got better. Once I knew who I was writing to I was able to develop better stories. I became even more passionate about blogging and started being more transparent about things. I started working with brands who I love and who I see myself partnering with on a long-term basis.
Listen as much as you talk. If you listen to yourself and your audience, you’ll know if the direction that you’re going in is the right one. Your audience will tell you what they want to read and know about you. If you give the people what they want, you’ll thrive.
You also have to be open to criticism. If you find the right tribe, they’re going to keep it real with you. You don’t want anyone in your tribe that won’t be open and honest.
6. Bring something to the table.
Don’t be a moocher. No one likes someone who takes everything but has nothing to give. If you have a group of blogger friends that you brainstorm with, bring some good ideas too. No matter what, always have something of value to offer.
7. Never give up.
Finding the right tribe takes time. It took me damn near 4 years to build a good, solid tribe of people who I can trust with my greatest ideas and that will give me good feedback. My tribe supports me no matter what. I’ve definitely had to weed people out over the years because sometimes people aren’t who they claim to be but that’s life. You win some, you lose some. Just keep it pushing and focus on the end goal.
8. Realize that there’s levels to this ish.
Building the right tribe is more than just building an audience. The right tribe consists of these 6 essential groups of people:
- readers + followers: people who follow along and join in on the conversation on social media, your blog, email list, etc
- blogger boos + internet friends: “friends” you’ve made online, not your real friends. You don’t have these people’s phone numbers or talk to them daily but you chat with them if you see them on the street or comment on their content
- creative community: this can be bloggers, friends, photographers, graphic designers, family members, etc who get your brand
- real-life friends: your ride or dies who are there for you. Some of your blogger boos/internet friends may turn into real-life friends but it takes time and trust for things to develop
- co-workers + collaborators: people you work with on projects
- BFFs + family: your A1s since day 1
9. Stay in your lane.
This is the final and most important tip. Stay in your lane. No one else can be you and do the things that you do. In order to find the right tribe and keep them you have to stay true to yourself.
I collaborated with one of my blogger boos turned real-life friend, Maya of Style Delegate, for a Who What Wear style collab. We both love the collection so much that we decided to get creative and style some of our favorite pieces. I’m so happy with the way that this collaboration turned out and can’t wait to do it again. The video at the end is my favorite! Maya and I are definitely going to be doing more videos in the future so stay tuned.