The previous blog discussed marketing through tribe building. That articled discussed the collaborative tribe. However, the key to growing requires another type of tribe. The second type of clan is revolves around our chosen target market.
This took me a long time to learn. For every industry, I don’t care what it is, I can guarantee you that there is an association.
- Identify your potential clients. To what industries do they belong?
- Join an association in that industry.
- That association will become the basis for your new clan or circle.
Years ago, I joined the Chamber of Commerce. I spent many hours networking and attending events. The problem was that I was in the wrong room. Don’t waste your time going to events that have very little likelihood of producing clients.
Tribes should always be created with intentional purpose; you must be in the room with the right people. Eventually, I limited my visits to chamber events so that I concentrated on locating the real clients. Below are some of my examples. Furthermore, I encourage you to ponder over these principles and apply them to your own circumstances.
South Carolina Association of Rehabilitative Professionals (SCARP). Our company does a lot of medical interpreting in workers’ compensation cases. Nurse case managers often seek out interpreters for their patients. Therefore, it makes sense for me to be part of the case management tribe. I go regularly to SCARP meetings and have built up relationships with many case managers. About once a year, I sponsor a meeting and present my five minutes of fame as to why they need me to interpret for them. When one of them needs an interpreter, who do you think they call? The case manager contacts me, the one active member of their tribe, known and trusted.
South Carolina Workers Compensation Education Association (SCWCEA).
This association is larger than SCARP. Its members include not only case managers, but also insurance adjusters who hire the case managers. Other clan members include defense and claimant attorneys. The chieftains of this tribe are the commissioners. Although they never hire interpreters, they are very influential since no lawyer wants to get on their bad side.
We are present and participate in their events annually. As a result, we have developed many working connections within that very large tribe. When Emily became a certified court interpreter in South Carolina, she e-mailed her proof of certification to all the commissioners. They immediately put her on the list of preferred certified interpreters, and let me just say that it is not very long. Indeed, my company is in the preferred provider directory for the SCWCEA. Showing up at a networking event doesn’t mean you will be noticed, and simply socializing doesn’t mean you will earn business. Just as with rationale you choose the right community, with determination you must engage them. How to communicate with them in order to gain a new customer will be considered later in this series.
By the way, attorneys have an association as well, the Bar Association (county, state, federal). We talked about intentional purpose, so let’s focus for a moment. One of my target markets is attorneys, and since we are considered to be vendors, many of them will be guarded at the seminars. They are afraid (and rightfully so) that we will try to sell to them. So how can I get into a more relaxed room with them where they will be more receptive to me? I perused many attorney profiles and discovered that many of them support different charities. One such charity supported by workers’ compensation attorneys is Kids’ Chance. Kids’ Chance provides scholarships for children of workers who died or became disabled at their jobs. By supporting Kids’ Chance and attending its events, many attorneys appreciate that we support their cause. This act has endeared us to them and places at the top of the list for the Kids’ Chance tribe. Have you researched your potential clients’ profiles to see what charities they support? You don’t always have to spend money, volunteering or joining a committee can work just as well.
Toastmasters Bilingue/Hispanic Chamber/Alianza Hispana:
Some time ago, we placed an ad in the Spanish-language newspaper. No one ever called me! Seriously, no one. However, one day we received a call for a translation. When I asked who referred us they said the Spanish newspaper. It was our rapport with the newspaper that got us work, not the ad itself. So my question was, how could I build a tribe out of the Spanish-language community so that when they need our services, business owners and leaders would refer us? One way of doing that was to form a club, “Toastmasters Bilingue.” People who join Toastmasters work on public speaking and leadership skills. Typically, they are community leaders. By creating a Spanish/English club, one we created a tribe of community leaders in one room. The same principal applies to organizations such as the Hispanic Chamber and Hispanic Alliance. Are there local community associations in your language group? They can become your next tribe.
These are a few instances of how I joined or created different tribes. Use these ideas to find or create what works best for you! Whether it’s in real life or social media, you just can’t sit back and watch or just socialize. You must engage them!
The next blog will consider how to build a social media tribe.