Seth Godin is a world-class author and marketing expert. His blog is one of the few that I read every day when it arrives at my inbox. His ideas are worth paying attention to and offer enough inspiration to be profoundly valuable.
He frequently blogs about building a tribe, a group of people who support what you do and who are invested in your success – they are part of your personal team.
“This is great, we all know that,” you may say, “But how do I devote the time and attention – among the myriad things that take my attention every day – to build that tribe? Shouldn’t people just fall in love with my product? Isn’t that enough?”
No, it’s not enough. Even if your product is absolutely superior in every way, another suitor for your customer’s attention is always in the wings. Even the legendary Odysseus had to fight off Penelope’s 108 suitors after his absence. And if Odysseus was forgotten, it is a guarantee that you will be as well.
I received insight into how we all can afford the time necessary to build our tribes today – and that it doesn’t require anything at all beyond resources that we already have.
Today, I sent Seth a short email to ask about when my new book would arrive. It was the middle of the afternoon. I knew that Seth had responded to several of my emails in the past, usually within an hour, but they were all friendly acknowledgements of a particularly good blog. I didn’t really expect a personal response about my book shipping. Yet within 30 minutes, he sent a pleasant email back and said that it was on the way in a few days- even though he’d sent an update to all book orderers a few days ago saying exactly that. I hadn’t read the update he’d sent – yet his response was pleasant and helpful.
What if –
- Business owners made a point to make their email addresses public – and personally responded to emails received.
- Every email was responded to within a few hours.
- Emails from potential customers were treated as though they were emails from close friends.
We all have the capacity to do this. If a busy author and public speaker can answer his emails within 30 minutes, the rest of us can probably manage as well.
Our customers – and our potential customers – would become bright and shiny advocates of our products and our personal brands. Perhaps more importantly, they would also become friends.
I, for one, am going to give these bullet points a shot. I’ll let you know how it goes. If any of you try it, or if this is your current policy, let me know how it works for you.