Before writing another word, I have two questions:
What authors do you follow?
If you’d like to stop for five minutes and make a list of your answers, go ahead because this is important stuff.
I’ll give you a few of my own just to get things going:
Novels of Doug Preston and Lincoln Child: Because their Agent Pendergast is the quirkiest, most unpredictable and brilliant character I’ve ever read. I just purchased their Pendergast book #14. Can’t wait to dig in. What I get: Entertainment.
Chris Brogan‘s Newsletter: Because he shares personal experiences that inspire me. He writes about marketing in a way that I find palatable. Bottom line: He’s genuine. What I get: Inspiration.
Have you finished your list? Good, now let’s look at:
What You Want to Give
Whether you read my books or my blog posts, I hope you get one or both of these:
Education: I’ve been a full-time freelancer for more than 20 years, with experience in many fields. I want to help other authors who aren’t quite sure how to reach their writing goals.
Inspiration: I know what it’s like to hear one “no” after another. I refuse to give up and I want to inspire you to do the same.
If I could write fiction, my third goal would be to entertain. Sadly, I haven’t reached that level of craft!
So tell me now, what’s on your list?
You Are Your Tribe
This brief exercise clarifies two things:
What you’re looking for as a reader
What you want to give as a writer
My belief (and you are free to disagree with me!) is that a great deal of what you want as a reader is much the same as what you want to give as a writer. I believe we seek out that which we, too, want to offer.
That means you already have great role models.
For me: Every time I read Chris Brogan’s newsletters I’m inspired to be a far better newsletter writer. Chris inspires me to remain authentic.
And, every issue of the Writer’s Digest newsletter shows me the types of articles other writers want and need to read. They help me brainstorm what I want to write for my readers.
How to Attract More Like You?
You are your own best consumer/customer/reader. So instead of following some trend that you wouldn’t read yourself [think things like wheat belly or paleo], start crafting articles or books or blog posts that you want to read.
Become a smart user of social media; that means learning to use the #hashtags that people like YOU follow, or writing FB posts that get shared. If these concepts are foreign, read Frances Caballo’s book Social Media Just for Writers. It’s worth far more than the $3 bucks.
Where do you hang out online? Go there to find people of like-mind and invite them to your site; start conversations; do a survey; engage.
Be authentic. We are hard-wired to love stories. Tell us yours. Don’t be afraid to show us your fails.
Be generous with your knowledge and your time. I answer every email sent to me; I reply to every comment left on my blog. If you write me with a question I answer you with as much information as I have.
I hope these first steps in Tribe Building help you begin building a core group of people who love what you do and love what you write. And while you’re here, would you do me a favor and leave a comment? What Tribe Building idea do you like?