When we first started roaming the planet we did it in small groups or tribes. In the traditional sense of the word, a tribe is a related group of people with some sort of kinship or other social bond. Tribes were about belonging, and in many senses they still are. Think football fans, for example. They even get dressed up in their team’s colors to hang out at games together.
Recently, for obvious reasons, I’ve been studying marketing and self-promotion, something authors have to do for themselves these days, and I’ve come across the word tribe used in a different context.
According to the marketing gurus, you need to identify your tribe so that you can tailor your marketing message to the right group of people.
This is an interesting use of the word. No kinship in this context but maybe there is a sense of social bonding. What you are looking for is the group of people who are interested in whatever it is you are marketing or promoting.
I guess the message is that only a small cross-section of the population is going to be interested in whatever you are promoting, so don’t waste your efforts with the ones that aren’t.
So, who is my tribe?
Maybe I should have specialised. I’m writing in three genres or categories:
- Mystery and detective
- Body, mind and spirit
Maybe that simply means I have three tribes to connect with.
The Inspector West series, with its focus on relationships within the framework of a crime story, will appeal to a particular type of reader. We’re talking about the tribe that likes murder mysteries and intrigue, and seeing how other people deal with those things, and how the detective works toward solving the crime. Maybe the same readers who enjoy books by Louise Penny or Peter James. Definitely not the readers who can’t wait for the next Jack Reacher book.
The Living Alone series has a fairly easily defined tribe: those guys who find themselves somewhat adrift at the end of a long-term relationship – but the books in that series, especially Cooking4One, could also appeal to someone leaving home and going it alone for the first time. Or maybe their mothers.
As a reader of this blog, you may belong to the Sharing the Journey tribe that is looking for inspiration or encouragement to continue the journey of personal growth and discovery.
There is one other tribe, according to the gurus, that will love anything and everything I write, and will happily and enthusiastically share it with their friends. That sounds like the tribe every author would love to be surrounded by.
Do you belong to any of these tribes?
Do you know someone who would benefit by being a member of any or all of these tribes?
Why not share this with them?