In our last conversation, we talked about how “people like us, do things like this.” How identifying your tribe, and then acting in ways that show you are a part of that tribe, can significantly accelerate the growth of your business.
Which begs the question: who are your people like us, and how do you demonstrate you’re part of the tribe?
Pick an industry
The easiest way to specialize is to pick an industry to focus on. I know a banker who specializes in working with dentists, a lawyer who specializes in breweries, an IT company who works only with distributors. The simple formula is “I help X with Y.”
This is called “vertical specialization,” and it has some significant advantages.
When you are the banker for dentists you learn to speak the language that dentists speak. You meet other folks who specialize in helping dentists, people who do marketing for dentists, or architecture for dental offices, and you can share clients.
It’s easy to figure out where dentists flock together. You can attend the dental conferences and even become a speaker on financing dental practices.
You become one of the tribe you serve because you are the only one who knows about “X”.
Let me give you an example.
One of my clients, Brooke Foley of Jayne Agency, loves working with big brands so she became certified as a W/M/V/LGBTQ Business. Big companies want to increase their “spend” with diverse suppliers, so this certification was a way to stand out from the many competing agencies chasing big brand business.
But, something unexpected happened as Brooke attended minority business events where big brands came to meet potential suppliers. The other suppliers there were interested in her agency for their own marketing to big businesses.
She realized that her processes worked particularly well to help W/M/V/LTBTQ suppliers articulate what is unique about them (besides their minority status) so they could make a stronger case with big brands. Some big brands even told their suppliers to work with Jayne Agency as a prerequisite for getting their business. Jayne shifted from going after big brand business towards working with diverse suppliers to big brands who needed to tell a better story.
This last week, Brooke spoke at a big diversity supplier conference. She blew the room away! She was able to demonstrate the insights she had gained through working intensely with so many of these diverse suppliers. They saw that she understood the problems that the community has and was able to articulate it in a way that no one else could. After her speech, not only did the suppliers come up to her and ask for her card, but the big brands flocked to her too.
She understood their problems, spoke their language, and now her tribe is chasing her.
Do you work within a particular industry? How can you speak their language, understand their problems, and articulate it in a way that they see you as part of the tribe?