Tribes by Seth Godin: A MUST READ for Bloggers

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The book Tribes by Seth Godin is all about – you guessed it – building a tribe of loyal followers. In this review I will show you how to apply this wonderful marketing concept to your blog.

In the book Tribes, Seth Godin says that

Today, marketing is about engaging with the tribe and delivering products and services with stories that spread.

It sounds so simple.

Because the “stories” part of that sentence is easy – that is how we pass information from one person to another.

The harder part of that sentence is the word “tribe”.

As a blogger, that is your goal – you want a tribe of people at the ready, just waiting to share your next piece of great content.

To Have A Tribe, You Have To Be A Leader

To have a tribe you must be leader first.

You must have a following of people that respect and admire you enough to pass your story onto other people that they know.

To Be a Leader, You Need Followers

So if you want to be a leader – you need followers.

Today it is much easier and cheaper to become a leader than it has ever been in the past.

Do I even have to tell you all the ways we have at our disposal to communicate?

Email, blogging , Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn  and more.

It is all right there at your fingertips.

The Biggest Obstacle to Becoming A Leader is Noise

The biggest obstacle now to building a Tribe is noise.

There is so much noise online:

  • tons of information
  • too many social platforms
  • not enough time for follow through

At the end of the day it seems harder than ever to build a tribe.

But it’s not.

How to Build a Tribe

In the book Tribes by Seth Godin, he says that there are 2 things that turn a group of people into a tribe:

  1. A shared interest
  2. and a way to communicate.

As a blogger you already have these.

A group of people with a shared interest are your current readers – and even the readers of similar blogs in your niche..

You begin to build your Tribe by reaching out to a few people.

You tell your story through your blog posts and they begin to resonate with you.

They “follow” you.

They interact with you – and you interact with them.

They are the beginning of your tribe.

And a funny thing happens.

These tribe members find other people that are also members of your tribe and they start talking.

They spread the word to even more people that don’t know anything about you.

And pretty soon you have a tribe of your own.

Most Leaders Fail By Building a Crowd, Not A Tribe

A tribe begins with a connection – a conversation, and it grows because of relationships and communication.

But some people fail to recognize this.

Instead of working hard to build a Tribe, some bloggers work at building a crowd.

There is a big difference between these two things.

The Difference Between a Tribe and a Crowd

In the book Tribes, Godin makes a distinction between crowds and tribes.

He says that crowds are tribes without leaders and without communication.

Most companies market to the crowd – not to the tribe and that is a mistake.

How One Company Lost My Business By Treating Me As the “Crowd”

Years ago, back in the “free phone” days – I had been a customer of a cell phone company for many years.

That company was offering free phones to it’s new customers – but “old” customers had to buy replacement phones. (I know it seems like a really strange concept now – but trust me it was like this then).

Up until this point I had been pretty loyal to this brand because it had the best cell coverage in our area.

So after 2 or three years as a very loyal customer, I needed to upgrade my phone.

I asked the salesperson if I could have the same deal as a new customer.

After all, as a loyal customer, I had been paying the company monthly for cell service – and they had likely made a nice profit on my business.

I was no longer under contract and I could have taken my business elsewhere.

She scoffed at me and said that she knew that I wasn’t going anywhere because they had the best coverage.

She was right.


I stuck with them until their competitors coverage improved in our area and then I jumped ship.

I am still with that competitor many, many years later – not only for my phone, but (as my children grew up) for my entire family’s phones.

Imagine if that salesperson had treated me as a member of her tribe on that day.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be a Leader

Whoever coined the term “fearless leader” got it wrong – and kind of set the bar too high in the process.

Leaders feel fear – it is normal.

But sometimes fear keeps us from becoming a good Leader.

No matter what your blogging niche, have you ever felt that you were not expert enough to write what you write?

Godin got it right when he paraphrased The Peter Principle:

The essence of leadership is being aware of your fear … it won’t go away, but awareness is the key to making progress.

The message is to go ahead and be afraid – but push through it.

You are not the only one feeling the fear, but you are the one doing something about it.

To put it in even more perspective – Are you truly afraid, or just afraid of being criticized?

That point really struck a chord with me.

I have talked about how I am not comfortable on camera.

But I know that it is so important for bloggers to create video for their blogs.

When I dig down deep, I realize that the true reason is that I am afraid of what other people will think – I am afraid of criticism.

But as Godin points out – even if people hate the videos, it still creates a buzz – which is the outcome that I want, anyway.

Your Followers Should Also Be Leaders

Here is a little ninja secret that good leaders strive for.

They look for followers who are leaders too.

You want followers that will bring people together and help spread the word about your blog.

Just like I am doing with this blog post.

I am a follower of Seth Godin – I am part of his Tribe.

I like his work and his message really resonates with me.

Godin has many followers.

Some of which just consume what he writes – they buy his books, read them, and put them on the shelf.

Others – like me – enjoy the information so much, they in turn want to share that information with their own tribes.

That is what I am doing with this post.

I loved the book Tribes – it should be required reading for every blogger.

You want followers like me.

People that are willing and enthusiastic to share your message.

One Final Thought

I will leave you with one final thought.

All my life, one of my excuses has always revolved around charisma.

People perceive me as an introvert and I never felt that I possessed the charisma that you need to succeed.

I was not one of the popular kids in high school. (that is another story)

But this book tells it like it is.

Charisma is not a gift – it is a CHOICE.

Being a leader makes you charismatic.

And those are words to live by.

So, tell me – what are you going to do right NOW in this very moment to start building up a Tribe of raving fans for your blog?

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