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How to build a tribe: Focus on your superpower

The powerful First Step that most bloggers & podcasters skip

You must build a tribe in order to build your business

If you don’t build a tribe of loyal followers – aka a community of “superfans”, you won’t see the success you are hoping for online.   Understanding this principle is THE key to success online as blogger or podcaster.  You must build a tribe around your brand, and if you are a content creator (blog posts, podcasts, videos etc.), then your brand is YOU.

Knowing how to build a tribe that Seth Godin defines as “A group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea” is what will allow you to stand out in a crowded market.  And the internet is crowded – you will need to stand out if you want to see success.

Discovering Your Superpower is the first step to Tribe Building

What you will learn today about discovering your superpower is the very first step – the absolutely first thing you should do when thinking about starting a blog or podcast.  Community is everything online.  If you don’t have a loyal community – even a small one – you won’t see success.

Yet, sadly, most of us – myself included back in 2008 and again in 2010, entirely skip this essential step. We end up floundering and doing all we can just to keep our heads above water and our checkbooks in the black.

Discovering your superpower is essential if you are to build a tribe of followers online. It is not just the first step you should take, but something you should continually refine as you grow. I call it “Discovering Your Superpower” because we can make some fun analogies with that.

So let’s get started!

I’ve created a free worksheet to help you discover your superpower so you can start building your loyal tribe online!  Click below to access it:

You Should Know

I am an affiliate for many of the blogging tools I list below.  This means that if you choose to purchase one of those tools, I will earn a small commission.  This does not result in any increased cost to you.  In fact, it sometimes results in a decreased cost. I choose to be an affiliate only for products I love – products I can answer questions about because I use them regularly.

All affiliate links are clearly marked as such.  If it is not marked as an affiliate link, I am not an affiliate for that company – but I’m recommending them anyway just because I think they will be of value to you.  You can see my full affiliate disclosure here.

Why people are attracted to superheros

People are attracted to those with superpowers – aka superheroes – for two reasons:

  1. They are different from everyone else. They don’t fit the mold or blend in. Instead, they stand out.
  2. They use their uniqueness to help others – to add more goodness and light to the world.

Today I am going to help you discover your superpower so that you can stand out in a crowded online space and add your own brand goodness and light to a dark online world. When you nail this – you will build a tribe of loyal followers and you will see success online.

Comparison is kryptonite when building your tribe

Let’s talk about kryptonite.

Before you can discover your superpower you first have to address what’s stopping you from fully embracing and using it.

Superman has superpowers that allow him to do good and he has a tribe of loyal fans, but Superman also has a weakness. His weakness is Kryptonite. Like Superman, you have a superpower you can use to build a tribe of your own, but you also have a weakness. Your kryptonite is comparison.

Comparison is all too easy

In today’s social media-saturated world it is hard to see our talents and gifts for what they are. In the October 2017 session of general conference, Elder Stevenson said:

"Comparing our own seemingly average existence with others’ well-edited, perfectly crafted lives as represented on social media may leave us with feelings of discouragement, envy, and even failure."

What a toxic environment! Discouragement, envy and failure are not what I want for you. It is not what God wants for you and I’m certain it is not what you want for yourself.

Comparison clouds your vision of who you are and what God would have you do with your talents. When you spend your time and energy being jealous of someone else you have no time to fulfill your own mission and build your tribe.

But comparison does something even worse than waste your time. It makes you want to actually be just like those you are jealous of.

And when you are just like everyone else you blend in. You don’t want to blend in, remember? Superheros build tribes because they are unique and different.

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If you want to guarantee Failure, be like everyone else

One of the best ways to guarantee failure as a blogger or podcaster is to try and be just like everyone else. When you blend in online you will disappear. No one will notice you.

Clark Kent blends in. He has a good job and does okay for himself, but he has no tribe – he has no loyal following. He brings no great light and goodness into the world.  In order to be noticed and successful online, you need to be superman not Clark Kent.

You are unique. God made you that way on purpose. You have gifts no one else has and He expects you to use them (Parable of the talents – Matthew 25). When someone lands on your website, you want them to think:

“THIS! This is exactly what I have been looking for. There is no one else just like her. No one else can help me like she can! I wish I’d found her sooner! 

An Example

For me, at a basic level, I offer blogging tips. There are tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands of people who offer blogging tips online. But I’m hoping that when you found this website, you felt at home. I’m hoping you felt like you’d found your people – your tribe – the people who get you in a way no one else really does.

That is the feeling you want to create on your site. This is how you build a tribe.

If you want to build a loyal tribe, Accept that You aren't batman

When people feel this type of draw to your site, there will inevitably be other people who are turned off by it.  (In fact this is one way you can know you’ve nailed it).  That can be scary right?

But think of it this way – Some people don’t like Superman – they prefer Batman.

The fact is, you aren’t Batman. You aren’t. Even if you tried to fake it and be more like him, the Batman tribe would call you out. And your community, your true fans – those who love you for being Superman, they’d be disappointed and you’d lose their trust.

So accept that you can’t be a superhero for everyone. Do it. Say it: “It is okay that I can’t help everyone. I’m glad there are others that can help those I cannot.

Just be yourself - it truly is the best way to build a tribe

As Oscar Wilde taught:

“Just be yourself; everyone else is already taken”

I love that concept. It is impossible for your to be anyone else – they are already taken. Accept that – move on. Be fully who you are and God will use you to reach the people no one else can.

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Standing Out is Easier Said Than Done

I know – from personal experience – that this is easier said than done.  Even after being online for many years (since 2008), I S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E with this. Jealousy and wanting to “fit in” are natural human responses.  We crave belonging and community. It’s something you’ll fight continuously throughout the life of your business – and throughout your life.

Let me tell you a story to illustrate:

I wanted to Be Jane instead of misty

I have a dear friend – we will call her Jane. I admire Jane and she makes me want to be a better person. But sometimes I also struggle to feel good about myself around Jane. This is because I compare (KRYPTONITE) myself to her.

  • Jane is super social – she talks to everyone and anyone. I struggle with social anxiety and need regular, quiet, alone time.
  • Jane loves parties and events. When I’m at a party or event, I grit my teeth and “fake it ‘till I make it”.
  • Jane attends the temple multiple times a week. While I love and respect the temple, I struggle to feel the spirit there at times because of depression / anxiety.
  • Jane serves at school and in the community regularly. She is actively involved in multiple organizations – and she loves it. I am a homebody.
  • Jane spends no time on social media, listening to podcasts, or reading blogs. I enjoy interacting with people online.
  • Jane remembers everyone’s name and what is going on in their life. I am lucky if I remember where I put my phone.

God didn't need another jane

I’ve spent years trying to BE Jane. I’ve prayed and wished for that. I’ve had sleepless nights and overwhelming guilt that I’m not more like her.  But during the summer of 2019 God led me through quite a learning experience and I realized that He didn’t want me to be Jane. He wanted me to be Misty. He had given me certain talents and He expected me to use them:

  • I am super organized
  • I love deep one-on-one conversations
  • I am a great teacher
  • I’m efficient; I know how to prioritize
  • I’ve developed the ability to say no when needed
  • I love online tech stuff – and can help break it down for others
  • I’m a really good listener
  • I enjoy figuring out online marketing

How the idea of a "superpower" was born

As God made this SO CLEAR to me that summer, the idea of a “superpower” was born. We each – online or off – (Jane’s is obviously offline) have a unique set of talents and skills that make us powerful. These superpowers allow us to build tribes of people who connect with us. And inside of these tribes, we thrive. We support and help each other in ways no one else could.

But if we get sidetracked by our kryptonite- by comparison, we won’t build our Superman tribes because we will be focused on trying to fit into Batman’s tribe.

I’m done comparing myself to others. I am ready to accept who I am and find the people I’m meant to help and serve.

Will you join me?

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Discovering Your Superpower so you can build a tribe online

Now that you know how dangerous comparison can be to your success as you build a tribe online, you are ready to learn how to discover your superpower.

Your superpower is the unique set of talents and abilities you have that allow you to serve mankind in a way no one else can.

Let’s look at some other superheros to really drive this point home. The Avengers wouldn’t be nearly as successful if Ironman was always focused on wishing he was more like the Hulk. Ironman wouldn’t reach his potential and the Avengers as a group would be less successful. YOU (with your unique superpower) are a member of an Avenger-like group! I like to call it “The Goodness Squad”.  We are a group of women who want to spread goodness and light online.  God is our leader and He needs each one of us to play our part. If you keep trying to be like someone else on this team, you won’t reach your potential and the Goodness Squad as a group will be less successful.

Your superpower is the unique intersection of 3 things

1. Your Soft Skills

These are things like communication, adaptability, problem-solving etc. Soft skills are behaviors or habits that come naturally to you.

2. Your Hard Skills

These are teachable and measurable skills like computer programing, sewing, basketball or playing the piano.

3. Your passions

You won’t stick with something very long if you don’t love it. Plus, passion is contagious. It is a key part of building a tribe.

There is no one in the world with your exact set of soft skills, hard skills and passions. As you build a business around your superpower, you will naturally build a tribe full of raving fans. This is because your superpower is magnetic.

Superpowers are the magnets that build a tribe & hold it together

Magnets are made of metal and they only attract other metal. Things like plastic or wood aren’t attracted to magnets.  In a similar way, the people in your tribe will be made of the same stuff as you – they will relate to and understand at least one piece of your superpower. They will have the same soft skills or passion or hard skills. This is what allows your tribe to trust you – and to trust each other.

But magnets only attract each other when they are also different from each other. They only snap together when opposite ends of the magnet are placed near each other.

In a similar way, the people in your tribe will be different than you – they will be lacking at least one piece of your superpower. They will be attracted to you – and others in your tribe – because of what they see as different and unique in you.  They will snap (aka attach themselves) to you and look to you (and to each other) for the pieces of your superpower that they are missing.

This magnetism is what makes a tribe – it’s what forms it and what keeps the tribe together. It is how we build each other up as humans – how we help each other to grow. We are all a part of many tribes. These tribes are full of people we relate to in some ways, but they are kept interesting and allow us to grow because we are not exactly like anyone else in the tribe.

How to Discover your superpower

1. Discover Your Soft Skills

Ask your friends, spouse, kids etc what they admire about you.  People will often name soft skills when you ask what they admire about someone else.   Make a list!

2. Discover Your Hard Skills

Ask your friends, spouse kids and more what they think you are really good at – your talents.  More often than not, people will name hard skills when you ask them about talents.  Make a list!

3. Your passions

Now, make a list of the topics you are passionate about.  What do you want to spread awareness of? What could you talk about for days on end?

Where do the three intersect?  Come up with some thoughts and ideas and then take them to God in prayer.  I know He supports you in spreading your own personal brand of light and goodness online.  He will help you continue to refine your superpower over time.

If you would like help with this, I’ve created a worksheet that you can download below:

Conclusion

In summary what you’ve learned today is:

  • Comparing yourself to others – online or offline – means you won’t be able to use your unique set of talents in the way God would have you use them
  • Trying to BE like others online is the #1 way to guarantee your failure
  • Your superpower is what will allow you to stand out and successfully build a tribe online
  • Your superpower is your unique skill set of soft skills, hard skills and passion that allows you to help others in a way no one else can.
  • When you embrace your superpower, it becomes magnetic and you can start to build a tribe of loyal fans that support and help each other grow.

Make sure no one else misses this essential step!

Do you know someone who is stuck – they are trying to see success online, but they are struggling to keep their head above water?   Share this post with them!  Maybe they’ve missed this essential step for success.  They need to discover their superpower and build a tribe.

Discover and Embrace Your Superpower

With this 11 page workbook so you can start building your tribe of loyal raving fans.

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    How to build a tribe: Focus on your superpower

    Discover and Embrace Your Superpower

    Discover and Embrace Your Superpower

    With this 11 page workbook so you can start building your tribe of loyal raving fans.

    With this 11 page workbook so you can start building your tribe of loyal raving fans.

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