A funny thing has happened since I wrote the post that spawned the expression “third tribe,” which eventually led to our developing an entire community around the idea.
Some people think that “Third Tribe” is synonymous with what some people call “kumbaya.”
In other words, a very idealistic view of social media, that’s much more about community than it is about commerce.
They define Third Tribe as “not like those terrible internet marketers.”
- No yellow highlighter in the ad copy.
- No “buy now, before this package goes away forever.”
- No 18-page long sales letter.
But being a Third Triber doesn’t mean you’re not an aggressive marketer.
It just means you’re a little smarter about it.
The yellow highlighter brigade is known for very aggressive, attention-grabbing tactics. That’s why they use that yellow highlighter in the first place — to capture and focus your attention.
Why so much jumping up and down for attention? Because they’re working with relatively cold traffic. They don’t have the relationships we talk about building in Internet Marketing for Smart People.
But it’s very important to realize that just because
you build a strong relationship with your audience,
it doesn’t mean you don’t sell.
When you’ve got something that’s genuinely valuable to offer (which is always the first step for a Third Tribe business), you need to make sure the right people hear your message. And you need to make sure you’re making a strong case for it.
So here are 5 selling “rules” for those who want to take a Third Tribe approach.
Rule #1. Don’t sell from your heels
“Selling from your heels” means leaning back when you deliver your sales message. It’s qualifying your copy with a lot of:
Gee, I don’t know, if you feel like it and you have time and you’re not doing anything more important, it might be cool if you clicked here and ordered my thing. If you’re into it. Which I realize you probably aren’t.
This is why I like to sell with copy rather than in person. I can edit out all this wimpy baloney.
You have something of value to offer. You worked hard to make it great. Be proud of it. Offer it without apology.
Rule #2. Don’t get thrown off by complaints
Trust me, you could offer a pill that actually gives eternal life for one dollar, and people will despise you for “just trying to make a buck.”
The same people will get angry no matter how hard or soft your sell. And the people you really care about — the ones who will become your customers — need you to communicate clearly and without a lot of apology.
So sell the benefits, make your case, and tune out the negativity and the whiners. If someone crosses the line and gets nasty, go in and manually unsubscribe them. You don’t need that nonsense.
Rule #3. Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself
I could do a better job with this one myself. People are busy! Not everyone is breathlessly awaiting your promotional email. They might miss your first message. They might even miss your first two messages.
Again, if what you’ve got is great, make sure people see it. Make sure they know that you have something awesome for them. You probably need to tell them more than once. You might have to tell them in multiple venues (say your email newsletter, a blog post or two, and your Twitter stream).
If you’re committed to providing value in your regular content (which obviously you are, or you wouldn’t be subscribed to this series), you’ve bought enough good will to repeat yourself a few times. Yes, you’ll get a few folks who become annoyed, but see Rule #2 above.
Rule #4. Don’t be afraid of scarcity
“Scarcity” is the marketing technique where you limit something in order to motivate your prospect to act today, rather than putting the purchase off forever.
So, “we only printed 1000 t-shirts,” or “only 350 students can be accepted for this round,” or “the price goes up on Friday” are all scarcity elements.
Now you definitely don’t want to do fake scarcity, where you say you’ll only sell until June 1, and then every day a little piece of computer script on the page advances the date.
That’s lying, and it’s lame. And it doesn’t work at all when you base a business on relationships and reputation, which is what the Third Tribe is all about.
But real scarcity, followed by keeping your word, is a legitimate and effective way to get prospects off the fence. Don’t be afraid of it.
Rule #5. Make enough offers
Not everything you offer will be right for every person. And not everyone is ready to buy today.
It’s scary to make an offer. We can be rejected. We can get complaints. Someone might not like our sales copy. Someone might not like our product.
So when you get up the courage to make one offer, it’s tempting to scuttle back into your shell and not make any more.
But again, what you offer is valuable. If you’re not putting it out there, no one can benefit from it.
So while I always advocate giving lots of great content, I also don’t want you to be scared to pitch. Don’t build a “community” that you’re afraid to sell to.
I want you to play a much stronger game with your business
And because I want that, I co-founded (with Brian Clark, Darren Rowse, and Chris Brogan) a community that’s completely dedicated to helping you do that.
Dedicated to making you a better salesperson. A smarter businessperson. A more savvy marketer. To helping you build the connections that every business needs. To introduce you to the business models that work today. To connect you with a broader vision for your business, paired with the specific tactics to put your vision into action.
Brian, Darren, Chris and I work hard every month to make the community great. We believe in overdelivering as a way of life.
Our community is called Inside the Third Tribe, and I consider it indispensible to anyone who’s serious about making a good living online. We designed it to be an indispensible resource for you.
We’ve created a ton of valuable how-to content for you, with some of the sharpest minds in online business, ranging from blogger Leo Babauta to launch specialist Jeff Walker, from veteran John Jantsch to 21-year-old wunderkind Glenn Allsopp.
And we’ve designed the site to let you move beyond theory and into the specifics of your market, your business, your situation.
We’re also raising the price on June 1
So if you’ve been considering joining us inside the Third Tribe, this is a great time to do that. It’s still going to be a great value on June 2, but why not get all of the benefits for the best possible price?
Looking forward to seeing you inside the Tribe!