Listen, I am as much about going with the flow as the next online business owner…when you see an opportunity you go for it right? A gap appears in the market you try and plug it with your products and services? A massive global shift occurs, you bend and adapt…it is the only way.
If the last few months have taught me anything is that we have to be adaptable and resilient.
But we must also have a plan, a strategy, a set of tactics, because otherwise its far to easy to get overwhelmed by the noise online, and instead of growing your business, you find yourself an active consumer of other peoples content…and you remain the worlds best kept secret.
So stop with the scrolling OK
I resisted having a content plan for the longest time, as I wanted my stuff to feel fresh, and I didn’t want to have my creativity dictated by a schedule. What if I didn’t fancy writing a blog or a Monday? Or only writing about the 5 core themes on my plan?
There is this bullshit belief that you have to be posting on social media 5 times a day, in 5 different ways, to hit 5 different time zones…this is simply not true.
But being consistent and getting out of your own way when it comes to being visible and valuable to your ideal audience is kinda important.
You can be the best coach, therapist, expert, speaker, or other kind of service based entrepreneur but if people don’t know about you…it can feel like a slog.
“But I’ve tried social media and it just don’t work” I hear you crying…like really crying ha ha
I get it…the lack of likes, engagement, comments, shares and ultimately sales can make the whole thing feel like a waste of time…until of course you get that sale and the person says,
“Oh I’ve been watching you on social for a while, and that last post just spoke to me”
This is where building an online tribe is critical.
Imagine posting consistently on social media for 31 days. Imagine not having to worry about what to post? Imagine not running out of ideas? Imagine your posts really speaking to your ideal client?
Oh and imagine having a community engagement specialist in your world to answer your visibility questions every week?
What do you say?
Kickstart your Tribe Building starts in 10 days, and if you sign up before July I have a special bonus, which will help you get super visible online in a whole new way.
Oh and I’m doing something slightly different with this programme, pay once and you get to stay in the Tribe Building family for life…well maybe not for life…but for the life of the programme…at least for the next 12 months, and longer if people continue joining.
Now I am not going to start slamming people with a dream, but there is this bullshit belief that social media number equates to tribe, and tribe equates to income.
Don’t get me wrong there are heaps of examples of where this is true…I should know, my 7 year old is hooked on Moriah Elizabeth…the crafting YouTuber with her 5 million subscribers and her line of “merch” as my daughter likes to refer to the stuff you can buy in her online shop.
But for every influencer or online guru raking it in, there is an army of people hustling and posting on social media like their life depended on it (maybe it does) still not making any money….or getting much traction.
I get it…it takes time.
Slowly, slowly right? Blog, show up, post lovely coloured memes…eventually people will get it…I will get my facebook community past the 300 stage, I will have passive income products, maybe even a course…by the end of the year we’ll all be millionaires.
If only it was that simple.
I started a blog in 2010 not to become an influencer or even to make a living from my writing. No, I started a blog because I had something to say. I was pissed off with coming last in running races and having the finishing line disappear before I got there (OK so that only happened once…ok twice but still)
I was annoyed that nobody on the cover of running magazines EVER looked like me, I was annoyed that running stores would happily take my money for shoes, but never had clothes to fit me.
I wanted to find other people who felt like me.
And find them I did…in their millions. #notkidding
So OK a few years into doing it, I did. turn it into a business. I did do the occasional sponsored blog post, I did start a range of merchandise, I did start getting paid for appearances…AKA speaking gigs.
But it wasn’t about all of that.
I was on a mission to get a million women running. The mission was clear and the women came with me…they knew where I as their “leader” was taking them.
Your followers need to be led somewhere…otherwise they just go round and round in circles until someone else takes their eye.
If you are a coach, a speaker, an artist, a therapist…any small business owner with expertise you want to leverage to make more money AND more impact….then you need a tribe.
You need a tribe of followers, a tribe of advocates, a tribe of supporters, but most of all you need a tribe of buyers…without the buyers there is nothing…you have no business, instead what you have is an expensive hobby that eats into your confidence as fast as your savings.
Your expertise is not in question here…although you might think it is, but how can you be expected to know how to drive people to your work on masse? How are you expected to know how to create engaging content over and over again? How are you expected to be able to make hundreds of decisions every week about your business and have them all be the right ones?
You are just one person.
But you don’t have to be. Business is lonely. It can be filled with insecurities and mistrust. Every time you take on a client, coach or service provider you can be like “will they shaft me?” or on the other side of the scale “will I deliver what I promised”
You question whether its safe to show up, whether its safe to grow, whether its safe to show people who you really are.
Plus, it’s far too easy to compare yourself to others, in your niche or outside of it.
But when you are 100% clear on
your leadership style
your business model
your pricing structure
And how you want to show up in the world
Trust me, people will find you. They will find you, because they will see you. They will see you, because you will shine so fucking brightly it would be impossible not to see you and want to be close to you.
Not sure how you do all of those things.
Not sure you could do them on your own, or quick enough so that you didn’t lose faith and give up all together, I’ve got you. Over the past 18 months, I have helped over 80 small business owners to rebuild their business from the ground up with my Tribe Builder process.
“I’ve made more money in my business in these 3 months as I have EVER through my art before”
“I now have to have a waiting list”
“Wow 4000 members of my community already”
“It was like a rocket up my arse”
But here’s the thing…it starts with YOU, you have to decide what kind of Tribe Leader you want to be. I can help with that, as one of the first modules in the programme gives you access to my Tribe Leadership Diagnostic tool, which helps you work out what kind of community you should be building…the one which is going to be most aligned, with the least resistance.
So many people are just out there doing what everyone else is doing with no idea if it will work or not….ooohhh look that persons got a FREE Facebook community…that must mean I need one.
Ermm NOPE…I don’t have a FREE community.
Because I don’t want a business that requires me to show up for free for years on end for people who may or may not buy from me…it’s not a good fit for me, but for you it may well be.
The problem is you don’t know yet.
Want to find out?
Tribe Builder starts on Friday 3rd July with an Opening Ceremony like no other…then the work begins for you and for me the following week. Imagine going into the autumn with your shit together, knowing where you are leading your people…knowing where you are heading.
I was 15 years old and going into my last year of secondary school.
I’d not long moved to a new area, and had started knocking about with my school mates who already lived there…it was all very exciting. That freedom you have as a teen to have a whole life your parents know nothing of.
It was all above board though.
They just took me to a local youth club…and yet this place wasn’t a pokey little church hall, this was the real deal, a purpose-built facility across two floors, with a gym, a basketball court and a dance studio.
Well it wasn’t really a dance studio, but it’s where we danced…and when I say we…I actually mean they. I didn’t dance. I just watched. Sometimes I pushed stop and start on the music system. I was a complete lurker.
It wasn’t that I couldn’t dance…I probably could, I was just too afraid to incase I looked like an idiot. I already stood out like a sore thumb as one of the few white kids that went to the club.
Nope. It was safer for me to just watch.
Until one day the group were rehearsing in a smaller room, and half the girls had not shown up. The dance tutor asked if I’d just step in so she could work out the spacing, “Even if you don’t know the moves” she said.
But of course I knew all the moves, I knew them all.
And that was that.
The girls arrived 10 minutes later, I was given a spot (at the back) and my days of being in a street dance crew began.
Those years were some of the happiest of my life…and just think they may have been very different if I had just decided to be a spectator, a bystander, an observer.
We went on to do shows around the borough, including at our local theatre and even one on the same stage as Soul to Soul.
My love of dance and of performing helped me make the decision to choose performaing arts in college, and to go to university…where I would go on to write my dissertation on “Hybrid Dance Forms and the Expression of Cultural Identity” which earned me a first class degree.
Me a first class degree???
Imagine if I’d lurked? It’s like one of those sliding doors moments. It’s like that time at a party, where you wish you’d joined the conga and didn’t, or the time in a workshop when the facilitator asks for a volunteer…and your work colleague did it, and got some brilliant breakthroughs and a free book for helping out.
Something stops us from engaging.
From playing full out.
And this is not to do with personality type, this is not a dig at introverts, or even the people who describe themselves as mavericks…the ones doing the leading not the following.
The problem is, we never really understand the opportunities we miss…we just have a nagging feeling that it could have been great….the full extent of the greatness will never truly be understood.
Look the internet is full of FOMO marketing.
This blog post is not about that.
This blog post is about saying jump in, take a risk, be visible, be vulnerable, know that you gave it a good shot, you allowed yourself to have a full experience rather than dipping your toe in, or watching others from the wings.
This shows up in the online world in the following way…
Signing up for 5-day challenges but never completing them
Being part of online coaching programmes but never posting about your successes or asking for support
Not being visible in the online groups you are part of
Being afraid to partner with people, or saying yes to opportunities
Following coaches and experts but never buying from them
It comes down to the same thing, fears about failing, looking like an idiot, not fully trusting the process.
Jumping into dance, even if you don’t know the moves.
I have so many examples in my life where things got better simply by saying yes to things that frightened me…trusting in my ability to grow.
My 42 year old self is extremely grateful to my 15 year old self for backing her future self…I know that’s quite meta…but in a weird way, you have her (the 15 year old me) to thank…I wouldn’t be showing up in the way I do now without her.
And it’s never to late to get engaged, to jump in, to be brave
Julie Creffield is a community engagement specialist and business mentor with more than 20 years of experience. She spent the early part of her career as a drama facilitator, trainer and consultant supporting local authorities, and large organisations to get their communities and staff engaged in large scales sports and arts programmes.
She now helps coaches and experts to build community around their business, showing them how to mobalize an army of buyers not browsers, and how to get people connected en masse to their work so they don’t have to do it all themselves
The doors are about to close on Julies 3 month incubator Tribe Builder which you can find out more information about here www.tribebuildernetwork.com
One of the things I had to consider was my competitors and I had a real aversion to it. I just didn’t want to do it. It felt like such a pointless exercise.
Because, as I see it I have no competition.
Hear me out.
I am not saying that there are not other business coaches out there, I am not even saying that there are no other coachings teaching you how to build Tribes…but there sure as hell is only one Julie Creffield on this planet.
It has taken me a long time to get this clear in my head
Probably the best part of 40 years.
When we first start putting labels on the things we do, life coach, social media VA, business coach…and we take our selves on social media to try and find clients it feels awful when we come across someone who does something similar to us.
All those feelings of
“I’m not good enough”
“They are more popular than me”
“They have more clients”
“They know more”
“They have better hair” (come on you know you’ve had that thought.)
It’s enough to make you shrink back into your world and carry on playing small, hoping that people will find you just because there are a lot of people who need the thing you do…out there…somewhere…somehow ha ha
In fact I think it makes us do a few things.
It can make us hold back from posting on social media, it can make us start concocting stories about why it’s all so hard, and it can also make us a bit bitter and jaded about our so called “competitors”
“hmmm I’d never do it like that”
“She doesn’t know what shes talking about”
“God, she’s so annoying, up her own arse, confident”
When if we turned the mirror on ourselves and made a point of critiquing and reviewing our selves and our own strengths (particularly our strengths) then what the others are doing is neither here nor there.
When we are 100% happy with what we bring to the table for our clients AND understand the uniqueness of our own offer…we don’t need to see what everyone else is up to, or pay them any mind.
Oh and one more thing
Sometimes when people are trying to stand out in their niche…instead of getting tight with what they do and who for, they broaden their remit….casting their net far and wide in a catch-all scenario.
“Oh I do this too” “And this” “And this…because you know I’m super passionate about this”
and this goes for the type of clients they work with too,
“Yep…my programmes are for EVERYONE…they just are, I can’t niche any further cos my stuff is just good for everyone…you should all buy it”
This is a dangerous game.
It confuses the market place, and it makes nobody felt heard, seen, or important….and you also sound like everyone else, because you can’t go deep in your expertise.
It doesn’t mean you can’t do more than one thing.
You just need to learn to talk about them in the right way.
I have two businesses, an online plus-size fitness business with clients all over the world, and also a training and mentoring business based on my 20 years experience as a community engagement specialist.
These things are connected for sure….but I rarely talk about them in the same sentence, and their audiences are very different.
I used to talk about them in the same breath all the time, and then I’d get annoyed when people didn’t really get me, when they misquoted me, or introduced me to someone else in the wrong way.
It is nobody elses job to communicate what we do effectively.
Thats on us.
We need to crack it, then rehearse it, then repeat it until people listen…and we need to be able to notice when we go off track too….and pull ourselves back.
My name is Julie Creffield
I am a community engagement specialist and business mentor. I help coaches and experts build vibrant and profitable communities around their business so that they finally feel supported to grow, and that their impact can be scaled with ease.
Do I have other skills and expertise? For sure….
I’m great at PR and Marketing
I’m great at productivity and time management
I’m great at sales
I’m a great life coach
I’m a great speaker
I’m a great writer
And sometimes within my programmes that expertise seeps out and I share it with my clients, sometimes sharing stories and learnings from my experience from previous roles in
Motivating hard to reach groups
Of course it is useful, of course it gives me practical tools and concepts to draw from, but I don’t confuse my audience my leading with those things.
I do one thing, for one set of people, and I do it in one main way
I teach people how to build vibrant and profitable communities
These people tend to be coaches and experts
And I primarily do this via a range of group programmes
And I do all of the above based on 20 years diverse experience
Can you describe your work in this way?
Would you like some support to get super clear on your niche, to investigate the breadth of experience you have.
To once and for all get rid of your competition (even if just in your head)
Join me next week for my 5 day nail your niche to attract your tribe FREE challenge where I am going to be walking you through my simple system for standing out in a crowded market by tapping in to your uniquenesss.
Give me 30 minutes a day, and I will give you confidence, clarity and a kick up the bum to finally be able to communicate what you do better than anyone else in your network.
Do you ever feel like you are not completely showing up in your business?
It’s not about being a fake or a fraud, or even about being shy or invisible online. It’s more about feeling the need to compartmentalize your life so that you can repackage up who you are and what you do…you know so that people get it?
So that they get what you do now…who you are trying to be.
I’ve had a lot of different jobs.
You name it I’ve done it. And yet because I started my career working in the arts as a drama practitioner, the running joke in my extended family was, “When we gonna see you on Eastenders”
Even long after I stopped working in the arts, and started working on the London 2012 games, it would still come up, folks still wanted to pull me back to the 16-year-old me who wasn’t interested in anything other than acting and dancing.
For a few years I rebranded myself as a self appointed London 2012 expert…working on the games in a range of ways, writing government policy, briefing politicians, running local consultations.
I wasn’t an expert on the games though, I was fascinated by them, inspired by them, knowledgeable about so many aspects of what it takes to host the biggest sporting event in the world…
I was and still am an expert in community engagement.
Its what I do, and it’s who I am.
I do that using a range of creative skills, utalising my degree in performing arts and my masters in multimedia…and as a speaker my acting skills 100% come in handy.
Over the past few months I have been going through a rebranding process. Working out what I am and what I’m not. I’ve done this with the excellent support of The Brand Coach, Deborah O’Grady.
The irony is I help my clients with niching, but I was too close to my own stuff to truly articulate who I am and what my special superpowers are…and I was absolutely clueless about how to express that in a visual look and feel for my brand.
It has been a truly transformational process.
Showing people who you really are takes courage, it takes guts
It puts you up as a target for folks who might not like it, who might not like you, they may not resonate with your unique blend of awesomeness, but we must do it anyway, we must show up unapologetically and bring all of us to the table.
It doesn’t matter if you have been doing what you have been doing for years, if you have pivoted recently, or even if you are brand spanking new to the game…you still come with a wealth of experiences, qualities and expertise that you probably are not fully capitalising on.
Allow yourself to tap into those stories, work out how to share the different sides of you…allow people to see the whole picture, the 5D version of yourself.
My name is Julie Creffield
I am a serial entrepreneur…but more than that I am an Engagement Strategist & Business Mentor
Creating businesses that engage and communities that thrive
I help my clients create movements that matter
I am the change maker
The ring leader, your cheerleader
I am an idea’s activator…and I am creating a change revolution.
The question now is, who are you? And how can we create magical things in this world together, if I can’t see exactly who you are yet?
If you’d like to find out more about the work that I do with small business owners download my FREE PDF monthly engagement planner, which will also get you on the list for my monthly newsletter, which is packed full of case studies, tips and tech suggestions for growing your business.
My signature programme Tribe Builder is now open for new members and there is an earlybird which is valid for the next 20 days. Tribe Builder 2.0 is not a course, it is a fully facilitated transformational programme where we help you create an army of engaged and profitable clients around your business….buyers not browsers.
Oh and look out for another way you might be able to get involved with my work in the coming days!!!