Microtribes – Build an Audience of Superfans That Will Help you Grow

The concept of tribes has been talked about in the marketing business for decades as a strategy to build and grow your audience.

By giving people a feeling of belonging, you are able to create more longlasting relationships, that will lead to customers returning.

But with a Microtribe, you as a No-Code entrepreneur are given a power similar to what the really big tech companies have.

What is a Microtribe?

Compared to the common description of a tribe in marketing, a Microtribe is smaller, and much more closely connected to you as a No-code founder or maker.

In short, a Microtribe can be described as:

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ A relatively small (~25-100 ppl) group of highly engaged fans
๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿš€ An extremely narrow and well-defined target group
๐Ÿ™Œ Getting a super-high payoff from your product
๐Ÿ“ฃ Will act as ambassadors and market your product for you

The strength is in the (low) numbers, it will make it manageable for you as a founder.

Nurtured in the right way, a Microtribe is a very powerful part in building and growing your audience and business.

[READING TIP: How To Build an Audience Before Launching Your No-Code Project]

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ A relatively small group of highly engaged fans

Most founders are trying to reach a huge group of people as soon as possible.

Reaching a lot of people today requires a lot of either time or money – the two things that are generally quite scarce in the launch phase of a No-code product.

Instead of trying to find as many people as possible, creating a Microtribe focuses on getting in touch with the right people.

100 people from the exact right target group are worth a lot more than 10 000 random internet strangers.

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿš€ An extremely narrow and well-defined target group

A lot of creators and makers are doing one very costly mistake.

They are trying to be for “everyone”.

What you should do is to pick a very narrow niche market – like “wedding photographers focused on same-sex weddings, that wants to earn more money per wedding”.

At first, it might seem counterintuitive – but the more precise you are, the less competition you’ll have and the easier it is for you to reach them.

Take books, for example; the more general it is, the harder it is to sell.

People don’t buy books on “How To Live Healthier” – it is too big, too hard to grasp.

It is easier – and more concrete – if I am presented with one problem to solve and the concrete solution.

The books that focus on a very specific problem, for a very specific kind of people have a much better chance to succeed.

Focusing on this very specific niche audience will not exclude a wider, larger audience though.

๐Ÿ™Œ Gets a super-high payoff from your product

When you know the exact kind of person that will use your product, you know the exact problems they are having and how to solve that for them.

Because the product is built to serve this particular niche, it will do it very well and give a huge return for anyone using it.

What will that make them?

Happy.

Really happy.

What will someone that is happy with a product do?

Tell others about it.

๐Ÿ“ฃ Will act as ambassadors and market your product for you

Choosing to target a small niche market will make sure that someone will buy or use the product.

This will set the ball rolling.

This small group of superfans, that love how you just helped them improve their life by getting rid of a really annoying problem, will start telling others – especially if you give them the tools to do it.

Now, the circle of potential buyers and users will widen. From the super-narrow Microtribe to the surrounding audience.

If your Microtribe consists of “No-code makers building websites using Bubble.io and struggle to make the design look good”, the surrounding audience can widen, to “Everyone using a visual website building tool”.

Why do I need a Microtribe?

As a sole entrepreneur, Maker or No-coder you don’t have a marketing team to trust with doing outreach, creating content or setting up social ads.

It all falls on you. That doesn’t there are not people to help you.

By focusing on building a tight Microtribe, you’ll get the same kind of power as one of the large corporations out there!

Your Microtribe will the ones:

  • Testing your product for bugs, before (and after launch) and give feedback.
  • “Hunt” your product for sites like Producthunt
  • Buying the product as soon as it launch (and every other product you’ll be creating)
  • Talk to others about it and push them to join

In short, your Microtribe will give your one-man-show the power of a we-have-so-many-employees-we-have-out-own-coffee-shop-company!

[READING TIP: Want To Grow an Audience from Day 1? Pick a F*cking side!]

Damn, how do I get one?!

Here comes the hard truth; a Microtribe is not built in a day.

There are no shortcuts, and you need to understand that hardly anyone will help you because they want you to succeed.

Yes, you helped them solve them to a better life, but that will only get you so far.

To harness the power of your Microtribe there are a few steps you need to take:

Define who they are

If you can answer these three questions about your product or tool, you’ll have a very good understanding of who the potential members of your Microtribe are.

๐Ÿ›  What does it DO?

Hopefully, your project is focused on solving one very specific problem for its users. Describe that problem in as few words as possible. What task does it do?

๐Ÿค” WHO is its ideal user?

Now, who is the ideal user of your product? This is the super-narrow, niche audience we are talking about. Don’t worry about going to narrow.


๐Ÿ”ฅ What will they GET (win) from using it?

Here’s the $10.000 question. What will be improved in this ideal user’s life after using your tool or product? What did she “win”?

Create “Magnet Content” for your Microtribe

Whenever someone helps you out, you have a natural urge to return that favor.

Creating content that is connected to the win that your product will give its users is twofold;

First, it will attract that ideal user that your product is built for. It becomes an automatic selection process.

Secondly, it will give them value, which will make them start thinking about how to return the favor.

Magnet Content is pieces of content that are crafted to attract the exact niche audience that you want in your Microtribe.

I schedule at least 10 tweets a day (using HypeFury which is great for that), and the only goal with those is to add value to my potential Microtribe.

My niche audience is No-code makers, that are struggling to grow an audience. So I write about stuff that will help them.

There’s no blueprint here, you’ll have to start somewhere and see what works!

Gather the members

Now, here’s where it starts to become really important to pay attention.

People will start sharing, liking, retweeting your content.

These are your Microtribe members.

Have a way to collect these people somehow.

On Twitter, I have a hidden list where I put everyone showing a lot of interest in what I post.

People sharing and commenting a lot, asking questions and so on.

Another great way to collect people’s contact info is with an email list.

Give them the VIP treatment

Building your first Microtribe will take time – and don’t worry about that.

But make sure to show appreciation as soon as you have the first person on your list:

  • Ask questions
  • Share content you find online or tag them in tweets
  • Share the process of building or upgrading your product

The real power in building a strong relationship with your Microtribe comes from continuing to give.

Show them that they are not just random Internet weirdos to you.

One of the most powerful ways to give value to people is to connect them with others with the same views and values.

Creating a private WhatsApp-group for your Microtribe might boost their involvement in your cause.

Make them feel valued and valuable!

Give them the tools to help

If you’ve started building your Microtribe before launch, and done a good job nurturing those relationships, you’ll have a very powerful force behind you.

Keep in mind though, that humans are quite lazy. And in today’s world, they have about the same attention span as a goldfish with ADHD.

Even though they feel really connected to you and what you do, make it easy for them to help you!

Don’t be afraid to ask them (several times) to do whatever you want them to do.

Don’t force them to figure it out themselves – serve whatever you want them to share on a silver platter.

Share your goals, your values and your vision with them – in bite-size chunks.

The best way to have people share something is to give them a reason to do it.

A monetary incentive is usually not the best way (even if coupons and affiliate links could work).

Members of your Microtribe don’t want to feel like they are your private zombie sales force.

Instead, help them look good and help others;

  • Write a really useful blog post that they can share with people like themselves.
  • Give them a link with a free month of your product to share
  • Interview them (as a beta user) and post it on social media

If you can give them a chance to help you, and at the same time help themselves and their network – you are already winning!

Conclusion

This is just a very short introduction to how you as a digital entrepreneur can harness the power of Microtribes.

When done right, you can create your own small army, that will help you spread the word and grow your business.

I will continue to write about how to build your own Microtribe. Sign up on my private mailing list and I’ll send you an update as soon as I publish anything new!

How To Build an Audience Before Launching Your No-code Product

About 400 years ago, mankind believed that they were the center of the universe.

Today, lots of no code creators and app makers still think they are.

After spending months building your tool or product, you want people to use it, right? You need an audience.

But if you wait until launching your product to start building an audience and interest, you’ve wasted a lot of time.

Waiting until you have a โ€finishedโ€ (it’s never really finished, is it?) product, is like waiting at a red light with your bike.

[READING TIP: The 4-part Landing Page Your #No-Code Project Need]

When the light turns green, itโ€™s gonna take a lot more energy to get rolling, compared to coming towards that red light and arriving just as it turns green – you just swoosh by!

The question for most is “How do I talk about with a potential audience if my product is not up and running?”

Well, you don’t. And you do.

Dammit. Let me just explain a few things first!

No one cares about you or your No-Code project

Yeah, sorry. But this is the truth.

Every individual wants to thrive. We want to solve the large and small problems we have in life and become better versions of ourselves.

Yes, we have an inherited drive to help others, but first and foremost we want to help ourselves.

I don’t pay my accountant for the sake of having an accountant. (That’s a weird-ass status symbol…)

Or because I want her to have more money on the bank?.

No, I pay her because I *SUCK* at doing accounting myself and want to make sure I don’t mess up my book-keeping and have to pay like a million bucks in penalty fees.

The same goes for every thing, tool or service we buy – we buy it because it will make our lives better.

For you, your product is the center of the universe. But for everyone else – you and your thing is just another satellite somewhere out there.

If you want to succeed, you need to stop believing that anyone is interested in you or your product – and realize all the want to know is:

How will this thing make MY life better?

Your audience probably doesn’t care HOW you created your product either

With this little punch-in-the-face-wake-up-call fresh in mind, think about this:

You probably love talking about No Code and the tools and trick.

I know I love talking about it.

And the huge (and constantly growing) no-node community on Twitter certainly loves to hear what kind of No-Code tools you used, the cool workarounds you invented to solve that annoying problem or to upvote your product on Product Hunt.

But unless your target market (the people who will actually use the tool when ready) are No Coders – they won’t give a sh*t about that.

Because? None of that will make their lives better.

When you share the process of your build, you have to share the things that give value to your potential user – not those interested in building no-code apps!

I don’t care HOW you managed to connect your “Focus App for Unfocused Entrepreneurs” to the Fitbit API through a series of GET requests. (I googled that, I have no idea what I am talking about.)

But I do care about the fact that it will notice when I’ve been sitting for too long and tell me to do 15 pushups because I need a boost of dopamine!

See the difference? If you want to share the process – make sure to talk about the things and in a way that your target audience find interesting.

One exception from this is to ask people for advice and suggestions. We love to be included and to help others:




I build in public and tweet about what Iโ€™m working on. That helps me get an idea of what kind of demand there is for the idea and also helps me build an initial audience.

The main thing I did was that I did polls on Twitter when I was unsure about an idea.

JOSHUA TIERNAN, NoCode Founders & ernestly.com

Also; there’s a limit for how many times you can talk about the fact that “you are launching soon”.

At the time of writing this post, there’s one no-code founder about to launch their tool online (ain’t gonna name names) and the fact that they are launching “soon” is the ONLY thing they’ll add to any discussion on Twitter.

Whatever you ask about, using the #nocode hashtag, they answer with “You can do that with [Our Platform] when we launch soon!”.

Ok.

Sooooo, how is that helping me?

Right now. When I need that help?

Keep it down. Let us know, but don’t make it in every tweet!

A rule of thumb is to only talk about you, your company and your product no more than 20% of your total communication.

That’s 1 out of 5 tweets.

So, what should you talk about for the other 80%?

Start with the problem your tool will solve

The reason for you deciding to create your product or tool – was most certainly because you wanted to solve a problem.

Photographer Andrew Vernon decided to create one tool to rule them all, after using several tools for his photography business:

Maybe you decided to create a tool because there was something you found really annoying.

Or, you started hearing more and more people b*tching about something and realized something missing “out there”?

Regardless, it all sprung from a problem.

This problem is the key to finding things that are interesting to your audience.

If you tie your content to the same problem that your product will solve, you will attract the followers that will gain from using it when it is launched.

Understanding the difference between External and Internal problems.

If I were to ask around for an accountant, it is not because I need an accountant, per se.

My problem is “I am not sure how to do my accounting and I am afraid to make (costly) mistakes!”

This internal problem expresses itself as my external problem:

“I need an accountant!”

An external problem is what I talk about with others and sometimes even believe is the actual problem.

The same goes for everyone trying to decide which To-Do list app to use out of the millions in existence.

They don’t need “a to-do app” (that’s an external problem).

They want to get better at getting things done, or getting organized, or time-management, or prioritizing.

Those are the internal problems, and when you start talking about those, people will listen. Because everyone is striving to make their lives better!

If you can help people solve their problems and reach their goals you will become very interesting to them- and that will make them trust you.

How To Build an Audience Before Launch

The reason why (and how) people are buying things today, is vastly different from only 10 years ago.

Today, we donโ€™t buy a product – we buy into a company or a person! 

It is very important for us to share (or at least accept) the values of the person behind the product we are thinking about buying.

If you keep quiet all through the process, just to start bombarding your feeds with โ€Buy it now!โ€ messages at launch, people will quickly stop listening.

Heck, they won’t even start listening in the first place.

“An audience” might sound very big and intimidating. But you don’t need a huge crowd – what you need is a small group of dedicated fans:





I’ve seen lots of discussions around โ€œbuild an audience before you build a productโ€.

On one side I agree because it will make it much easier to reach more people that might be interested in what youโ€™re creating.

On the other hand, Iโ€™ve seen people with less than 300 followers build multimillion businesses so Iโ€™m not sure who wins the discussion.

In the end itโ€™s all about knowing your audience and whoโ€™s problem youโ€™re solving/who you are providing value for.

BRAM KANSTEIN, No-Code MVP

I want to share a simple framework that has worked for me and lots of other entrepreneurs.

As with everything online; add, subtract, change and test it to fit your needs!

Step 1: Block of time!

Do you want to build an audience before your launch?

If yes, you have to schedule time to do that.

There’s no short-cut.

You will not “do it when you have time to spare” (because you won’t have any time to spare unless you plan it).

Depending on what works best for you, you could either plan something like two afternoons per week or 90 minutes a day.

Treat those slots as any face-to-face meeting.

It is uncancelable! Don’t push it forward if something else comes up. Stick to it.

โœ”๏ธ Open up your calendar now, and block of specific and recurring time slots every week! Either 90 min a day, or two afternoons a week.

I created an interactive template to help you do this entire process. Get it by entering your email here:

Step 2: Define Your Target Audience

It sounds counterintuitive, but the smaller your target market is, the easier it is to reach your audience.

A fitness app “for everyone” will drown in all the others on app store.

A fitness app for “Skinny Nerds” will be the obvious choice for every skinny nerd that finds it!

Define what the common denominators for your end-users are.

There’s a lot of different ways you can segment your market:

๐Ÿง— Vertical – a business (dentists, yoga instructors, entrepreneurs)

๐ŸŒ… Horizontal – a need (faster website, more structure, getting the tax papers in order)

๐ŸŒ Psychographic – a value (“the earth is flat”, “eating animals is wrong”, “no-code is the best thing since sliced bread”)

๐Ÿคฑ Demographic – a persona (stay-at-home moms, 45+ CEOs, Couples in Denver)

๐Ÿ’ป A specific platform (WordPress, Adalo, AirTable)

A rule of thumb is to use at least two different markets to define your market audience:

Entrepreneurs (vertical) with ADHD (demographic) that want to be able to focus better (horizontal)

โœ”๏ธ Write down your target audience – and be as specific as you possibly can! You can’t be too narrow.

Step 3: Go On a Waterhole Safari!

All around the Internet, people gather around to talk about similar interests and to share tips and knowledge.

Naturally, this is also where people go to find answers to their questions.

Whatever you are about to create, there’s without a waterhole dedicated to just that:

๐Ÿฆ Twitter hashtags

๐Ÿคณ Facebook groups

๐Ÿ‘ฝ Subreddits

๐Ÿ”ฅ Internet forums

Get in there, and start looking around.

Look for the common ways to start a question; “How do I..”, “Why can’t..” or “Anyone else having trouble with…”

Also, look for words connected to feelings. “I love when…”, “.. is awesome…” or “I hate when…”.

Look for problems your target market has, and the things they are interested in talking about.

โœ”๏ธ See if you can find any topics or themes that are recurring – those are your main topics! Write them down.

Step 4: Map out your topics and sub-topics

Now, let’s give you an array of topics to share with your audience.

Take the main topics you found by the waterholes and divide them into sub-topics.

If “not having enough time” is a big issue for your target audience, you probably already realized this is an external problem.

They don’t really need more time (they can’t have it even if they want it), what they need is to manage the time they have better (internal problem).

Your main and sub-topics could then look something like this:

Topic 1: How To Get Things Done

๐Ÿ“ Planning and organization

๐Ÿ”ฅ How to work more efficiently

๐Ÿ™ˆ Distractions and how to prevent them

๐Ÿง  Brain and body hacks for productivity

๐Ÿ›  Digital and analog tools

Wach of these subtopics will give you ideas for dozens of tweets, blog posts, and videos. And this is just from one of your main topics!

Here’s a chat I had on Twitter, with the founder of Nocodery, a job board for No-Coders:

Talking about things that interest your audience – instead of talking about yourself – will make them trust you and stick around for more.

Also, if these talking topics are closely related to the problem your product will solve, you will start attracting the perfect crowd for the actual product.

[READING TIP: The 4-part Landing Page Your #No-Code Project Need]

It becomes a natural sorting system – those not interested in what you are talking about (i.e. not interested in the problem your product will solve) won’t stick around.

But the people looking for solutions to the problem your product will solve will listen when you talk about them before launch!

โœ”๏ธ Write down at least 3 main topics, and try to come up with at least 5 sub-topics for each.

Step 5: Choose your platforms

You probably want to jump on every social media platform – because then you will reach the most people, right?

Don’t.

Getting a real result, will need a lot of effort from your part – that means a lot of time.

In the startup phase, you won’t have an indefinite amount of hours to put on creating content. It is better to focus 100% on one or two platforms.

I suggest you choose one social media platform (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.) for reaching a large number of people.

Then, combine that with an “evergreen” platform. These are platforms such as a blog, your Youtube channel or a podcast.

The difference between the social platforms and the evergreen is that everything you create on the latter will still be there tomorrow.

Yes, everything you put on social platforms will technically be there tomorrow, but it will disappear in the feeds and won’t be seen by anyone.

A blog post, on the other hand, will show up on Google years (even decades) after you publish it.

Youtube is the second biggest search engine in the world – whatever your search for will show a multitude of new and old videos.

If you publish something on an evergreen platform, it will keep on sending traffic your way for years!

Which platform to choose differs from case to case – you need to spend some time researching where your target audience spends their time.

โœ”๏ธ Pick one social platform at first, and one searchable platform. If you are good at writing, start blogging. Video? Youtube. Good at talking? Start a podcast.

Step 6: Start sharing!

Before you get at it, know this; nothing will happen overnight. It will take time to get the ball rolling – and you will doubt if it is even working.

But stay at it. Put in the work and people will start noticing you.

I suggest you focus the first month on creating content for the social platform.

This will get people to start noticing you, following you and become interested in what you have to say.

I try to post at least 10 tweets every day about my main topics.

(Sidenote: I’m using an awesome app called Hypefury to schedule my post for the entire day in the morning. If you are serious about upping your Twitter game, try it out for free! It’s an affiliate link.)

When I started out, those topics were quite broad – Digital Marketing in general.

But as I posted more and more, I saw what kind of tweets that resonated more than others.

I could use my tweets as a guide to what people were the most interested in.

After a while, I realized that a lot of No code people were really good at creating cool projects, but sucked at reaching the people who were going to use it.

So I focused more on tweeting about that.

This first month can give you valuable insights into what people want (not too different from how growth hackers are getting a market fit product).

Naturally, you will find topics within your sub-topics (we are going full Inception here) that are a good fit for a longer blog post or video.




“Before you actually build a product you should validate if you actually should build that product.

You can do this with different types of MVP experiments, customer interviews etc.

If you come to the conclusion that you in fact should build that product you will already have a first possible customer group (the people you validated with) that you can distribute that product to.

To me that is the most efficient way.”

BRAM KANSTEIN, No-Code MVP

If you’ve paid attention and talked about the right topics, you will now have a group of followers that will read and share your longer format content pieces.

Bonus Step: Look For Ambassadors

Most of the people that you reach before launch will not take to much notice about what you are doing. 

A like. A comment. A โ€Cool.โ€

But a small group of the people seeing what you do and get completely sucked in. They will realize you are building something that will change the way they live their life or do business.

That you are solving that problem theyโ€™ve struggled with without even knowing.

Those 2 percent of superfans will have more impact than the other 98% combined.

These are the people that will retweet everything you post when launching, they will upvote on ProductHunt and IndieHackers and they will continue to send suggestions and feedback

Noticing and interacting with these people before launch gives you an opportunity to attain a small army of people that will give you a huge push at the launch date.

Conclusion

Building an audience before launch will help to give you momentum and to make that launch a success.

It doesn’t have to be as difficult as many thinks, but you have to block off the time and be sure about what to take about.

Most importantly; it will take time and effort, so the faster you start building your group of fans, the better!