No matter where you live, what continent, or how sophisticated your city, you see tribe members every day. In fact, other people see what tribe you belong to.
In the small town where I live, there is a group of people who came here from Russia decades ago. You know the women by their long dresses and hair accessories, the men by their Russian-styles shirts and beards.
But it’s not just ethnic clothing. As I write this in a Portland Starbucks, there’s a man sitting nearby with colorful high-topped tennis shoes and red nail polish. Behind the counter, cheerful Starbucks employees wear their characteristic black shirts and green aprons.
Another man is wearing his bike helmet with his pant-leg rolled up. Another man is dressed in a comfortable knit shirt, and sits at the table doing business stuff with a stapler and a PC laptop.
Everywhere you go, you’re surrounded by tribes. We use design to establish our membership and to discover who is “like me.”
Your clients do, too.
It’s not just clothing, though. It’s also the language you use, the way you explain yourself, where you hang out on social media. Seth Godin said it well:
What marketing is now: “People like us do things like this.” (INBOUND 2015 Keynote)
That’s why it’s so important to understand your audience from the beginning as you write your book. A skilled book designer will help you speak to those people at the level of instinct, reaching their hearts before their minds observe it.
Your audience is looking for every clue, asking, “Is this for me? Am I this person?”
It’s not enough to be general, to try to appeal to everybody. It won’t work.
There’s no such thing as a generic person.
But there are tribes.