Understanding the Types of Syndication Tribes
With the popularity of the newly coined term of Syndication Tribe getting a lot of press, it’s become time to clarify differences that exist among them!
We’ve arrived at a point where it’s become difficult to make assumptions.
- Syndication Tribes all cost money…. NO
- Syndication Tribes are all free… NO
- Syndication Tribes all meet weekly in small teams … NO
- Syndication Tribes all use an online board to share and do not meet… NO
Confused Yet? Good… You should be… now let me try to explain!
Syndication Tribes: Free vs Paid
There are both free and paid Syndication Tribes. One isn’t necessarily better than the other though. It’s easy to think that free is always better, yet that would be a faulty assumption in this case.
A Look At Free Tribe Communities
Because the Syndication Tribe structure as originally conceived was designed to be an equal win/win for all parties, the original Syndication Tribes, which mostly consisted of small-team “Core” or “Professional” mastermind tribes, were rightly free. All members played an equal role in maintaining the team, creating accountability, and doing their part. There was no overhead generated by these small teams and if there was it was easily split among all parties.
Speaking generally of Tribes (not just their Syndication Tribe flavor) for a moment … There is nothing intrinsic in the nature of a Tribe, as first outlined by Seth Godin, that lends itself to either paid or free models. Structurally speaking Tribe is a mindset and sense of belonging. Many Tribes have tiered structures, occur in work places, and other unlikely arrangements. Cost or structure does not make a Tribe – a sense of belonging does!
Syndication communities that have a cost associated with them may have the upper hand when it comes to creating cohesion and belonging. This is not to say that free tribes can not have dedicated communities – they certainly can – but there is a psychological shift that, as disgusting as it may be, happens when someone has to get out their wallet and make a financial commitment to participation. Charge for an e-book and it garners respect – give the same book away for free and people often ignore it. While the financial investment can be a barrier to entry, it is also a powerful filter of those that do/don’t have their business mindset straight. This same purchasing may generate a stronger sense of belonging to a group and not just fringe dwelling as is common in open groups. Again, pros and cons.
Free Tribes aren’t really “free” either. Why did I put “free” in quotes? Because all of these groups require some VERY dedicated individuals do a TON of legwork to keep that group moving and rolling every single week. Just because others are doing the coordinating does not mean someone is not investing time, energy, etc. (It’s also these someones that – correctly – get the most exposure – because its them leading the march! Want more exposure? Step up and lead!)
In personal, small team groups, this amount of work can be nominal, however on a large-team or on the parent-organization to a small team format, the opposite can be true! Because of the increased work-load, those that run the parent organizations and large-team efforts for free tribes are often very special people indeed! This is not to say that the founding individuals of paid teams do not benefit from the same increase in exposure, but they are at least compensated for their efforts more directly.
A Look At Paid Tribe Communities
Often what you find in paid Syndication Tribes is that additional teaching, facilitating, coaching and resources are made available to the members above and beyond the usual do-it-yourself style of free tribes. Often, the syndication aspect of a paid Tribe is in fact the lesser component when compared to the value of getting to be part of a dedicated community.
Two examples of paid Syndication Tribe communities include UT (Unified Tribe) and TSMI (Tribe Syndication Mastery Intensive/ Tribe Intensive Mastermind Community). Both of these have Syndication functions wrapped up in educational functions. There are many people who have gotten their business mindset straight and their marketing straight that PREFER a paid community because it filters out those that are still struggling with poverty conciousness and are unwilling to invest in their business.
A Look At Hybrid Free/Paid Tribe Communities
SA (Syndication Alliance), which is likely soon to get re-named as its being integrated into the Profit Being You class I teach, is another small-team mastermind model. However, the Syndication Tribe aspect will remain free and the training and classroom and coaching aspects will be optional paid participation. This will create a blended environment and allows for more picking and chosing of what is desired with a lower barrier to entry for those that are cash strapped and a faster rate of education for those seeking it. This tiered approach is a new model I look forward to exploring!
Syndication Tribes: Large-Team vs Small-Team
There are two predominant structural models of Syndication Tribes as well. First came the small-team mastermind model that meets weekly, and usually utilizes a video/audio platform such as Skype to assist in maintaining team cohesion and bonding. Then came the large forum/group board style Syndication Tribes that are a fusion of non-networking syndication exchange (such as Synnd) with the concept of Syndication Tribes.
A Look At What Team Size Means To Tribe Communities
Large-group non-mastermind models are complimentary to small-team mastermind models and the two fit hand in glove together for optimal fit. Again, neither is better than the other, but everyone does tend to lean towards their own personal preference.
Now, what most people are missing is the concept that this is not an either/or aspect. It is possibly – and in my opinion optimal – to participate in both formats of Syndication Tribes. The large-group format model being a powerful source of traffic with a great benefit of time-freedom to participate whenever you can during the week. The small-team model brings in that powerful mastermind principle (ala Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill) and is much more akin to its offline close cousin BNI (Business Networking International) that also uses small teams and requires weekly face-time.
Double-dipping is actually likely to generate the best blend of results. The same is true in regards to the fact that Syndication Tribes can not be your ONLY source of traffic. If you are not using other methods of growing your exposure you’re going to be in for one very slow growth phase.
Alternative traffic sources include things like SEO, commenting on (lots) of others blogs (suggest you check out the CommentLuv “Tribe”), Forum marketing, Article marketing, Video marketing, etc. Get into one method and get GOOD at it – and then add another. Don’t try to add all at once, but don’t fool yourself into believing one will get you the results you want.
A Look At Large-Team Tribe Communities
UT (Unified Tribe) is a large-group non-mastermind paid model that really shines with its strength on Twitter. While it’s designed around most of the social media platforms, twitter is where it has made the biggest impact for most members. Most Tribes work to focus on either comment numbers or Facebook shares, so seeing one come to the table with a strength on twitter is both unusual and potentially very powerful if used right. UT is a paid monthly membership and uses a lot of advanced software to streamline the syndication and force accountability. It does a pretty good job of making sure the person that does a lot of work gets a lot of exposure. (As long as they are practicing good attraction marketing and leading with value as is the case with all these Syndication Tribes.)
TSA (Tribe Syndication Alliance) which is also large-group non-mastermind group, however unlike UT it’s free. They depend on a group shared document, personal accountability, trust in each other to correctly report syndication units, and some really dedicated people who have stepped up to help lead, guide and do the massive amount of paperwork involved in running such a group. As with UT, TSA members do not have any set meeting date per week and personal interactions between the members can at times be sparse because the model is not built around that.
Neither TSA or UT replace a small team mastermind group, which businesses need as well.
A Look At Small-Team Tribe Communities
One examples of small-team mastermind groups is TSMI which is a paid community that focuses mostly on social media education and has a social media training program attached. TSMI used to utilize a rotational model for maximum exposure but has recently shifted to small static teams focused on dedicated topics (such as health/wellness).
Another example of small-team mastermind groups is Syndication Alliance (SA) that I spoke a bit about earlier. As with TSMI, the focus is on small-teams only a less-frequent rotation is used. This allows closer mastermind work while still bringing in the benefits of the increased exposure that rotation generates.
Even with what SA currently brings to the table I still suggest all members ALSO participate in a large team model to maximize their exposure. This is not an either/or situation, there is no one perfect community. Each has their strengths and weaknesses and is constantly evolving over time! Syndication Alliances are under a year and a half old, and already they have generated a lot of variation. I have no doubt we will see more and more variation as time goes on. Generalization is bound to create confusion because of this!
A Look At Core/Professional Tribes
The small team model is the framework of an eventual dedicated, committed, long-duration-running, similarly purposed “core” or “professional” Syndication Tribe that should be the goal of most people. This team is a little less about generating syndication counts and a lot more about joint ventures, big scale projects, communal resources, and long-term accountability. Generalized small AND large-scale tribes will ebb, flow, vanish and be created anew over time. However, while a core tribe may take MONTHS to find a committed handful of people who work and play well together and are EQUALLY committed to its success, this is where the magic happens from a business perspective.
Syndication Tribes: Summary
Syndication Tribes are one of the newest and hottest methods of traffic generation. They are the grown-up, social media centric siblings of the original Blogging Alliances. They make it easier to increase the exposure of your business right out of the gate. However, they are not one-size fits all or one-size-meets-all-needs. It really comes down to where each of us are at with our own business, our own mindset, our own time availability and whether our marketing is in place.
While lack of bonding and “belonging” to a given tribe is likely to occur if you’re in too many, I highly suggest having at least one small-team meets-weekly style tribe and one large-format, work-at-your-own-pace type tribe for maximum results!
How have Tribes impacted YOUR business? What types of tribes do you participate in? Know of any tribe types I missed? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!
Make it a great day!