by Madison Brightwell, LMFT
In “The Naked Ape”, Desmond Morris talked about how we as human beings are almost biologically programmed to enjoy bonding together in tribes or small groups. Even though our larger society has gotten very big, we still need to share a sense of community, beyond ourselves and our immediate family. This need is even stronger when we live in a huge city like Los Angeles, where everything and everybody is far apart.
That’s why I believe that if you wish to be successful in any kind of entrepreneurial endeavor, you need to either tap into or establish some kind of community structure.
This basic human desire to be with others like ourselves was hilariously lampooned in the movie “The Ladykillers” with Tom Hanks. Two of the lovers in the movie, had met at an “IBS Singles” event, and they loved to talk about their shared ailment (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
When you have a product or service to sell, find out what community of people would find it most useful, and market exclusively to them. If the community already exists you’ve got half your work done for you. If the community doesn’t exist yet, you may have to spend some time establishing it, but at least once it’s in place, you’ll have a steady stream of clients and customers.
The most successful thing I ever did was to run a weekly swing dance on a Friday night in Westwood. That’s because the swing dance community in California was already very strong and cohesive, plus as an enthusiastic member of that community myself, I knew exactly what the dancers wanted and how to give it to them. They responded by faithfully attending my events for several years.
So the key is – find out what your community is, and market exclusively to them. That way you get to be a joiner and a leader at the same time!