Evie Robinson’s Interview on Building a Tribe
Evie’s success has been quite phenomenal. In this interview, she shares what has worked for her to increase her reach and build her community of travel bloggers.
@TBEXevents: What does the word “tribe” mean to you?
@evierobbie: Tribe has a direct connotation to ‘family’ for me. In regards to Nomadness Travel Tribe, it’s about me building an international community of like-minded travelers.
@TBEXevents: What were you dissatisfied about or super-passionate about that triggered your idea to create Nomadness?
@evierobbie: As a twenty-something year old African American woman, I felt that there was no representation of us, in the travel community, in mass media. I kept seeing the same demographic, doing the same thing, on the same channels, and I felt it was a rather miniscule view into who travelers are. Backpacking and living in Asia, I saw a more diverse representation of who we are, and I wanted to create a space where we could come together.
@TBEXevents: What gave you the clarity that there was a niche to carve out for yourself?
@evierobbie: The reaction people gave to my first webseries episodes. The actual production was horrible, but I was doing what I could with what I had while living in Japan. It was the content and my own unique point of view that resonated with people. I realized there was an opening there and built on it.
@TBEXevents: What are the main topics you’ve used to rally your tribe to you?
@evierobbie: Travel is the glue that binds. It is the parent topic to any other conversations that we engage in on the day-to-day.
@TBEXevents: How long has it taken to develop a significant following once you were clear on your target market and what you had to offer? Or did those two things happen separately (developing the target market and developing your value to that market)?
@evierobbie: I was clear on my market going into it, because I AM my market. I knew what my peers and I needed so it was easy to connect.
Nomadness grew very, very fast. It started with 100 people. Now we have grown to more than 8000 in less than three years. Our first meet-up was three weeks after starting in NYC, and almost 40 people came out.
That was when I knew something was brewing. Three months later we were on our first trip together, in Panama. Five months after, we were featured in Ebony Magazine. The press came fast and we have had a large following ever since.
@TBEXevents: What have you been able to accomplish with this tribe?
@evierobbie: We have over 8000 members, living in over three dozen countries around the world. We have been able to crowdfund over $40,000 through three successful campaigns on Kickstarter.com, which has also led to my being a consultant with Crowdfunding Mastermind.
We have a successful online store with apparel that members have used to identify other members all around the world. Our most popular is the shirt “I have more passport stamps than you.”
We have done a cross country College RV Tour, speaking to college students about diversity and travel. We are approaching our 14th group trip in three years, and almost 100 meet ups around the world.
@TBEXevents: What digital platforms do you focus on to grow and reach your tribe? Why?
@evierobbie:Facebook is our main platform while we build our own social network site. We have recently started our Nomadness #NMDN Monthly Twitter Chat series as well. And Instagram has been great for us because we have amazing travel photography from our trips. It’s great to have a visual platform.
@TBEXevents: Do you outsource parts of your business?
@evierobbie: The only outsourcing that happens currently is merchandise manufacturing. It’s necessary to having top quality and still keeping your balance. You can’t do everything and be effective.
@TBEXevents: What has been the most difficult part of building your community?
@evierobbie: Dealing with 8000 personalities on any given day.
@TBEXevents: What has surprised you about the process?
@evierobbie: The speed of growth has been surprising. I simply started a Tribe to have a place to vent about what I was going through after living abroad. I had no idea I was creating a business model.
@TBEXevents: What keeps you going when you’re tired, discouraged or disappointed?
@evierobbie: Passion. A dedication to living life my way.
@TBEXevents: What’s been the best part of building your community?
@evierobbie: Being an international connector and bringing people from every part of the planet together. I can honestly go to any country now and know at least one person there already.
@TBEXevents: Anything else you think would help other travel bloggers or any other entrepreneur using the leverage of technology and the internet to build their business?
@evierobbie: Find your lane, and stay in it. Don’t split yourself up too much trying to be everything to everyone. Find your niche, and focus.
Thanks, Evie, for your time and insights! You’ve accomplished a lot in a short time. Continued success to you!