Ian Brodie

Soooo, you probably didn't become a solo business so you could get tied up in rules and bureaucracy.

But I've found over the years that a few simple guidelines can really help make for an effective community. 

For Solo Tribe we really only have 3 rules right now:

Be Nice.

This is the most important rule, of course. Be respectful. Be helpful and supportive. Discussions are great - they're the lifeblood of the group. But make sure you don't let your emotions carry you away in the heat of a debate! Take a deep breath.

If you find yourself getting worked up in a discussion, go away from the keyboard, do something else, then come back in an hour.  

No Promotion.

That means the obvious stuff: no sales pitches, no promoting your services or event, no affiliate links, no links to optin forms.

But it also means no links to your blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos or other external content.

Why so tough on blog posts and articles, after all, they add value and contain useful information?

The problem is that external content take people out of the group. Discussions are the lifeblood of any group, and I know from experience that the more links to blog posts and other external content (however well-meaning) get posted on the group, the less space there is for the discussions and eventually they wither and die.

So if you have great content to share, put it up in the group directly in a post. That way people can come to the group, read your content, and comment and interact directly in the group rather than having to leave it.

A couple of exceptions to the "no promotion" rule:

Firstly, every Saturday I'll create a post in the group called #SelfPromotionSaturdays where you can post any relevant offers or links to blog posts or other external content. That way if group members are looking around for just your sort of services or could benefit from your article they can find it, but we don't get the group taken over by promotional messages. 

Secondly, at some point in the future I might create a product or course specifically for solo businesses and Solo Tribe members myself. I don’t have anything right now, but it might happen in future, especially if the podcast takes off and builds a lot of useful information. So I reserve the right to break the rules a little in return for setting up and running the group.

Keep On Topic.

Try to make sure that any content you share or questions you ask relate directly to solo businesses. So a post in the group about finance for solo businesses is great, a generic post about finance generally not so much (and I'll probably delete it or ask you to rework it). Think about the other group members whenever posting and try to keep it relevant. We can find articles and discussions about generic topics anywhere, but Solo Tribe is the place for material specific to solo businesses.

Now I know we're all bound to break this one. The temptation to post something funny or interesting is bound to be too great. But let's try to keep the off-topic stuff under control. What I want is for anyone logging in to Solo Tribe to look at the list of posts on the group timeline and think "wow, this stuff is really relevant and valuable to me as a solo business owner" - not "oh, that's OK, but I could see that anywhere".

​And that's it. Those are the rules for now. Nothing too onerous. Above all, let's be nice, let's be brilliant, and let's help each other be stunningly successful.

Speak Soon!