I was never a fan of Lady Gaga. I grew up in the age of Madonna rolling and gyrating all over the stage in her fetish-style costumes and Ozzy Osbourne biting the heads off bats. Lady Gaga and her outrageous outfits and risqué lyrics didn’t faze me. She was just another wannabe exorbitant artist that the general public was eating up and I didn’t pay much attention. That is until I saw her on 60 Minutes last night; then I realized what a marketing genius she is and gained a new respect.
She built a brand (Lady Gaga) from scratch and is now, according to Anderson Cooper, “the most talked about entertainer in the world”. Lady Gaga didn’t get famous by accident. No, she diligently studied “the art of being famous”. This is a woman on a mission – a woman with passion and drive and I gained a whole new respect, if not for the music, but for the business woman and brilliant marketer she is.
Here are 6 things all small business owners can learn from Lady Gaga:
- Master the “Art of Fame” – Lady Gaga didn’t become famous by accident. She knows what it takes to be famous because she invested the time and energy; she studied it. Nothing she does is by accident. She plans every outfit, every song, every interview, every moment of her life. Are you a master of what it takes to become famous in your industry? Do you understand what others in your industry have done to make it big? Can you honestly say you KNOW what it takes to make your business as successful as you want it to be and that you plan each and every action with achievement of that goal in mind?
- Know your audience and connect– Lady Gaga knows her audience, she has a huge fan base of young and old who feel disconnected and disenfranchised in the world and she speaks to and connects with them in her music, her image and her interviews. She moves them because she understands them so well. Who are your “fans”/customers? What moves them and what do you do to move them? What do you do on every level to connect with them?
- Be inspirational – People are drawn to positive people, businesses, and outcomes. If you aren’t excited about your business, no one will be. Lady Gaga embraces and uplifts the insecure, outcast, “freak” in us all. Hers is a message of self empowerment and self acceptance- and that has helped her succeed. What is your message to the world?
- Make it personal – Lady Gaga uses her own experience to connect. She grew up feeling like an outcast; she was different. But instead of using it to isolate herself she turned it into a way to connect to others. How can you tell your story to connect with your customers and prospects? What need, problem, or niche do you fill that is lacking in peoples’ lives? People connect with people – make it personal!
- Be outrageous – No one ever got famous or popular by being timid. Lady Gaga made a truckload of money and became a worldwide phenomenon by taking risks and by standing out from the crowd – by being outrageous. What can you do in your own industry to stand out and be outrageous? Don’t be afraid to take risks- don’t follow the crowd.
- Change it up sometimes – Never be boring! Every time you see Lady Gaga she’s sporting a different look. She’s always outrageous, always edgy and always true to her brand – but she’s always fresh and new and exciting! How can your company and brand keep it fresh and new and exciting so that every time a customer or potential customer comes into contact with you they get a new/fresh look or perspective? Maybe it’s a new product or service offering. Maybe it’s a new process… find a way to keep it interesting and keep your customers engaged!
Carolyn Higgins is the President and founder of Fortune Marketing Company. Her personal mission is to help small businesses stop wasting money on advertising and promotions that don’t deliver and help you implement an effective marketing system that will bring you more customers – consistently.