Yeah...most of you out there probably don't think, "amazing business women" when you think of Taylor Swift. But some of you might. The truth is, there is a lot to learn when you look at her career.
Today, during a 4 hour car ride, my 12 year old daughter made a comment that really got me thinking. She said, "Mom, I don't know what I think about Taylor Swift. I like her, but she's not the best singer out there..."
I immediately started in on this long monologue about how she's right, Taylor isn't the best singer out there, but let me tell you why she is successful.
Then I realized I needed to focus on the same things in my business. I need to re-evaluate my business practices to make sure I emulate Taylor. Then I realized I needed to share them with other business owners. So here we are...
Disclaimer...I am not a "swifty"...I do not know all things Taylor Swift. There are tips based on the things I do know about her and things I've heard over the years.
First and foremost, you have to be talented in your area of expertise. It's ridiculous to think you could have zero talent (or expertise) in your industry and be successful. Taylor Swift has a ton of musical talent...she can can carry a tune, she plays guitar, and she writes her own music. Home girl has talent, but she is most certainly not the best singer in the music biz.
So it begs the question, do you have to be the BEST to be successful? Absolutely not! That's right, people are gonna be better than you, but that doesn't mean you won't be successful. I know there are plenty of photographers that are better than me. I mean, I think I'm pretty dang good, but I know of some amazing photographers. Talent doesn't equal success. The most talented person may not be a hard worker, or may not even be running a business, or they have a whole different clientele. Point is, you can't compare yourself, or get down on yourself. Talent can only get you so far.
Two- Engage Your Audience
Taylor Swift started utilizing Twitter and YouTube the the hot second it came out. She would surprise her fans with visits and gifts at their home...and record it and blast it on social media. She entertains and engages them at concerts. She responds to her fans on twitter. She utilized all the resources available to her to build a relationship with her fans (ie...clients). Because of that, she has a true and loyal fan base that will stick with her through thick and thin.
Are you doing that? Are you engaging with your client base? Are you talking with them and interacting with them on social media. Are you making them feel like VIPs when they come to your business? Are you surprising them with customer appreciation gifts or coupons or even shout-outs on social media? Those are just a few examples, but do you see where I'm going? LOVE your clients...get to know your clients...and they will love you!
Three-She Value's Herself
Taylor Swift has made some BOLD moves in her career. Those moves could have been risky, but they have seemed to have paid off and now people take her very seriously! For example, remember when she pulled her music from Spotify? Basically, she took her album off that platform because listeners could listen to it for free rather than buying her music. According to Rolling Stone she said, "I'm not willing to contribute my life's work to an experiment that I don't feel fairly compensates the writer, producers, artists, and creators of music...I don't agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free"
WOW...right? She stood up not only for her, but for all those who are involved in making music. I gotta respect that. But it's true...artist work HARD to make music, why should it be free?
So the same goes for you and I? You work hard for what you do...don't undersell or undervalue yourself. Yes, you will loose customers if you start charging more, but you'll get new customers that value your work. I promise! I've seen this over and over again in my work. Even just recently I lost a gig to a cheaper photographer. It shook my confidence a bit, so I started quoting less (I know...I totally knew better...but I'm human). Long story short...charging less didn't get me more gigs. Charge what you are worth!! You won't win them all, but you don't want to. You want clients that find your work WORTH what you charge and they are out there, but you won't find them charging pennies. It's actually quite counter-intuitive. When you charge too low, most people will think of you as cheap or with little experience. But, if you charge more, most clients will respect you and pay your worth. You are viewed as an expert in your field. Have confidence in your worth!
Four-Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People
At this point Taylor Swift is an Icon! But, she didn't start out that way. She didn't become an icon by herself. She's had amazing business managers, producers, assistants, money managers, etc. to help her along the way. She didn't become an Icon totally on her own and neither can you. You need help! I know what you're thinking, "But, Nicole I don't have the money to hire people!" I get it! I've been there! My business is a bit of a family affair. My hubby is my bookkeeper and sometimes my daughter is my assistant! :) Sometimes I've had to scrape together money to get help. I've paid for an assistant, I've paid for continuing education, I've even paid for business coaches. You just need extra help sometime. And paying the money is worth it, if only for your sanity. Don't be afraid to invest in YOURSELF!!! You'll thank yourself later!
FIVE- Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously
Taylor Swift laughs at herself! She laughs at herself in her lyrics and makes fun of herself in her videos. People respond to that! Years ago I went to an Oasis concert..remember them? Well, one of those Gallagher brothers was hit with a shoe and he WENT OFF on the crowd and shut down the concert. I believe he acted like that at a lot of other concerts too. Needless to say, they didn't have another album or tour. People like genuine people and clients like businesses who who are made of genuine people! Especially when it comes to social media marketing. Clients respond to businesses that seem like real people. You can be both professional and "real" at the same time!
Ok..those are the top 5 reasons why I believe Taylor Swift is successful even though she's not the most talented singer. I needed these reminders as well, so take a mental checklist and make sure you measure up to Taylor! If not, what area are you gonna work on first?