What Business Owners Can Learn From Lady Gaga

Almost everybody today has heard of Lady Gaga. She has become an icon, and a beacon for a younger generation, eager to distinguish themselves and embrace their individuality.

Lady Gaga is controversial. She’s acclaimed – she’s received 200 awards from 451 nominations for her contributions to the music industry. And she is staunchly supported by her millions of fans, who she refers to affectionately as her Little Monsters.

Lady Gaga is more than just an iconic performer; she is a brilliant business leader in her own right. And this blog post will highlight some of the lessons she imparts to business owners today.

Set lofty goals

Lady Gaga set ambitious goals for herself. She once said, “I want people to walk around delusional about how great they can be – and then fight so hard for it every day that the lie becomes the truth.”

She not only sets the bar high for herself but also inspires others to shoot for the stars as they try to realize their dreams and ambitions.

Business owners that set lofty targets and believe they can be achieved are more likely to see their businesses grow and flourish.

Have a bold opinion

Lady Gaga donned a meat bikini on the cover of Vogue Japan to make a point about the objectification of women.

Without spending time debating the merits of her position, or the way in which she went about conveying it, one thing is certain – Lady Gaga has bold, sometimes controversial opinions, and she’s not afraid to share them.

Articulating a controversial point of view can help ensure that the market remembers you. Your customers are likely looking for direction and advice, especially in your industry. Being able to position your business with a strong statement or opinion can drive credibility and interest.

Differentiate

Along these same lines, it is important to make sure you stand out. Lady Gaga has done this to the extreme. Her hair, makeup, fashion choices and artistic approach all distinguish her from other performers of today. Her Super Bowl half time show was unrivalled in its splendour, and will be remembered for years to come.

In business, there are a lot of ways to differentiate from the competition. Brand, message, position, packaging, customer service – these all present opportunities, and it is up to the business owner, to take advantage and make a statement to the market.

Have the right people on your side

One of Lady Gaga’s earliest supporters was Perez Hilton – arguably the most important and influential celebrity blogger in the world. His support radically helped her fame trajectory, catapulting her into the stratosphere of the music industry and making her moniker a household name. This friendship was critical.

Scope out who the key influencers are in your business, and make sure you nurture relationships with those people. Then – leverage those connections to your advantage. Get them to talk about you. Exchange blog posts on each other’s websites. Retweet each other. Have them review your products or services.

Having the right people sing your praises at the right time can accelerate your business big time.

Leverage multiple distribution channels

Lady Gaga has almost 70 million Twitter followers, more than 60 million Facebook fans, almost 5 million members in her official fan club and 18 million followers on Instagram.

While it’s not likely that you will ever achieve her level of fame and following for your business, the takeaway is more so about the various distribution channels that Lady Gaga embraces to grow her business.

Don’t rely on one source of revenue. Invest in your website, email lists, social media properties, conferences and storefront – make sure you are growing interest through all of these channels and not putting all of your eggs in one basket.

Value your fans/customers

Lady Gaga once said, “I want my fans to know that I’m there for them. I want them to see every part of me. I am never going to leave them.” Lady Gaga loves her Little Monsters. She spends most of her effort on just one percent of her audience, the highly engaged super-fans who drive word of mouth.

Despite her tens of millions of followers in social media, she focuses on the die-hard fans that make up a small but valuable part of the fan base. And she goes above and beyond for these guys – often putting them ahead of the media – by giving them special passes to events where the media is banned.

A similar approach in business makes sense. Make investments in those customers who are the most excited about your products/services. Nurture those relationships. Make sure they herald your value to their networks. Word of mouth and repeat business are critical factors for success.

While it may not seem obvious, there are a lot of business lessons to learn from Lady Gaga. Miller Bernstein can help you to operationalize some of these lessons for your business model. Call us today for your complimentary consultation.

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