I’m going to come right out and say it: I’m a Lady Gaga fan.
I didn’t really know who she was until about 6 months ago. I knew the name, but hadn’t heard the music or learned about the artist. Then I heard the music and my first thought was: “pop genius.” That said, it wasn’t until I heard/read a few interviews and witnessed how she carried herself that I actually became a fan.
Lady Gaga isn’t just a pop genius, she’s an unapologetic strong-willed marketing genius as well.
There is a lot to be learned from someone like that.
Here’s the tip of the iceberg …
1) Be opinionated. Take a side. Lady Gaga isn’t afraid to speak out on issues she feels strongly about. In doing so, she keeps herself in the public eye. Even more, she attracts her right people.
2) Don’t be afraid to make money. Blatant product placements in the biggest video of the year? Sure, why not? There is nothing wrong with making ridiculous amounts of cash if that’s what you want to do. There is no such thing as a sellout. If you want to put ads on your blog, do it. If you want to sell products, do it. Don’t apologize. You should be paid to create art. Being a starving artist is nothing to be proud of.
3) Don’t call your fans fans. Give them something unique to connect with. Gaga calls her fans Little Monsters. Chris Guillebeau has a Small Army. Adam Baker has The Militia. And I have the Freedom Fighters. (Whoa, I just noticed a bit of a military theme!)
4) Be different even if it’s obvious you’re trying to be different. But don’t state that you’re different, because if you have to put it into words then it’s not true. Confusing? :) How about this: there are too many normal people with normal blogs and normal writing. You are extraordinary so show it. (Show, don’t tell.)
5) Be good to your Little Monsters. Treat them well and they will reciprocate and make you a superstar. During concerts, Lady Gaga calls a fan in the audience from the stage and invites them to have a drink with her after the show. Whoa! What can you do to connect with your people on a deeper level?
Personal example:6) Piss lots of people off. You can’t please everybody, right? Take it a step further and piss off the people that you’re not going to please anyway. :) It keeps Gaga in the news and reinforces her message.
For the Version 0.9 launch of How To Live Anywhere, if you were one of the 132 who bought in the first 24 hours you got a hand written postcard from Goa, India.
Why? 3 reasons:
1) I wanted to thank the Freedom Fighters for changing the world, because every sale in the first 24 hours got doubled (by me) and sent to Kiva.org. I ended up sending $1600!
2) I wanted to thank the Freedom Fighters for taking quick, decisive action. Because that’s really what the Ridiculously Extraordinary Movement is about, action.
3) In this ever expanding online universe I wanted to connect with the Freedom Fighters old school. Yeah, it took me a good 6 hours to write out those postcards, but it was worth it.
7) Befriend the right people. Lady Gaga has, among others, people like Perez Hilton on her side. Having someone like Perez, who influences pop culture strongly himself, in her corner is a perfect ally in her quest for pop world domination.
8) Produce killer content. Gaga writes ridiculously good pop hits. Undeniable. She doesn’t produce an extraordinary amount of content, but everything she does is done very well.
9) Don’t be ashamed of the mainstream. Gaga straight up admits her pop sensibilities are calculated. Everything she does is on purpose. Shoot for the top of your niche with your blog or don’t take a shot at all.
What did I miss? What other lessons can Lady Gaga teach us about blog domination?