5 Business Lessons to Learn From Taylor Swift

5 Business Lessons to Learn From Taylor Swift

 

Whether you’re totally fed up with seeing her face and hearing her music everywhere, or are a diehard fan, you can’t deny that T.Swift is a marketing genius.

You may not think that, as a professional entertainer, her tactics bear any relevance in your own life and business, but you’d be wrong. Being a big-time celebrity today doesn’t just mean you have to entertain your audience – that’s only half of the job. You also need to create, build, and maintain a brand for yourself. Which is what you work so hard at everyday, right? So take a look at these 5 business lessons, and take notes from the chart-topping icon.


1. Never be afraid to go in a different direction.

Taylor Swift Business Lessons

For 6 whole years in a row, Taylor maintained her status as a current-day country icon. Then out of nowhere she flipped a huge 360 and produced an entirely pop album! To say that there were strong opinions about her choices and new direction would be an understatement. Disregarding the negative feedback, she worked hard and stayed true to to she IS instead of who she WAS. She proved that it’s okay to change your image/brand to reflect your ever-evolving style and preferences. Considering that she still has yet to leave the top of the charts, i’d say that it worked. Never be afraid to try new things because you’re unsure of how it will be perceived. Your #1 fans will still love you anyway.


2. Be authentic/relatable.

Show your followers and customers the behind-the-scenes of your life and business. In a creative business you ARE the business, so show everyone who YOU are as a person! What does the day-to-day of your business look like? Part of why T.Swizzle dominates the social media world is because she’s not afraid of sharing the quirks and imperfections of her life. She shows her extended family packed in a van for a trip to a family gathering. She showcases her 2 cats Doctor Meredith Grey and Detective Olivia Benson at every opportunity (shoutout to Grey’s Anatomy and Law & Order fans). People love witnessing and connecting with the ordinary. Do like Taylor does and proudly tell and show people what is the most important to you!


 

3. Reward & surprise your loyal fans (um, customers..).

This may just be what makes Taylor stand out the most from other celebs. If there’s one thing she knows, it’s how to leave an impression with a thoughtful surprise. In September of last year, T.Swift invited a group of fans to her home in L.A. , baked them cookies, gave them an exclusive secret session performance of her then-soon-to-be-released album, 1989, and hung out with everyone afterwards telling them the real stories behind the songs. Later that year she also hand wrapped gifts, some from around the world, that she had specifically picked for some of her social media fans (!!!). She included a handwritten card for each of them, and in one case even DROVE to Connecticut and hand-delivered gifts to a fan and her young son.  Now, am I saying that you, as a business, have to be as generous or go to the great lengths that she did? No. But by personalizing a free gift for someone to show that you pay attention to them as an individual and that you value them can go a long way. Check out their purchase history – Is their one specific product that they purchase all the time and might be their favorite? Send it to them with a handwritten note and make their day!


4. Know your target audience.

Taylor Swift wears "No It's Becky" tee

Knowing where to find your target audience and what they find popular is huge.  A great example of T.Swift rocking this is when she made her Tumblr fans explode by wearing a “No It’s Becky” t-shirt (a nod to an inside joke involving her that came about on Tumblr). She had a huge reaction from people who loved sharing a joke with her, and having proof that she stayed current and active with her social media. She’s also been known to use Twitter as a way of communicating with individual followers directly as well as keeping an eye on what sort of content her fans are sharing with each other. She doesn’t just primarily use social media for marketing, but will use it to create relationships with fans through casually responding to comments, liking and reposting their pictures. As a business, you should do this too! Join in on the conversation and use it to make your brand seem more relatable!


5. Deliver the highest quality possible.

One of many things that Taylor could shamelessly brag about is her ability to provide value and leave an impression. She is notorious for giving her complete all in every single performance, which are usually around 2-3 hours long. On her current tour for her 1989 album, she has regularly surprised her audience with guest stars from all other genres of music during each concert. Getting to see multiple famous performers for what you thought was the price of one? I don’t think there is anyone out there that wouldn’t totally dig that.  So take a second and think – What are you doing to surprise your customers? Are you making sure that each product/service you offer is of the highest level of quality and value? If not, it may be time to take a tip from T.Swift and make changes until you’re able to start exceeding expectations regularly. They’ll be sure to spread good things about you and remain a steady follower!

♦  ♦  ♦

I challenge you to arm yourself with these tips, take a good look at your current tactics, and identify which areas could use the T.Swift Touch. Cherry Red lipstick optional ; ) 

 

 

7 Tips For Writing Stellar Product Descriptions

7 Tips for Writing Stellar Product Descriptions

When shopping online, the last thing that you want to see is a product description that tells you absolutely nothing about the item itself other than what you can plainly see in the picture.  I kid you not, I once saw a beautiful piece of pottery on Etsy that was super detailed with color and a mosaic-esque design with the description “round bowl”…  WHAT?!  Not so exciting.  So naturally, I was determined to make this the next blog topic in order to put a stop to this heinous trend (if nothing else but to save my own sanity).  So, my friends, here are 7 handy dandy tips & tricks to help you with your own product descriptions!

Tip #1:  A successful product description has 3 goals:

1. To catch the attention of the customer.

2. To describe the details of the product. (NOT just redundantly listing the qualities being shown in the pictures)

3. To convince the customer that they need the product/the product serves as a solution to their problem.

 

Pretty basic stuff, yes?  Well allow me to break it down to even simpler terms…

Tip #2:  Your description should be dissected into 3 parts

 1. What sets this product apart from other products that are similar? (What is your products appeal?)

2. What problem does it solve? (What are the benefits of your product?)

3. What reason is there to buy this product right now? (Is it a best seller? Designer favorite? Limited edition?)

 

Tip #3:  Give the “impression”

An awesome trick to use when spelling out the details of a product is to follow this formula:  By highlighting a feature plus a benefit, you can give your customer the general impression of quality without bluntly stating so.

                  

 For an example as to how this can work with even the most random item, take a peek at this short and sweet description of a bathroom accessory from the Pottery Barn and you’ll see that formula in action.  Their description is as follows:

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“Keep bath essentials organized with this stylish étagère, sized to align with the top of a standard tub.”

> 23″ wide x 9.5″ deep x 27″ high

> Iron base is supported by elegantly curved stretchers.

> Three removable enameled-iron trays feature raised lips to keep objects in place.

> Handles provide easy re-positioning.

> Finished in polished nickel.

> Catalog / Internet only.

 

If you look at their bullets, you’ll see where they talk about the “three removable enameled-iron trays featuring raised lips (feature) to keep objects in place (benefit)“…  SEE?!  It totally works, and you can apply it to anything!

 

Another reason this description works, is that it answers most of the key questions from earlier:

What problem does it solve?  It “keeps bath essentials organized” without having to sacrifice style and conveniently “aligns with the top of a standard tub”.

What is the product’s appeal? By calling it a “stylish étagère”, they gave it a nice European spin.  Because using french is MUCH classier than just calling it a “stylish shelf”, non?

What desire is there to buy this product now?  While this particular example doesn’t necessarily create a sense of urgency, it does give the impression of exclusivity by declaring it to be available by “catalog/internet only”.

 

Tip #4: Appeal to the senses

When selling online, you must always bear in mind that customers cannot physically hold your products.

This means that it’s your job to create vivid descriptions using sensory words that speak to your customer’s senses and imagination, allowing the potential buyer to envision themselves in a scenario where they are using your product to fulfill their need, whatever it may be.

 

Tip #5: Use “Social Proof” to your advantage

Most online shoppers will tell you that one of the biggest influences in their decision of purchasing a certain item, is whether or not a friend recommended it to them (or maybe they saw one of their thousands of closest Facebook friends mention something about it that one time).

Keeping that in mind, why not throw a customer review or testimonial into your description? If one of your products has been previously featured in a magazine or well-known online forum, consider adding a tagline such as “As seen in…“. Does one or two of your products sell considerably better than the others? Don’t be afraid to add “Customer Favorite” and showcase that it’s one of your more popular items.

All of these tactics can, and should, be used in order to increase credibility and consumer confidence.

 

Tip #6: Avoid using superlatives UNLESS you can back them up

Everyone will claim that their product is the “best” or the “easiest” or the “fastest” so, unless you can prove that your claim is true, it’s usually best to stay away from using words like that so you don’t take the chance of being perceived as insincere.

The last thing you want your customer to be thinking when reading about your stuff is “Yeah yeah, sure….“.

 

Tip #7: Make it “personal”

A great way to keep your customer’s interest is to incorporate some “personal” or “behind-the-scenes” info.

Whether it be about the product itself or the process of creating it, people love knowing a little extra about the items that they buy! (Bragging rights, ya know?) So ask yourself- What was the inspiration for creating the product?  Who physically makes it? What obstacles did you have to overcome?

This approach is an excellent way of simultaneously educating the consumer about your products, while also making them forget that they’re being “sold to”.

 

These suggestions and methods are only a few out of many in order to make your product descriptions “headline-worthy”, but they’re a good start!  Do any of these options stand out to you as being especially helpful? Are there any tips that you think should have been included here? Spread the wealth people- share your expertise in the comments!

 

 

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Now Bubbling Up: Brochures en Français

The Why Handcrafted Soap? brochure has long been a resource for members to use with English-speaking customers. The brochures are a wonderful introduction to handcrafted soap, explaining the differences between commercially prepared and handcrafted soaps and spotlighting the wide range of handcrafted soaps produced by our members. Today, we’re excited to announce the “Why Handcrafted Soap?” brochure is available in French as “Le Savon Artisanal”. At long last, members with French-speaking customers can take advantage of this beloved HSCG publication.

_Flashmob Bubbles @ Grand Place Bruxelles-4027

Members can download both the “Why Handcrafted Soap?” and “Le Savon Artisanal” brochures from the Members section of the website by logging in and navigating to Marketing Tools> Handcrafted Soap Brochure. You can also choose to have the Guild print them in full color for you, by ordering through the Guild store.

Thank you to Guild member Helene Metivier and her spouse Daniel Tate, for their help in translation!

What language should we tackle next?