If you want to get word of mouth for your business to help you become sustainable and grow, you should consider taking a close look at what Taylor Swift has done to help herself become -- and stay -- the superstar that she is.
I won't compare her to Madonna because, while Madonna was also a huge international sensation and still a household name, fans could not connect the same way to her that they can today. I'm sure her fan clubs did a lot for her, but their participation wasn't public or immediate because nothing like that existed in her heyday.
Taylor Swift Brings Her Fans Into Her World
Taylor Swift has become a master at making her announcements interactive for her fans, giving them an inside window into her album releases to make them feel like they are a part of it. It works because they are a part of it. Here's a fantastic Atlantic article about how she does it and why it works. It's fascinating.
I first realized she was a community wizard when I saw a publicity segment on one of the surprise parties called "I989 Listening parties" she held to launch her album 1989 in 2014.
I was stunned to see that she had groups of her most active, most loving fans over to her houses in the UK and the US while she was there to listen to the album with her and then talk about it.
Think about the fan accounts those fans have and the fan accounts that follow those accounts. It must have created an incredible ripple effect. 1989 was Taylor's first full-pop album after a huge career in country music and her transition was a huge smash. Surprise parties for her fans -- at her houses. That doesn't even sound real. Who does this? Taylor does. She literally makes the dreams of her biggest and most influential fans dreams come true and she gets a big return on it.
Here's how it happened. Who knew a case study could be so fun!
If you're asking yourself what a huge pop star's campaign has to do with your small business and how could you possibly replicate that, that's not the reason I'm writing about this. The point isn't to try to act like you're famous. It's to recognize, appreciate and collaborate with the customers who know your business best and are most loyal to you.
That is powerful, no matter how small your business is. It's even more powerful if you aren't well known and are trying to establish credibility in a certain niche or use case. That credibility tends to happen peer to peer, so you need to a) get the ball rolling b) incentivize people to participate. How can you make them feel special? How can you harness their love or passion for your brand?
It's something any small business can do regardless of how small your resources are. You really just have to be grateful to the people who support you and communicate with them. Survey them for ideas. Try different things. Don't think community isn't accessible to you. It totally is.
Get more insights on nurturing your loyal customers in my podcast Content and Community. I recently posted four new episodes.