Taylor Swift is one of the best-selling and most award-winning recording artists in history, with 95 songs in the top 100, and that statistic is only going up. She’s also used to dealing with the pain of breakups by writing songs that have sold millions of copies. Her die-hard fans reach far beyond teenage girls (which makes sense since she’s almost 32). With over 186 million followers on Instagram, she’s doing something right.
When the second time is better than the first
The rights to Taylor’s early albums were taken over by another producer. Instead of giving in and losing the ability to sing the songs that she had personally created or collaborated on, she decided to re-record each one. Would fans buy a second version of the same song they had already downloaded?
They sure would. In fact, Taylor’s reissue of a 10-minute version of his song “All Too Well” is the longest song to ever reach number one, beating the previous record holder, “American Pie” by Don Maclean. .
Whether you’re a Swiftie or not, it’s hard to deny that Taylor has a strong bond with her fans and people from all walks of life can learn from her example. If you are an advisor looking to grow your business, you can take a Swift manual page.
What did she do well? All. What can we learn?
- Connect. Taylor uses her famous Instagram account to stay in touch with fans, posting things that are close to her heart, and which, in turn, care too. Although she was previously too visible to the public, she now carefully seeks to strike a balance between keeping her fans in the know and letting them ask for more. She maintains a steady cadence of communication on social media, and while she doesn’t have to worry about compliance guidelines, she needs to make sure she keeps the content up-to-date and relevant. One thing that helps: be honest.
- Be authentic. We’ve all been through sorrows and Taylor sings to all of us when she reveals her soul! Her fans connect with her because of her honesty and the fact that her emotions are there. How does this translate into customer relations? Consider that in this new world of forced distance, there are also areas of increased “proximity”. Topics that may not have been covered before are now a great way to stay in touch with close-knit customers; or, reach out to forge closer ties with new clients. Talking about things you really care about resonates. You can’t pretend, but when you do it right, you strengthen the close bond.
- Be personal. One of the reasons “All Too Well” resonates so deeply with fans is that it’s clearly so personal to Taylor (she wrote the song about one of her first big relationships, and it’s the only one song that still makes her cry when she sings on stage). Crying during customer meetings isn’t a great marketing strategy, but being real rather than sales-focused always resonates.
- Tell a story. And think of this story from a customer’s perspective. Instead of presenting a plan full of numbers, give a perspective on life’s goals with real-world examples. Tell a part of your own story. What brought you to the company? What messages about money are still with you today? What does financial wellness really mean to you? It all makes you more human – someone people want to connect with. Taylor certainly doesn’t know all of those millions of followers personally, but they follow his story.
- Tell this story effectively. Why was there so much hype and buzz surrounding the release of a 10 minute version of a song that had been around for a while? Because Taylor used every media channel available to him. She teased the song and video ahead of time on her social media accounts. She created a heartbreaking video to illustrate what she felt during one of the most painful times of her life, so that we could experience it with her and feel empathy. She used her influence and connections to star on Saturday Night Live several days after the video’s release, performing the song with the video in the background. She had Twitter buzzing with theories as to why the breakup was so upsetting. In short, she launched. Granted, creating a counselor-led video of grief is a bit of a stretch, but keep in mind that video makes the connection. Telling your story on video and teasing that story on social media is a great marketing strategy that fits well within the boundaries of an effective marketing plan.
- About this plan … The success of this reissue of early music is no coincidence. Taylor’s career has been carefully thought out, and while the plan may have taken a few twists and turns, she always had the goal in sight. One item usually does not work; stand-alone marketing efforts often fall flat. Advisors who commit to a plan can track the results, as they evolve according to the circumstances.
There is surely a lot more we can learn from the venerable Mrs. Swift – standing up for herself, treating people well (or you’ll find yourself the villain of a love song) – but the marketing prowess she’s demonstrated is applicable. instantly. strategies that most advisors don’t take advantage of, but can, with a little thought and planning.
Meghan McCartan is Managing Director, Marketing Manager at Hightower Advisors, www.hightoweradvisors.com. The sources for this article included his four teenage daughters.