All I Need to Know About Marketing, I Can Learn From Lady Gaga

Love her or loathe her, let’s face it—Lady Gaga is a genius when it comes to marketing herself. Always relevant and provocative, she’s constantly being talked about, and isn’t that what you want for your brand, whether it’s a client or your personal brand? Here’s how you can claim a little Gaga magic for yourself.

Have an Opinion

Lady Gaga isn’t exactly shy when it comes to speaking her mind about issues she feels strongly about, which keeps her in the public eye. Don’t be namby-pamby—pick a side and speak up. This will help you focus on who you want to eventually evangelize your brand. As a freelance copywriter, this is something I struggle with – I don’t want to piss people off since I’m ultimately looking for a permanent gig.

Social Media is Your Friend

Lady Gaga has done an amazing job driving loyalty with social media—she has more than 5 million fans on Twitter and 14 million Facebook fans. Even better is the way she directly messages her friends on a timely basis. Can’t you do the same?

Be Different

Be different, but selectively so, and make sure people know about it. However, there’s an art to doing this: a writing teacher I had in high school would constantly tell us, “show me, don’t tell me.” In other words, rather than blathering on about how great you are, live it and let people discover it for themselves.

There’s Nothing Wrong with Commerce

Let’s be honest—poverty sucks. It took me a while to figure this out: making money while plying your trade is not a sin. It’s actually kind of the point of working. When I first started freelancing, I was almost embarrassed to ask for a living wage from clients because I was afraid that I would drive away clients by asking for a decent rate. Turns out I did, but I only seemed to scare off the bad clients.

Kiss Their Three Heads and Tuck Them in at Night

Lady Gaga’s fans are called Little Monsters and they even have their own official greeting/gang sign. Even Oprah knows it. So how are you connecting with your fans? What are you doing to add value beyond the initial transaction?

Don’t be Afraid to Piss People Off

You can’t please everyone, right? Someone isn’t going to like you because your rate is just outside of their price range, or they don’t like your approach to concepting, or whatever. Lady Gaga realizes that the people she ticks off probably aren’t her fan base, anyway, and she’s okay with that. Trying to please everyone is exhausting and it eats up the time you should be spending on work.

Have the Right People on Your Side

Lady Gaga has a long string of celebrity supporters. You also need your own star-studded entourage who will sing your praises, let you know about job openings, and maybe even throw some business your way every now and then. Of course, this has to be a give-and-take relationship. Very few people will flat-out worship you if there’s nothing in it for them.

Produce Great Work. Always

Even if you’re not a pop music fan, Lady Gaga writes amazingly good songs. She doesn’t produce a huge amount of them, but what she does produce is flawless. This is how you should run your business—take on work selectively and don’t take on so much that your finished product isn’t your best work.

Stop Shooting Fish in a Barrel

The Gaga brand is very calculated and deliberate, thanks to her talented team of publicists. Team Gaga didn’t do anything revolutionary – they simply took the tools that work today and used them to their advantage within the parameters that define her brand’s attributes. In other words, figure out who and what you/your brand want(s) to be when you/it grow(s) up and act accordingly.

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