Think Like a RockStar

July 29, 2013

Do you know who J Cole is? Yes? Great!

For those who don’t know, J Cole is a rapper. I’m not going into the merits of his work since I’m not the biggest rap connoisseur. I am, however, going to talk about his marketing technique.  Rockstars (in this case rap stars) have a way to inspire fans to do all sorts of things.

In J Cole’s example, he was able to gather 3000 people to line up in the sweltering heat for 5 hours for a 50 minute concert? How did he do it? He created something called a Dollar and a Dream Tour to reward his fans for buying his album, and thanking them for their support. What he also did was build in safe guards so the tickets wouldn’t fall in the wrong hands and be scalped.

It method was somewhat simple. We tweeted the location of the concert 3-4 hours before every show allowing for his fans to get the pre-destined location. He made everyone involved in the planning of the concert sign a confidentiality agreement so there would be leaks. The result was that people were lined up for hours, and most were running through the streets. He started trending on twitter causing more people to become aware of the event and go out and buy his album. Even the fans that didn’t get in still loved him.

Why am I talking about a rapper on a personal finance site? Well because there is a lesson here. A few weeks ago, I read a fantastic book called Think Like a Rockstar by Mack Collier. The general premise of the book is social media marketing, there is value of everyone who reads it, not just people in the digital space. Although let’s be real- everyone is in the digital space now.

Marketing is a very important part of any business. It can be anything from a blog to a fully fledge business. No one is going to find you if you’re not able to promote your products properly.

How does this apply to you? And why do Rockstars have fans, and companies have customers? What can you take away from that?

Here is how Mack answers it.

“The answer is surprisingly simple: because that’s what both groups want. Rock stars want to connect with their existing fans and cultivate new ones, while most companies place a priority on acquiring new customers.” 

It’s as simple as that.

Your company or your blog is your business, and add such you have to spend 3x as long to acquire a new client/ reader that you would to hold on to your existing one and make them read more on your site.

In J Cole’s case, he most likely spent a few thousand dollars on the venue. No other marketing was done. His fans spread his message, and showed up in droves to support his and buy his album.

Yes, most rockstars in it to make money, but the smart ones are able to give something back to earn an even bigger pay day in return.

Mack’s book, Think Like a RockStar breaks down into different sections, explaining how you can save money and build your business to perform better by engagement, and earning loyalty.  Its a great book to pick up if you want to understand the world of social media a bit better, and let’s face it, we all need a cheat sheet once in a while. This will certainly added to my list of books for entrepreneurs.

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  • Mack Collier July 29, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Marissa thank you SO much for the kind mention of my book, glad you enjoyed it! Rock stars go out of their way to create a close connection with their biggest fans! In many ways, they don’t seem to ‘care’ about their casual customers, they want to connect with the people that LOVE them!

    I think there’s a business lesson there for all brands!

    • Marissa July 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      Agreed! Loved the book!

  • Alpha July 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    I have to get that book, sounds great. To be successful in life, use those around. Use people around because they are stepping stone towards richness.

    • Marissa July 30, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      I wouldn’t really use people around as stepping stones

  • Hank July 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Sounds great – I’ll have to go buy that book. As an avid guitar player (and country singer, but not professionally), I can definitely relate.

    • Marissa July 30, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Its easy enough to see the value of a tribe in cases like this, isnt there?

  • Sam Gill @ Digital Spikes July 30, 2013 at 2:49 am

    Great post Marissa. Yes I totally agree with you that if you need to grow up, only you can help yourself. If you put in your soul in your work, nobody can stop you from achieving success

    • Marissa July 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      I don’t understand what you mean.

  • Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter July 30, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Sounds like a really good book. I’ll have to pick it up. I’m so impressed by the J Cole story, I think it’s a great way to drive engagement.

    • Marissa July 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      Engagement is key!

  • Demaish @ Borrowed Cents July 30, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Will definitely check that book. That’s why they say the most successful people not only work hard, they work smart.

    • Marissa July 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      Working smart is what gets you places!

  • Matt Becker July 30, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    That’s a pretty cool trick! I’ve heard a few different ideas now from musicians, comedians, etc. trying to beat the scalpers, but this is probably the most creative. Marketing is not one of my strengths, so this definitely could be a book to check out.

    • Marissa July 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Its worth the read!

  • Mark Ross July 30, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    With what you have said there, that book interests me. I’m going to check it out. Thanks!

  • Michael @ The Student Loan Sherpa July 30, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    This is great advice.

    In a similar manner the Cake Boss just came to Indianapolis and gave out 10,000 free cakes. It was all over the news and people lined up for blocks. It probably cost less to give away the cakes than a standard marketing campaign and the word of mouth on this one was crazy.

    • Marissa August 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      Interesting! Hadn’t heard about that yet, but will look into it.

  • Ron @RunningFromDebt August 4, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    I’m a J. Cole fan and I think it was genius for him to play on his Dollar and a Dream tour by using social media to build a huge buzz around his album. What better way for getting people to hear about you but by giving out a free concert!

    • Marissa August 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      I agree. More artists need to reward their fans like that.

  • Kostas @ Finance Blog Zone August 6, 2013 at 10:36 am

    That definitely looks like something worth checking out even if you are not exactly the type to read such books. What exactly were the “safe guards” though, do you know?

  • Budget and the Beach August 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Markting is something I’m giving more and more thought to. I still have so much to learn in that area to grow both my freelance business and blog!

  • Liana August 7, 2013 at 3:09 am

    Well written! Already am a big fan of J Cole but i didn’t learn any books of him.

    • Marissa August 7, 2013 at 11:36 pm

      He’s not in a book, but he should be.

  • Mary Anne @ BillGuard August 7, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I SAW one of the lines for a J Cole concert once! It stretched around the block (and created a rush-hour traffic jam!) Yes, I agree that his marketing strategy is unique and very effective, and we can all benefit from the lessons that he and other marketing-maverick celebrities can show us.

    • Marissa August 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      I adore him. Its easy to apply these strategies to our businesses.