What Lady Gaga Can Teach You About Spreading Your Influence

  • July 12, 2010 by Guest Writer
  • 40 Comments

Lada Gaga teaches us about spreading influence

Guest post by Mars Dorian of marsdorian.com

I luv Lady Gaga, but hate her music. Wait, what?

Ok, I don’t hate her music, I simply don’t care about it. What I do care about is how a Yankee girl built a one woman empire from scratch. She’s one of the most followed peeps on Twitter (almost 5 million followers!) and influences the whole wide world.

I have taken some of her methods and applied them to blogging. My traffic increased significantly during the last weeks, and now I know why. Let me show you the 3 biggest Gaga steps to spread your digital influence.

Reinvent your personal brand

I have seen a very early interview with Lady Gaga, and she seemed almost normal. She looked and talked like a normal girl blessed with passion.

Comparing her younger self to her current creation, I can’t help but think: What the heck happened?

Rebirth happened. Gaga wanted a life on the edge. She has transformed herself into a larger-than-life personality. Everything she does, be it fashion, video or life show, is part of a remarkable brand that people can’t ignore. Her style is so extreme that it divides the masses – you either love or hate her. The middle ground vanishes.

I call this edge-crafting. If you want to massively spread your digital influence, you have to be over-the-top in one way or another. Don’t worry, you don’t have to become Gaga-like, but a little stretching can help:

  • Get your geek on. Whatever your passion is, learn everything about it. Make it the major focus of your digital life, and show that obession to your readers. Be so geeky about your stuff that people think it’s funny. Positive obession is highly infectious.
  • Lick your edges. Don’t cater your message to the masses, write for your hardcore fans. The best way to do it is to be creative: imagine your true fan, the one who’d pay for reading your articles, and write for him. This will keep your style edgy.
  • Become “too”. Publish images that are too big. Write posts that are too long. Have an opinion that’s too offensive. Make your design too colorful.
  • Take your brand further. I love my logo, and I’ve printed it on T-shirts and pullovers. The next video I’ll publish will show me wearing my branded clothes. You don’t have to wear crazy stuff like Gaga, but if you video blog, then you should think about wearing your branded clothes.

Famous digital celebrities like Perez Hilton and Gary Vaynerchuk own this style: they have found what makes them great, and stretched that style. Don’t become extreme with everything you do, but stretch one major trait you want people to notice.

Love your fans more than your mother

I watched a recent interview with her on Larry King. She said something like this: Larry, I only care about my fans, and I want to give them the best experience possible.“

Gaga is fan-focused, and even calls them little monsters. Could she put less money in her videos and live shows and still enjoy a massive following? Probably, but she’s putting the hours in because she cares. It’s no accident that she’s got millions of die hard fans.

If you want to create a raving fan base yourself, you have to go the extra mile. Direct interaction via Facebook and Twitter is a must. Your overall goal should be: how can I create something that blows my readers away, or drastically improves their life?

I heard someone say: If you want to be successful, make someone else successful. True words.

Special bonus: give your fans a nickname, and invent a secret language that only they will understand. I call my fans Digital Crusaders, and I use words like epic, luv, sunny in my tummy. Only consistent readers understand the meaning behind this, and that’s what I intend. A tight community always excludes people.

Create a remarkable experience

Gaga’s crazy-vibrant videos and her epic live shows take the fan to a place where others only dream of being. She puts the most of her money into the creation of an experience that people won’t forget. Gaga is producing mind-magic, and captivates everyone who wants to join the ride. Wooosh!

Sad thing: Most bloggers don’t get this right: They simply share useful information, and shoot for the logical part of your brain. Just knowledge, no experience. Meh!

Remember, humans crave emotions more than anything else. If you only aim for the logical part of our brains, you will miss out – big time! But if you find a way to touch the emotional part, you may hit the jackpot. Ka-ching!

Jonathan Mead from the Illuminated Mind writes about living on your terms. He’s promoting an healthy, alternative lifestyle, and his blog shows it: The overall design is very earth-ish, and his product pages (coaching sessions) carry an Asian Yin-Yang flavor. Whenever I visit his blog, I feel like entering the temple of an old Kung-Fu master.

Good, now how do YOU create an experience that captivates your readers?

  • Have a stunning design that’s unique, and let it convey the emotion you want to your readers to feel: Personal development? Make it bright, with warm colors. Vegan lifestyle? Go green all the way. Take your readers on a ride that you create.
  • Show us your mission, over and over. Ash from The Middle Finger Project is all about being a rule breaker and smashing the status quo to bits and pieces. Her topics range from holidays to relationships, but you always feel that rebellious undertone – her main theme. No matter what you write about, always include your mission in your content. Humans love a purpose with a destiny – it’s emotianlly compelling.
  • Go multimedia. An image is worth a thousand words. And video? Probably a million. A strong emotional bond is formed when we see the owner behind the blog. If you are presentable, give your readers a treat and put up a video once in a while. And when you talk, talk with passion! It will give your blog a strong personal flavor and touch the emotional part of your audience.

They may forget what you said, but they never forget how you made them feel.

Conclusion

Lady Gaga doesn’t know this, but she’s a perfect example for every aspiring problogger. It doesn’t matter that she’s in the music biz, the way she spreads her influence transcends media.

These are the golden nuggets that Gaga would share with you:

Invent a remarkable personal brand.

Excessively care about your community.

Deliver an experience that’s both valuable and emotional.

Achieve that and no one will read your po-po-poker face po-po-poker face.

What do you think?

Is it insane to connect Lady Gaga to blogging, or are there real lessons that we can learn from her?

photo by nellyfus

Editor’s note: Hey, Corbett here. I wanted to let you know about a new site that Think Traffic has been invited to contribute to. The Daily Brainstorm: A Blogazine to Rock Your Mind launches today, and we’re happy to be participating in the project along with 40+ other great blogs including Zen Habits, Problogger, The Happiness Project, White Hot Truth, Far Beyond the Stars, Ridiculously Extraordinary and many others. Head over and check it out for inspiration on living bigger, bolder and happier lives.

Mars Dorian helps people spread their influence and build passionate online communities. If you want to build a strong digital presence, dive into his world at marsdorian.com or follow him on Twitter.


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Mars Dorian July 12, 2010 at 7:37 am

Thanx for the opportunity, Corbett,
I had a silent blast writing this

She’s an influential wild thing – we can all learn from her. I luv the pic you chose – very wild and passionate.
Let the event begin !

Corbett Barr July 12, 2010 at 8:35 am

Hey Mars, glad to have you here. Your energy and enthusiasm are really great, and come through in your writing almost as much as in person. Thanks for sharing a great post with us. Cheers!

Betsy Talbot July 12, 2010 at 7:49 am

No matter how you feel about celebs like Gaga and Perez, you cannot help but admire the way they crafted their personal brand and built a following. Perez has branched out into other areas, but he still puts a ton of effort into his blog, and I think many of us make the mistake of branching out after some initial success and slacking off on what got us the following in the first place.

Give the reader a fantastic experience and she’ll keep coming back.

Loved Gaga’s quote on Rolling Stone this month about her own insecurity with all this fame: “When I wake up in the morning, I feel just like any other insecure 24-year-old girl,” she says. “Then I say, ‘Bitch, you’re Lady Gaga, you get up and walk the walk today.’ ”

Bitch, you’re a problogger, you get up and walk the walk today! :) Thanks for a great post.

Mars Dorian July 12, 2010 at 9:02 am

Heya Betsy,

I luv your take on Gaga’s quote. It certainly takes courage to enter a destiny that’s entirely branded by you – I’m sure everyone who wants to can do it, but can’t fight the resistance inside.

I believe hardcore focus and being specific in the beginning is absolutely crucial – you started owning your space and expand from there.

“Bitch, you’re a problogger, you get up and walk the walk today!”

I make that my mantra from now on, Betsy !

Asatar Bair July 12, 2010 at 8:31 am

This is a post that I enjoyed a lot, but have no idea how to implement. Hmm, maybe that’s the nature of edu-tainment… It also makes me realize I’m out of touch. I can’t think of a Lady Gaga song. I did visit her Twitter page… great background photo there!

Mars Dorian July 12, 2010 at 8:58 am

Hey Asatar,

really no clue ? It starts with checking your brand/character.

What traits do you have (or want to possess), and how can you stretch them ? It all comes down to create a remarkable online experience that defines your brand, and let’s your readers/clients enter a world that you have created.

You can achieve that through
design
product creation
writing
video
etc.

Thom July 12, 2010 at 8:32 am

Great post, Mars, full of your usual infectious energy. Love the idea of becoming “too” and getting your geek on; salient advice that strays from the normal platitudes you hear about how to stand out. Speak to you soon, brother.

- Thom

Mars Dorian July 12, 2010 at 8:54 am

Hey Thom,

Thanks Thom, society has worked “hard” on making us average, trying to untrain that takes lots of practice. Lady Gaga has done a great deal – reinventing her personal brand and doing something worth talking about. I believe there’s little Gaga in everyone of us ;)

Rob July 12, 2010 at 9:13 am

Mars, good to see you here! GREAT post! “Positive obession is highly infectious.” .. I need to infuse way more of myself into what I do. Your thoughts here are completely applicable to me, stretching myself, getting into the cracks and being all me. Good stuff, onward!

Mars Dorian July 12, 2010 at 11:31 am

Nice Rob,

there’s a little Gaga in everyone of us – and with the desire for creating our most remarkable self online, we can get far, very far.

I can still feel society in the back of mind, and it’s sabotaging my online work. But each and every day, I free myself a little more and get closer to my digital destiny.

Michel J. Gagnon July 12, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Another good post Mars! Pushing the brand on the edge seems to work pretty well. It did work for Madonna, for Lady Gaga, and it seems to be working quite well for you too.

I especially like your advice on branded clothes. Brand is all about details. I’ll make sure I show up with my branded speedo for my first video;)
Great job.

Mars Dorian July 12, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Hey Michel,

cool. Pushing yourself doesn’t mean you have wear outrageous stuff like Gaga and co (although that helps ;) but just stretching one of your major tendencies. I want see that video with your branded speedo,
hopefully with your own logo ?

Marie-Pier July 12, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Great post Mars! I’m currently doing lots of brainstorming of my own personal brand and you just inspired me to put some Gaga on, crank on the volume and dance like an 8 year-old until I find what makes my own inner-geek special.

Mars Dorian July 12, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Haha,

awe-some, Marie. That’s the way to go – creativity through energy. I always listen to loud music in the morning before I embrace my work day. Keeps the forces of creativity flowing in my head ;)

Pontus Ekman July 13, 2010 at 1:57 am

This is the best article I’ve read so far at ThinkTraffic. Really captivating, relevant and interesting. Keep it up!

Mars Dorianm July 13, 2010 at 11:30 am

Haha,

thanx – I summoned all of my creativity to create this one. There’s always a way to combine relevant info with entertainment.

steve July 13, 2010 at 9:16 am

Do you mind if I give you a nick name? “Man Tra Tra” You are the man with traffics! :) Great article! great blog!

Corbett Barr July 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Sure, Steve, I’ll take it, but don’t expect me to start wearing crazy outfits made of glass balls or spikes ;)

HJM art gallery July 14, 2010 at 1:16 pm

WOW! What an inspiring article! As an artist, I am very passionate about my art, but it’s not easy to communicate my passion to my followers and fans. I do agree that the image speaks a thousand words, but the words on twitter, for example, are the key to your image…. Just twitted to my followers! :-)

Naked Girl in a Dress July 16, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Lady Gaga has done a wonderful job branding herself through her creative videos, songs, concerts, and appearances.

Thank you for tying this back to blogging. This is a creative, outside-the-box approach to blogging and I love it!

Dev - Technshare.com July 18, 2010 at 12:30 am

Hey Mars,

Glad to see you here man. Super-Awesome Kick ass post.
You’re doing awesome everywhere. Keep rockin man..!!
Thanks for sharing this great post.

~Dev

Business amateur July 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm

This is the first post I read on this website and I have to say, I am hooked!

I know many people who think Lady Gaga is over the top and a little crazy, but they still listen to her music! Its all about presenting yourself as something different, something everyone loves or hates but STILL comes back to for more.

Susan July 26, 2010 at 7:04 pm

What a great blog post, and so true too. We can learn a thing or too from her. I definitely think Lady Gaga is great – being her true self, inventing an incredible personal brand, caring and interacting to her community (fans) and deliver a valuable and emotional experience. I think that’s a great way to spread your influence in a positive way. :)

Katie Schulz November 5, 2010 at 7:19 am

University of South Carolina is doing a whole course on
“Lady Gaga and the sociology of fame”.
(did I get that link to work? still new at this whole thing). Think about it, a year ago how many people had heard of her? And now, everyone and their mother has an opinion on her. Whether or not you actually like her, you have to respect that kind of abiltiy to create a worldwide brand in a very, very short time.

Katie Schulz November 5, 2010 at 7:21 am

Heck yeah! I got the link to work! Do you guys remember your first link? You always remember your first time.

Tasi February 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Hi,
I am new to blogging. But I have heard so much about it and would like to try it. I mean, I rate my self as a not-to-bad writer, and so I would like to sharpen my edges through blogging.

Corbett Barr November 5, 2010 at 9:46 am

Haha, nice work Katie. Here’s to a million more!

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