Texas and Australia Collide!!…???
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It’s hard to believe that 1 week ago last night, Thursday night, I was in Austin at South By Southwest (SXSW), the biggest music festival in the U.S., rocking out to one of the bands I represent, “A Day to Remember.” These guys have been tearing it up recently. Their most recent release hit #21 on Billboard’s Top 200 records in February of this year. You can check out some video of them on youtube, there’s lots of them out there! Be forewarned, they rock pretty hard and heavy :).

But the story I’m going to tell you about actually happened exactly a week ago, on Friday morning, at one of the biggest brunches you can be invited to, the BMI SXSW Brunch. BMI administers royalties to songwriters and music publishers all over the world to names like Aretha Franklin, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Shakira, Kanye West, Mariah Carey and about a million others. They always have GREAT music at the brunch, and you’ve rarely ever heard of anyone who they invite to play. They are usually artists who BMI is recognizing as “rising stars.”

I was eating my brunch and having a mimosa, chatting with some industry friends that I usually only see once or twice a year at events like this, when this guy came on stage. I heard about 3 notes and instinctively reached for my Flip camera (if you don’t have a Flip, do yourself a favor and go to Amazon.com now and buy one!). I couldn’t believe my ears. The vocals were amazing. I had to look at the program to see his name and I found it. Then I went on my iphone to Twitter and “tweeted” that I had just heard a great tune from a new artist named “Guy Sebastian”. I recorded a better video of him from a bit closer up and then went on my way for some more meetings and to see a few more of my artists play.

I left a few hours later because I got a call from my wife informing me that her and both of my little boys, Brock (4) and Bowen (16 months) were all sick. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say it was a bit of a “cookie toss” lol. But as I was at the airport, I logged onto my email and I saw that I had a bunch of new Twitter followers. I wasn’t sure why, but I had to shut down my computer and board my flight. When I got home, everyone was asleep, so I updated my Facebook account and posted my videos from SXSW and posted an update on Twitter that I had just uploaded the videos. Then I went to bed.

The next morning, I had about 50 Facebook friend requests. And I also started seeing the messages. Messages all about Guy Sebastian. Well, it seems that I wasn’t aware that Guy is from Australia and he won the first season of Australian Idol and had gone 6x Platinum in Australia. WOW. That’s impressive. And it made me stop and think back to 2 concepts I always teach when I’m speaking:

1. The only people who need to know who you are, are your target audience. I often give an example of walking through the mall with one of my bands, and how the teenagers freak out, and the parents have no idea what the commotion is about. But it doesn’t matter, the target audience, the teenagers, know exactly who they are! And the same applies to your business. You don’t need to be a Celebrity to everyone in the world, just your target market that would be suited to hire you and pay for your services.

Well, Guy’s fans in Australia knew EXACTLY who he was, and I can tell you that you all will too very soon. This guy is too good. Check out some of my videos (and become my friend on Facebook! at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/video/video.php?v=138863210116 ).

2. When you join the conversation that is already occurring in people’s heads, they take notice. It’s the old concept that we are all on a “Moving Parade” through life. As we move through life on our “parade,” our wants, needs and desires change, and we take notice of different things as these wants and needs change. Ever notice how you start thinking about getting a new car, and all of a sudden you start hearing about 100 car commercials on the radio every hour, and you start seeing all sorts of promotions on financing for cars, etc. Well, it’s because you are subconsciously paying attention to them on your “parade.”

The value in this concept is that your prospects and even your clients are often distracted as they move along their parade. You can try to “interrupt” them and get them to notice you, but it’s SO much easier to get noticed if you join the conversation that is already going on in their minds. Right now, no matter what business you are in, you could gain a lot of attention from talking about the things that are on top of people’s minds at this moment: Barack Obama, The Federal Bailout, The Recession, Bad Economy, Income Taxes, Spring, etc. There are lots of things that are already on people’s minds right now. If you talk about those things, and relate what you really want to tell your clients and prospects (about your product or service or whatever else) to what’s going on in their minds, they will take note much faster.

Obviously these Australians were already talking and thinking about Guy Sebastian and when I mentioned his name, they caught wind of it like wild fire. My posts hit their message boards in a matter of hours and they were all stalking me to learn more! Well, you see, it seems as if Guy is recording a new album in the US and the Aussie population is dying to hear it, so even a glimpse of a new song, which I gave them, is what they’re dying for! So by joining that conversation, I became very relevant to a whole new group of people, across the world no less, that now were interested in what I had to say. Think about how you can become relevant to the audience that you really want to pay attention to you, and start hopping in the conversation. I think you’ll be as stunned as I was, when you hit the right note!

That’s all for now! I’m off to Chicago to speak at a conference next week for the Senior Living market, for two of our clients, Traci Bild (www.TraciBild.com) and Richard Seppala, “The ROI Guy,” (www.YourROIguy.com). I’ll be sharing the stage with Bill Rancic, winner of Season 1 of the Apprentice with Donald Trump. I’m sure I’ll have some more stories for you soon!

Feel free to email me or post comments on this blog to let me know how the above lessons have applied to your marketing!