Mash-up extraordinaire Gregg Gillis, known to most people as Girl Talk has been in constant rotation on my iPod for the last four years. His albums composed of sometimes over 300 songs fused together, are audible caffeine.
Beyond the music, there is a lot any company can learn about marketing from him. In fact, almost everything a start-up needs to know about marketing comes from Girl Talk.
10. Make it Interactive
Breaking the traditional stage/crowd barrier, Girl Talk brings a select group of fans up on stage to dance with him. They spend the entire show bouncing around and getting sweaty with him on stage.
All Girl Talk shows are an experiment for what shows up on the album. He’ll often try out new mixes, gauge the audience reaction and either tweak it or get rid of it. He’s not afraid to try something that might not work.
8. Have Something Exclusive
Girl Talk tickets are almost always below market value, making his shows sell out incredibly fast. Though he gives away his albums for free, you have to act fast to get tickets to one of his shows.
7. You Don’t Need a Release Date
Before each Girl Talk release he only hints at when it’s going to come out. He’ll mention that an album is coming out in the next year. Then give another update saying that it’ll be out in the next few weeks. Then one morning the internet is exploding, downloading his music.
He doesn’t wait for a release date. When it’s done, he ships it.
6. Surprise your Customers
For Girl Talk’s New Years Eve show at the Congress Theater in Chicago, they built a house on stage–complete with living room, dining room, and bathroom (video). At Lollapalooza, he ended the show by rafting out into the crowd (video). The next year at Lollapalooza, he bought the crowd 400 pizzas.
5. Innovation happens when you mix something old and new
Girl Talk’s mashup’s blend the old with the new. You might hear The Jackson 5 mixed with Queen or Black Sabbath and Ludacris. He doesn’t just look at what’s strictly new and relevant that he can mash together. Girl Talk will often put a new mix on the old.
4. Give Away Something for Free (but also have a paid option)
All of Girl Talk’s albums are free for download, while some have offered the option of paying what you want. Nothing spreads like free. His albums serve as the viral marketing for his paid product–live shows.
3. Be Passionate and Love What You Do
Sales is largely a transference of emotion. The more passionate you are about what you do, the more likely your fans will be too. Girl Talk doesn’t stop moving his entire show. He dances with fans, throws confetti out of his pockets, and works the crowd into a giant dance party.
Your fans and customers appreciate hustle. Girl Talk has to wrap his laptop in cellophane, partly from drinks being spilt, but largely from his own sweat. He pours himself into every show. Often he’ll start in a sweatshirt and sweats and be in his boxers by the end of the show.
1. Make It Fun
Toilet paper guns, confetti, giant inflatables, and much more. There are few shows more fun than a Girl Talk show. He’s not just a guy on stage playing with a laptop, he orchestrates a giant dance party. Whatever business you’re in, you can likely make the customer experience a little bit more fun than it currently is.
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