In a world ruled by social media there are no written rules, especially not the kind of rules that will lead you to certain success as a content maker. But there are little things that can work as secret ingredients of success. What is the thing that can bring you the results you want without having millions of dollars or the media's support? Taylor Swift stands as the perfect example of how to do things differently.
1. Extreme situations
Whatever happens to her, she responds with style and intelligence. She went through some serious changes in the past few years as it is shown in most of her interviews and lyrics. The best example of that is quite recent: she sent a message straight to Kanye West with whom she has a long history.
Their story in a nutshell: Kanye took the microphone right out of Taylor's hand at the 2009 VMAs when she was about to give her acceptance speech. The rapper started talking about how much Beyonce deserved this award instead of Taylor, and then he just left the stage. Years later, when 1989 became a huge hit, their relationship got better, they even posed for photos together at one of the Grammy Awards. When Kanye announced that he's running for president in 2020, Taylor was one of his biggest cheerleader, and she was also the one who presented his award. In his speech he even apologizes to her, but as it turned out later, it was all just an act - one of Kanye's lyrics on his new album just proves it:
I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex /
Why, I made that bitch famous /
God damn /
I made that bitch famous.
Since Taylor only gives interviews when she has a new album coming out, and she communicates intelligently on her social media platforms, it was expected of her to react to it in her Grammy-speech:
"There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or you fame. But if you just focus on the work, and you don't let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you are going, you will look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you that put you there and that will be the greatest feeling in the world."
Tips for influencers: You can get comments, feedback or bad press that might hurt you anytime, and you'll feel that it's all so unjust, but do not be the victim! Don't give power to these! Those who follow you mostly do it because they like you. So be aware of where you should and shouldn't put your energy. It's no accident that Taylor ended her saga with Kanye.
2. Relationship with fans
You can find Journey to Fearless - the documentary on Taylor's life - on Youtube, and after watching it, you will understand perfectly why so many adore her so much.
- you become a part of her story from the very beginning,
- she believed in her calling so deeply that she managed to convince her parents to move to Nashville - and she was only fourteen at the time,
- she never cared about being rejected, she just kept knocking on the doors of record labels in the hope of being discovered
- later she met Scott Borchetta by chance, and he was willing to put her record out, there was only one problem: he didn't have a label yet. Taylor trusted him anyway, and as it turns out, it was one her best decisions of her life
- you can see early footages of her sleeping in the back of her mom's car while driving from one radio station to another, surprising the crew members with homemade cookies.
Tips for influencers: Back in the day it was the media that put someone in the spotlight, today it's community's choice. Those who grow out from social media don't need press, they can survive without it if they put their audience first. Just observe Taylor's communication, interviews and tours, just look at everything she does - her focus is always on her followers. How can you manage to do it on your own field?
Let's be honest: most of the well-know people can't survive a transformation as big as the one Taylor came out of as a winner. Changing her style was a good move, and the interviews, lyrics and her tour cleared her image even better. Yet, it's still beyond me how the girl who was once an outcast suddenly became best friends with supermodels and world famous stars, but maybe it's just part of her transformation. Everyone posted about the friendship on their own platforms, and she gained many new fans thanks to that. Just think about what the fans thought:
"If Beyonce likes Taylor, maybe it's time for me to accept her existence as well."
She manages her page on her own, she watches her fans, and likes their contents from time to time. She mentioned in one of her interviews that she sometimes peeps on her followers on Instagram and knows many of them by name. She also shared many videos of her fans expressing their joy over her Grammy win.
Tip for influencers: Make your fans become an active part of your topic if possible. That's exactly why I started Karma Project, that I've been using for four years as CSR on my blog. This is how the project works: fans submit their dreams, and I make them come true if I can and blog about it afterwards. Sponsors love it, and it's not direct advertisement, not to mention how much I can give back to my community. A pleasure flight above the city, a vacation for a family with poor background, a honeymoon - these are just a few of the many dreams that had already come true.
5. Where is the line?
Taylor's dating Calvin Harris recently, who changed his profile pic to a lion when her Wildest dreams video came out. What's so nice about this is that something that people do so well in the US: they send messages to each other through their songs, for example here's Ed Sheeran's Don't and Ellie Goulding's response to it with On my mind. Genious. But since we're talking about Taylor, she also wrote a song called Style (at the time Harry Styles was her boyfriend), then came the song Perfect on One Direction's next album, an obvious reference to Taylor.
"And if you're looking for someone to write your break-up songs about,
baby I'm perfect,
baby I'm perfect for you."
But there's one thing I like even more: fan theories made by fans from their own perspective based on the possible connections between music videos.