It’s been a heck of a month for musical announcements. On top of Justin Timberlake and David Bowie announcing new music, girl group Destiny’s Child (featuring Beyoncé) also announced that they are releasing a new album.
This announcement, of course, started an impromptu sing-along in the Quality Logo Products content office. But in the midst of attempting to remember the refrain to “Say My Name,” it hit me that there are actually quite a few business tips to be gleaned from this still-relevant girl group.
So sit back, grab a pair of headphones, and let’s see what Beyoncé and crew can teach us.
1. Brand New Businesses?
Time to be an ‘Independent Woman’
I worked hard and sacrificed to get what I get
Ladies, it ain’t easy bein’ independent
Ask any entrepreneur: starting a new business requires an initial sacrifice. And we’re not just talking a dependable income and benefits. You’re going to have to be prepared to give up your free time, your vacation time, and probably some of your family time, too.
It’s also going to be hard to get a loan or find investors at the beginning of your new business. Do your best to call in favors or rally support, but keep moving forward.
You might not have a glamorous start, but you have to put in the time. After plenty of hard work and a little luck, you’ll eventually have a company that you can be proud of.
2. Everything has to be ‘Bootylicious’
Read my lips carefully, if you like what you see
Move, groove, prove you can hang with me
Lookin’ sexy and lookin’ fly means you need to look good to your customers. You need to look good to the point where they cannot wait to start working with you. This comes in two parts: being visually appealing and being accessible.
For visually appealing, this means you need to invest in the design of your website, blog, and social media accounts. Make sure that there is uniform branding across your web presence through a repeating logo, background, or mascot.
For being accessible, make sure that you monitor your social media profiles so that you can respond to people. Don’t hide your contact information and get someone friendly and knowledgeable to answer the phone and your email. Keeping your customers happy and loyal is one of the first steps to a hugely successful business.
3. Your Customers Will Hate a ‘Bug a Boo’
When I first met you, you were cool
But it was game you had me fooled
‘Cuz 20 minutes after I gave you my number
You already had my mailbox full
Now that you’ve grabbed an email subscription or a lead from a trade show, you’re probably really excited to reach out to your new contacts. But instead of immediately filling their voicemail or inbox with messages, give them a little space. People will need a little time to get back to work – especially if you found them through a trade show.
Once you’ve given them a little time, warmly reach out to potential clients. Send highly personalized emails with names. If you met them in person, refer to the conversation you had. If you captured a lead through your blog or social media site, split test your emails and see which one performs better.
Only attempt to reach out to new contacts a handful of times. Emailing them constantly – especially without an incentive for them – is a guaranteed way to send you right to the recycle bin.
4. Be Ready to ‘Say My Name’
Every other word is “Uh huh”, “Yeah, okay”
Your customers want you to pay attention to their needs. So if you’re taking a lackluster approach to your customer service, they’re going to notice. Anyone handling customer service for your company should be instructed to take all the time they need to make sure your clients feel valued and get their issues solved. Don’t worry if you don’t have the resources to send your customers huge coupons or thank yous; a small act can be enough to delight them.
Get to know your customers by diving in to your Facebook insights and Google analytics. What demographic do they fall into? What kind of content are they sharing? Follow how people are finding your business, and tailor your marketing to fit.
5. Let Your Haters Know That You’re a ‘Survivor’
I’m a survivor
I’m not gon’ give up
I’m not gon’ stop
I’m gon work harder
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what you do for a living – there are going to be haters. There will be plenty of haters.
When that happens, take a deep breath and evaluate their complaint. Are they upset because their order got screwed up, or are they just dissing your haircut on your YouTube video? Some haters can provide some actual insight to your process. Maybe they’re whining about the copy on your order page. Go and read the copy; is there something you could do to make the steps clearer?
But if someone hates on you just because they’re a troll, there’s only one thing you can do: ignore them. Do you really want to stoop to their level? Lashing back will only end in a PR disaster for your personal brand and your company.
Do like Beyoncé sings: “You know I’m not gon’ diss you on the Internet.”
It might seem a little bizarre to follow inspiration from Destiny’s Child songs, but you have to admit that they make some excellent points. And even if they’re singing to ex-boyfriends and you’re trying to market your business to the world, there’s still plenty to be learned.
And hey, maybe one day you’ll reunite to sing at the Super Bowl, too.
Any other business tips we can glean from Destiny’s Child? What’s your favorite DC song? How stoked are you that this Super Bowl reunion is happening?