With chart-topping albums and an estimated net worth of $200 million, it’s clear that Taylor Swift is doing something right. Love her or hate her, here’s how the savvy business woman has done it.
Don’t Work For Free
In the week when she sold 1.3 million copies of her album 1989, Swift famously decided to pull all her songs and back-catalogue from streaming site Spotify.
“Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art,” she wrote in an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal.
Since then, she’s made her back-catalogue available on other streaming services like Beats Music, Rhapsody and Tidal. For those wondering, her latest album is still unavailable.
You heard the woman. Have some respect and put value on yourself and what you do.
Love Your Mates
They say you’re the sum of your five closes pals, and your network matters more than you think. T-Swift’s network includes famous females Haim, Karlie Kloss, Lorde and Lena Dunham, as well as (non-famous) childhood friends who the star regularly takes to awards nights.
When she was recently asked on the Grammys red carpet about about whether she was going with any men that night (yep, that was an actual question), Tay shot back “I’m not going to walk home with any men tonight. I’m going to hang out with my friends, then I go home to my cats.”
A quick look at her Instagram feed and it’s full of pics of Swifty and her mates hanging out, being silly and having fun. Social media strategy or not, she’s got almost 25 million Instagram followers, 55 million Twitter followers and over 70 million Facebook likes, so it’s clearly working.
They say it’s a lonely road to the top and even lonelier on the way down, so keeping that inner circle tight means it’s more likely you’ll have fun (and keep your sanity) on your road to success.
Winning Combo: Tay’s Instagram features a snap of her with Jaime King, Haim, Lorde and Olympic figure skater Gracie Gold.
Taylor’s collaborated with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, Imogen Heap, and now there are rumours of a Kanye West and Taylor Swift collab in the works which could be pretty interesting.
She’s also had celebrity endorsements with Diet Coke, Keds, Sony, CoverGirl, Elizabeth Arden, and a whole lot more. Her endorsements were conservatively estimated at over $30 million last year,
So whether it’s networking for your potential business, wanting to get ahead in your career, or looking for a mentor, reach out to others. Sure you might not be a huge superstar everyone wants a piece of, but you’ll be surprised at how willing they are to help.
In a recent talk for a Lenovo event in Sydney, Ashton Kutcher shared the best pieces of advice he’s received from his famous friends. Taylor’s featured highly in the list, with her reportedly telling him:
“Keep your hopes high, and your expectations low. You’re not entitled to anything, but there’s nothing you can’t earn. Most importantly, enthusiasm can protect you from absolutely anything.”
Wise words for a 25 year old, and it definitely explains why she’s just so excitable and nice all the time.
There’s something to learn here too. Working hard and being nice means people want to work with you, which is important if you want to get anywhere in life and want a nice pay cheque to go with it.
Protect Your Personal Brand
Generic top-level domains like .sucks and .porn will be released to the public on June 1 and in a wise move, Swifty has reportedly bought up taylorswift.adult and taylorswift.porn in a bid to own the sites before the haters get to them.
She’s also applied for trademarks on some of her favourite phrases from her own songs. According legal database Justia, her song lyrics have been filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, including “nice to meet you, where you been?”, “this sick beat” and “party like it’s 1989.”
What does your online profile or website look like? Start thinking of yourself as a brand and make sure it’s something you’re proud of. At the end of the day, you can’t please everybody and no matter how successful you are, haters are gonna hate (hate hate hate hate).
Main Pic: Eva Rinaldi via Flickr.