Even though I am not a card-carrying member of the Beyhive, she and her marketing team are bad and I would be remiss if I didn’t devote some time highlighting the business and money lessons that Beyoncé recently taught us with the upcoming launch of her "Formation" tour.
Here are three that I’ve taken note of.
1. Give them free before you charge a fee. Did you notice Beyonce’s "Formation" tour pre-launch structure? It is very similar to what Jeff Walker speaks extensively about in his marketing gem of a book Launch. In it, Walker talks about turning the normal sales page on its head. Instead of writing long suggestive prose in a letter or note, Walker decided to convert the sales experience into a several day experience. With the Launch strategy, you provide potential customers will a lot of free high quality content over the course of five to seven days before pitching or asking them to open their wallets.
When you provide consistent high quality free content (video tutorial, blog posts), you build a relationship with your customers or deepen that relationship with existing customers. You also establish your position as an expert in your field. And once you have loved them up with all types of juicy, useful, entertaining, and/or meaningful content, you make the ask.
Since it’s Beyoncé, who has close to two decades of success in the music industry as an expert and icon, she modified this structure by doing it in two days.
So let’s take a look at what she did.
- She dropped her video (aka free high quality content) on Saturday, February 6th.
- She performed at the Super Bowl (aka another free high quality piece of content) on Sunday, February 7th
- She notified everyone that she will be asking for money, Sunday February 7th (she drops her commercial for the "Formation" tour shortly after her Super Bowl Halftime performance)
- She created such a frenzy that she broke the Internet, with everyone and their mama tripping over themselves to write about her from their respective angle (i.e. critical race theory, fashion, entertainment). This happened from the time of the show until now.
- She opened her cart with official ticket sales on Tuesday, February 16th.
The average ticket price for Beyonce’s "Formation" tour is $432 and she is estimated to earn over $260 million from this business endeavor. While many of us will not make Beyoncé-money, we can apply this structure to build buzz, respect, and revenue in our respective businesses: do (a little) free and then hit them with the (handsome) fee.
2. The best revenge is getting your paper. This is one of my favorite lines in "Formation" because it’s true. When I was in super duper saving mode and had my sights set on saving at least 20% of my income, I had to make changes in my life. That meant I moved back home to save on rent, I frequented thrift stores, and took on any side hustle that came my way. Despite living my life on my own terms and doing what I thought was best for me, I had “friends” question why I was doing what I was doing. I was called “extra,” cheap, and all other types of comments.
But I didn’t care. I used all of that money earned and saved to repay all of my nasty, ugly $65,000 student loan debt, $40,000 of which was repaid in a little over two years. My deliberate, positive actions silenced my haters. And even if they didn’t, I was living in the lap of debt-free luxury.
If you decide to improve your financial lot by decreasing your debt and increasing your income, please know that haters will throw psychological obstacles and shade your way. Don’t worry about them, just get your paper, get a maroon leotard, and do the "Formation" dance on their front lawn and/or in their living room.
3. People will find money to buy what they value. I’ve eavesdropped on many a financial conversation about the price of tickets to Beyoncé’s concerts via social media and in my social circle. The curious thing about the conversations was that many women were not figuratively clutching their pearls or their purse strings when they heard the price of decent seats was the equivalent of one or two day’s pay.
Since they saw value in experiencing Beyoncé live, they got creative. They talked about filing their taxes early so they could use their tax refund to buy their tickets. They talked about putting themselves on a budget so they could move items on their spreadsheets around to make it happen. They even talked about selling things that they no longer used and doing their own hair and nails. And bless the souls and hearts of the Beyoncé Stans that started Go Fund Me pages to crowd-fund their pleasure.
Since I am not necessarily a part of Beyoncé’s Stan pack, I can’t find value in spending the equivalent of a car payment, a Broadway play, and playwright course to spend a few hours with Queen Bey. Needless to say, I won’t be in attendance.
But what I will be paying attention to is how Beyoncé makes her fans feel and how those feelings impact their financial behavior. In other words, what can I do to make members of The Frugal Feminista community feel that they need to come to my events, buy my products, or to write about me?
No doubt about it. Beyoncé is a business. And I love the fact that there are lessons that we can apply to our financial and entrepreneurial lives to get them in formation.