5 lessons Entrepreneurs can learn from Sir Cliff Richard

Superstar portraitWimbledon and Sir Cliff became connected a few years ago when he entertained the crowds during a rainy patch with an impromptu song. This connection prompted me to distil 5 ideas and points of inspiration that I hope will help entrepreneurs, business owners and indeed anyone in business, from the singer / songwriter journey and the music industry.

  1. Pick your market (niche) for the long game– I think it’s natural for teenagers to identify with other teenagers, and to rally round one of their own. The ability to stay in touch with that market as both grow older is not a given. Fifty years is a great achievement for a pop superstar.
    • Are you in a market niche with long-term potential? Or do you need to move with the times to find new markets and new customers within those markets?
    • There are many examples of people targeting the entrepreneurial market, initially with start-ups, then targeting businesses with high growth aspirations or potential. One of the market leaders in this niche that I look up to is Chris Cardell.
  2. Make an emotional connection with your ‘song’– writing and singing about teenage joy and sadness, love and loss, makes a very powerful connection. Having a signature song (like Congratulations!) that is fresh and original, catchy and engaging, memorable and timeless can be a stroke of good fortune, or the end product when people make their own luck.
    • Do you have a ‘song’ about your business and value proposition that ticks these boxes, and that you sing repeatedly as if it’s the first time.
    • Jon Ferrara is one entrepreneur who I feel is doing this extremely well.
  3. Work the circuit to build your fan base– singers and musicians work extremely hard, and if they are fortunate they become ‘an overnight sensation’. Playing at pubs and clubs, turning up at events and radio/TV for press and publicity work, at concerts and festivals to play all go into building the fan base. Behind the scenes there is the writing, rehearsing and recording.
    • Working Smarter may be a requirement, if working Harder is not producing the results.
    • Are you actively building and developing your following and community with the latest tools, such as Social Media and email marketing?
    • Some real clarity and fresh thinking is available from Rich Schefren.
  4. Create and develop multiple income streams – singers and celebrities achieve this in many ways, such as fees for concerts, income from album sales, money from merchandise, endorsements and sponsorship, maybe creating a business to develop others in their footsteps, and many more I’m sure. In particular there are products at multiple price points, for different budgets, and for up-sell opportunities. The other notable aspect is having products that don’t date, ones which are termed ‘Evergreen Products’. Sir Cliff has become very wealthy, as a result of success in this area.
    • Have you created, or can you create, products and services for multiple price points?
    • Have you created, or can you create, a product that will have a long shelf life, as still be selling in 3 years time?
    • ‘Publishing’ of software, training, music, and similar ‘intellectual property’ products are great examples of evergreen products, as are support contracts, licenses and memberships.
  5. A team can achieve much more than an individual– singer / songwriters are more able now to access the market on their own, through the Internet, iTunes etc. However, teaming up, as bands, with a manager, promoter, record label, event organisers, and entourage allows each person to focus on what they do best. It is also a way to move from a poor hobbyist to an income earning professional. Outsourcing tasks and activities that are not core or not where you add real value, is a growing option.
    • Identifying entrepreneurial strengths and a roadmap to maximise them can be difficult. One approach I’ve found very insightful is from Roger James Hamilton and the Wealth Dynamics Profileaffiliate link.
    • Then LinkedIn is a very good network through which to identify people with the skills you need to pull in.

If you watch Wimbledon I hope you will enjoy the tennis, and if you think of Cliff Richard maybe you’ll think of these ideas.

And maybe you can find a moment to reflect on the ideas and suggestions here. Rate yourself from 1-10 in each area might help to identify which area would benefit from further investigation.

And if you want to talk it through please drop me an email.

Mark Stonham

Business Development Director

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