Content Marketing

Episode 184: 5 Marketing Lessons from Taylor Swift

October 31, 2023

Chasing Simple Marketing


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I'm  Amanda — simplicity-focused content marketing strategist.  I'm here to help you fit your marketing into your business.

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It fascinates me to watch Taylor Swift run her business, and I’ve picked up quite a few marketing lessons along the way.

Marketing Lessons I’ve Learned From Taylor Swift

It’s probably surprising to no one that I’m a huge Swifty. I have been since I played debut on repeat for months in my dad’s truck as he took me to and picked me up from school each day in 8th and 9th grade.

I saw Taylor live when she OPENED for Rascal Flatts. I went to the Speak Now Tour and the Red Tour. And just last month, I finally got to see her live again on the Eras tour. Every single one of her CDs is inside my car right now.

Bottom line – I’m obsessed. Not only with how incredibly talented she is, but also with what an amazing business woman she is. It fascinates me to watch her run her business, and I’ve picked up quite a few marketing lessons along the way.

Since I just went to the Eras tour last month at the time of this recording, and 1989 (Taylor’s Version) will be live the same week this episode airs, I thought it was the perfect time to talk about some of the marketing lessons I’ve learned from Taylor Swift.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

  • Really quickly, before we dive into this episode – I just HAVE to share something I’m really excited about with you. My book, Chasing Simple Marketing, is launching this July. I wrote this book for the business owner that stumbled into entrepreneurship because they were following their passion. But without that Masters of Business Administration (MBA) or background in business, they find marketing overwhelming and frustrating. Throughout these pages, I’m going to take you on a simplicity-focused journey to improve your content marketing and you’ll walk away with an actionable plan to simplify your marketing, so that you can fit your marketing into your business, without it taking over your business. To learn more about how to grab your copy, and even potentially get on the launch team head over to amandawarfield.com/book/ See you there!
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by the Chasing Simple Content Planner and you can grab your own at amandawarfield.com/planner/
  • This week’s action step: Choose just ONE way to improve your marketing.
  • This intentionality is why I created Chasing Simple Marketing: The Community.
  • This week’s book recommendation: This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
  • Find me on Instagram and tell me you completed this week’s action step: @mrsamandawarfield

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Rather Read? – Here’s the Transcript!

*Just a heads up – the provided transcript is likely to not be 100% accurate

It’s probably surprising to no one that I’m a huge Swiftie. I have been since I played debut on repeat for months and my dad struck as he took me to and picked me up from school each day in 8th and 9th grade. I saw Taylor live when she opened for Rascal Flatts. I went to the Speak Now Tour and the Red Tour and just last month, I finally got to see her live again on the Eras tour.

Every single one of her CDs is inside of my car right now. Bottom line, I’m obsessed. Not only with how incredibly talented she is, but also with what an amazing businesswoman she is. It fascinates me to watch her run her business, and I’ve picked up quite a few lessons along the way. Since I just went to the Ayers tour last month at the time of this recording, and 1989 Taylor’s version will be live the same week this episode airs, I thought it was the perfect time to talk about some of the marketing lessons I’ve learned from Taylor Swift.

You’re listening to episode 184 of the Chasing Simple podcast, and I’m your host, Amanda Warfield. This episode was brought to you by the Chasing Simple content planner, and you can grab your 2024 version at amandawarfield. com / planner.

How do I find time to create content without overwhelming myself? Where should I even be showing up in my marketing? How do I come up with fresh content ideas? Where should I be focusing my marketing efforts? What is lead generation anyways, and how do I do it? Are launches still a thing? And most importantly How do I put it all together to market my business strategically?

Can I really grow my business without spending all of my time marketing? These are some of the questions that float around in your head when you think of marketing. Welcome friend, this is Chasing Simple, where practical marketing strategy meets simplicity. I’m your host, Amanda Warfield, simplicity focused content marketing and launch strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Chasing Simple Marketing.

I traded in my classroom lesson plans for helping creative entrepreneurs sustainably fit marketing into their business without it taking over their business. So that they have time to grow their business, take time off, and live the life they dreamed about when they first decided to go out on their own.

When I’m working, you can find me working with one on one clients, such as The Contract Shop and Rebecca Rice Photography on their marketing strategy and copywriting, or helping my students simplify their marketing and launches. And when I’m not, you can find me spending time outside with my husband, Russell.

Reading in our hammock, watching GameCock Sports, traveling, or forcing our cats to snuggle me. If you feel overwhelmed by marketing, you aren’t alone. Many entrepreneurs find marketing frustrating, overwhelming, and simply an obligation. They know they need it, but they don’t enjoy how easily it can suck up their time when what they really want to be doing is the thing that they started their business to do.

Which is why I’m here to help make marketing simple and less time consuming so that you can spend less time on your marketing and more time growing your business and doing what you love each week. I’ll bring you transparent conversations, actionable steps, and judgment free community to encourage and equip you.

So grab yourself a cup of coffee or whatever your drink of choice is, and meet me here each week for love, support, practical tips, and advice on uncomplicating your marketing and business. Let’s do this entrepreneurship thing together, shall we? Really quickly, before we dive into this episode, I just have to share something that I’m really excited about with you.

My book, Chasing Simple Marketing, is launching this July. I wrote this book for the business owner that stumbled into entrepreneurship because they were following their passion, but… Without that masters of business administration or that background in business, well, they find marketing overwhelming and frustrating throughout these pages.

I’m going to take you on a simplicity focused journey to improve your content marketing, and you’ll walk away with an actionable plan to simplify your marketing so that you can fit your marketing into your business without it taking over your business. To learn more about how to grab your own copy and even potentially get on the launch team, head over to amandawarfield.

com book. I’ll see you there. The first marketing lesson from Taylor Swift is to repurpose your content. Now, I could honestly probably give a hundred examples of how Taylor has done this, but I’ll just give you three. First and foremost, there’s of course the Taylor’s version of her albums. you’re not a Swiftie, which You’re probably not listening to this if you’re not a Swifty, for being honest, but if you’re not a Swifty and you’re not in on all that’s been going on, she has been re recording all of her albums that she does not own.

So, a few years back, between her Reputation album and her Lover album, her masters were sold and she was not given the opportunity to buy them herself. So what she decided to do was she decided to re record all of them so that now if anyone listens to or purchases the Taylor’s version, they’re all called, you know, 1989 Taylor’s version, which just came out this week and Speak Now Taylor’s version and Red Taylor’s version and Fearless, you know, all of them have Taylor’s version on them.

Anyone who listens to or purchases. A Taylor’s version. It benefits Taylor. Anyone who listens to, and when I say listens to, I mean streams or purchases the non Taylor’s versions of the older albums, well, it doesn’t benefit Taylor because she was not able to purchase her own masters. So she’s re recorded all of his content.

It’s the exact same content and she’s You know, added some things to it, as you do when you repurpose content, right? Like, some of the songs are a little, the lyrics are the same for the most part, but, you know, sometimes the way she says a word is different. She’s also added some bonus tracks to all the Taylor’s Versions albums, but she’s taken exactly what she’s already created, and she’s recreating it and repurposing it for her own benefit.

There’s also the tour documentaries that she’s created. They record her on tour. She’s already putting on the show, and so they’re just recording her, putting on the show that she’s already doing, and taking it, and instead of only being able to see the tour live, you can also watch it at home. So there’s another way to view the tour.

Now, Even outside of the Taylor’s version of it all, she also creates multiple versions of each album. Now so more than ever, but she’s always done this. Way back before, you know, the internet was quite so big, and internet shopping was quite so big. I can remember specifically, every time a new CD launched, I would go to Target, because the Target version always had at least one extra song on it.

And so there were the targeted version, but there was also the regular version. And now, of course, she puts out many different versions of every album, so much so that I can’t keep up. But with the Midnight’s album, there were so many different versions, you could turn them into a clock if you purchased all of them.

She’s got at least four versions of 1989 coming out, and probably more than that. And so she’s taking the same album, it’s the exact same content, and she’s just Making it look a little different and so taylor is constantly repurposing her content and she’s repurposing content that she’s selling even And you can do the same take content that you have already created And repurpose it reuse it in different ways in different places Take your long form content your blog your podcast your youtube videos turn them into email newsletters Turn them into five six seven different social media posts Reuse that same content that you’ve already created so that you don’t have to spend a bunch of time creating more content and work smarter, not harder when it comes to your content and reuse it as much as you can.

The second marketing lesson from Ms. Swift is creating hype before a launch. It is very rare for Taylor to completely surprise us with anything. Folklore was a huge surprise when it dropped, but for the most part, theories are rampant leading up to a launch because of easter eggs. So if you follow TikTok and SwiftTok, as they call it, You’ll see these theories popping up on your free page, and people have all kinds of little connection points because Taylor herself has said, Oh yeah, I leave tons of easter eggs for my fans so that they can figure things out.

And people come up with some wild theories. I’ve gotta be honest, I’ve stopped paying attention to them because they’re, they’re so out there, and honestly, it just spins me up and gets me excited and then I get disappointed. But, I do notice, That, when something is going to drop, when something is for real about to happen, I start getting way more of those on my For You page because so many more people are connecting dots and it’s not just random theories being thrown out there.

And so, it’s pretty obvious when something new is about to happen, not to mention her Easter eggs become more and more and more obvious. For example, on the heiress tour. The night before Speak Now Taylor’s version was announced, all of the light up bracelets that everyone gets, at the end of the show, they all turned purple.

Whereas for most of our shows, they just kind of flash some rainbow colors at the end of the show. The night before 1989, Taylor’s version was announced. Everyone’s at the end of the show lit up blue. And so, those were very, very obvious Easter eggs that, hey, something is coming, and we’re pretty sure we know what it is because Taylor links her eras with specific colors, right?

And so, it’s very rare for her to surprise us with anything. We all have a pretty good idea that something is coming, and usually what it is that’s coming as well. Because she creates hype before lunch. These Easter eggs, they’re not an accident. It’s to get people talking and to get them ready so that when, hey, I announce 1989 Taylor’s version, you’re ready and you’re ready to purchase right now.

Hey, 1989 Taylor’s version is available and there are four different CDs that you can go grab on the website right this second. And boom, things sell out like crazy. And so how do you create hype before lunch? Well, you want to talk about what you’re creating ahead of time. You probably should not be as subtle with your easter eggs as Taylor Swift is.

We don’t have that luxury, right? But back in episode 180, I talked about the launch of my book and why it was so successful despite having an awful launch week. One of the worst launch weeks. No, definitely the worst launch week of my entire career and yet the book launch was such a success anyways, and that all came down to creating hype.

And I talk about that in that episode, but basically make sure you talk about what it is that you’re creating from the time you start creating it. Because what you do is you create hype and you plant those seeds so that when it comes time to purchase, people have already thought about it and they’re ready to go.

That is one of the biggest mistakes I see with launching is people who don’t share about the offer and the launch until it’s time for the launch and no one’s ready for the actual purchase. So, plant those seeds ahead of time and create hype before your launch, just like Taylor Swift. The third marketing lesson from Taylor is all about storytelling and authenticity.

Way back when, at the very first album she put out, she used to leave these Codes in the lyrics. And so the lyrics in the lyric book, they would all be lowercase, but random letters would be uppercase. And what I ended up figuring out and what you know, again, this is long before TikTok and people could tell you about these things.

What I ended up figuring out is that the words that were uppercase, they were uppercase in a specific order. And when you wrote them all down, there was a code, and she would say something about that song in those lyrics. And so, The songs themselves, it’s all storytelling, right? But then within those codes that she left us, she gave us an even deeper peek into what the song was about or who the song was about.

And We love trying to decode who a song is about. People are constantly, Oh, but it could be about this person. It could be about this person. And we love it because it builds that connection. It builds that relationship and that, that emotional relationship web, even though we don’t know these people. But we love the storytelling aspect and the, Oh, this is what happened from her point of view.

And we love storytelling. It’s also so authentic because she writes about, you know, times where she was hurt, but also where she’s hurt others. It also builds an emotional connection, actually hearing her stories. It’s not just, oh, I’ve also been in this place, but it’s also, wow, she’s being really vulnerable and sharing about something that went down for her.

And even if I didn’t experience that, although a lot of what she writes about are things that we’ve all experienced, but even if you haven’t, it’s really easy to connect with it because you know, it’s her actual viewpoint of what happened. And then of course we’ve got the documentaries that she puts out where that that is a whole storytelling behind the scenes peek at her life and what she’s thinking outside of music and what’s going on and so she embeds storytelling into everything that she does from her easter eggs to her songs to the documentaries that she’s been putting out.

There’s storytelling throughout all of that and that storytelling builds that connection and makes us feel like we And the same is true for your content. You want your content to tell stories. Share bits and pieces of who you are. You don’t have to share everything. Taylor Swift has not shared everything with us, right?

She’s given us specific peeks into her life. Share bits and pieces of your life, though. Tell stories. Tell people what’s going on in your life. I mean, this whole episode right here, the fact that I’m talking about. Marketing listens from Taylor Swift and how much I love Taylor Swift. If you’re listening to this, you probably also love Taylor Swift, and that builds a connection between the two of us.

There’s storytelling, there’s connection, there’s relationship building here, right? So add storytelling, things that you love, things that are happening to you that you’re willing to share about. Add all of that in to your content and it makes it so much easier for people to connect. Another example of this is, um, My sales page for content batching bootcamp that whole page and honestly all of the marketing around that course is about the fact that I used to stay up so late trying to get blog posts written when I didn’t feel like it, but I don’t just say, hey, I used to stay up late.

It’s I was staring at a blinking cursor on a blank page trying to figure out what to write. Knowing that it was late and that I was losing time to sleep and I had to get up in the morning to go teach preschoolers and I was exhausted, but I knew I needed to get this out there and I had this conflict of do I just go to sleep and give up or do I sit here and try to put something out even though I know it’s not going to be good.

You know, it’s not as simple as just I didn’t know what to say and I stayed up really late trying to figure it out and then I didn’t get content out. It’s this whole story that I’ve told and it just adds so much dimension to what it is that my marketing is about and what it is that I’m, you know, helping to offer someone.

Hey, I can help you get out of this place and I’ve been there. This is authentic. I have a whole story and I can tell you about it and it builds that connection. So make sure you’re adding storytelling and authenticity into your own marketing as well. The fourth marketing lesson from Taylor Swift is relationships are so important.

Taylor Swift builds relationships with her fans through the storytelling and the authenticity, right? But also she’s done things like secret sessions in the past where she’s invited a select handful of fans to her home to hear an album before it gets released. And she’s built relationships that way.

She also does things like commenting on people’s TikToks. Earlier this year, there was a issue where she was supposed to be lowered to the bottom of the stage, and for whatever reason, the trapdoor didn’t go down. And once she realized that something had malfunctioned, she ran up the stage to get behind the stage itself, so she could do her change and all of that for the show.

And so she’s running to the back of the stage, which is clearly like a malfunction, and everyone who watches the live streams every week realized that, so someone put up a TikTok about it. And on that person’s TikTok, she commented, Still Swift AF, boy. B O I. And people thought that was hilarious. And so, she comments on TikToks, she likes TikToks, she interacts with her fans in that way, and she builds relationships with them.

She engages with them. And I want you to make sure that you’re also engaging with your audience. And you’re not Taylor Swift, so you have to do a whole lot more engagement to make a difference. But, make sure that when someone responds to you, you respond back. When they share, acknowledge it. When they…

I mean, whatever it is, make sure that you’re engaging with people because engaging with others builds relationships. When you build relationships, well, we buy from people we know, like and trust and have a relationship with. So make sure that you are building relationships with your audience by actually engaging with them also by showing up consistently.

Don’t ghost them. We’ve talked about this a number of times, but show up consistently for your people so that you build relationships with them and build that know, like, and trust factor. And the final marketing lesson from Taylor Swift, for now. If you want a part two of this episode, let me know because I’d love to do another one.

But for now, the final marketing lesson from Taylor Swift number five is that change is necessary. Here’s my theory on why Taylor is so successful. So, you know how When we listen to an artist that we used to listen to, let’s say, you know, Drake, for example, someone I listened to a ton in college and loved his music, when he puts out albums now, I still like the music, but there’s a part of me that’s like, man.

I miss the old Drake, right? Like, I think he even has a lyric about that where people say that to him. And this isn’t just a Drake thing, this is literally every artist out there ever. It’s so easy to compare the music they put out now to the music they put out in the past. And I don’t think it’s a fair comparison, honestly.

I think that, you know, we’re at different places in life and if they’re writing the same type of music and putting out the same stuff, it may not connect with us as much. And I think we’ll always compare what they put out now to what they put out in the past, and yet what they put out in the past is so connected to where we were in life when we listened to that music, and it’s different now, and so it’s just not a fair comparison.

Their music probably is just as good now, we’re just not the same place in life. But, what Taylor Swift has done differently, Whether on purpose or on accident, what she’s done differently is that every single album she has put out has been different. And that’s why there are these clear eras, right?

There’s why, you know, there’s country, there’s pop, there’s, there’s folklorist folksy, there’s all of these different types of music that she’s put out. She’s played around with so many different styles of music and every single album is different. And so while we may have favorites it’s also really really hard to compare the two and say oh well her stuff’s not as good as it used to be Because it’s not the same and we don’t expect it to be the same And we don’t expect you know, we can think back and go Okay, like for me the red air came out when I was a sophomore in college And so that always takes me back to that place.

But if she put out that That same type of album again, would I compare the two and be like, Oh, well, you know, it’s not the same. Well, of course it’s not the same because my season of life is different. All that being said, that is my theory on why Taylor is so successful. Obviously, there’s a lot more to her success than that.

She’s a brilliant business woman and she’s so creative and incredibly talented. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to undermine any of that, but I think that lasting power. comes from the fact that every, every single album, every single era is different and we expect it to be different. And she’s constantly changing and evolving what she does.

How does that play into our marketing? Change is necessary. Not only in your messaging, And how you put out your offers in what you talk about when you can’t just use the same content over and over and over again, right? Yes, we want to repurpose it, but as you learn more about your customers and your students and your clients and their wants and their needs, you do have to freshen up your sales content, right?

Your sales pages. It’s not set it and forget it with. Your evergreen funnels. It’s you’re always evolving and tweaking these things and that’s necessary. But on top of that It’s also necessary to change how you’re showing up as tools evolve The your marketing strategy has to also evolve. You can’t say well, here’s my strategy and this is what I’m doing forever I’m gonna put out podcast episodes about XYZ for the rest of time and I’m gonna show up on Instagram stories for the rest of time at some point stories may die We already see a lack of engagement on the feed stuff and story engagement is down as well.

And so change is necessary and we have to be willing to change our marketing strategy and our marketing plans along with it. So to recap the five marketing lessons from Taylor Swift, which again, if you want more, let me know, send me an email, shoot me a DM. Tell me you want more marketing lessons from Taylor Swift, but five marketing lessons from Taylor Swift, one repurpose your content to create hype before launch.

Three, use storytelling and authenticity in your marketing. Four, build relationships with your audience. And five, change is necessary. Your action step for this week is to choose just one way to improve your marketing. Just one. We can often get caught up on this cycle of, okay, well, I’m going to fix my marketing and I’m going to fix it in all the ways, all at once.

And then what ends up happening is we get overwhelmed and nothing changes. Instead, I want you to make sure that you are choosing just one thing and making a difference in that one way. And this intentionality is exactly why I created Shapes in Simple Marketing, the community. This is my membership community where if you want to learn more, go to AmandaWarfield.

com slash community. But our goal is each quarter, we’re just choosing one simple thing to improve in our marketing and we are spending that quarter working on it. We’ve got a theme. I give a resource that will allow you to take action. You get a quick 10 15 minute audio training on how to improve that one thing.

We have a guest interview where you get to come and ask your own questions. You’re invited to that interview. But then we also have calls where we’re networking. We have a networking call each quarter. We have a silent co working call each quarter where you get to dig into taking that action. from all the actionable steps you’ve got.

We’ve also got a mini mind each quarter where we hop on and we go, okay, what have you been working on? How do we make it even better? And so we spend a full quarter each quarter on one specific thing. So if you want to get really intentional with improving your marketing and making sure that you’re doing it in an actionable way where you’re held accountable and you are just improving one thing at a time because one improvement can make such a big difference, come join us inside Chasing Civil Marketing in the Community.

Go to amandawarfield. com slash community to learn more. This week’s book recommendation is This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub. This one is interesting because it’s got time travel, but it’s not, it’s not sci fi, but it’s basically there’s this 40 year old woman. Her dad, I believe, is dying. He’s very sick regardless.

And she ends up traveling back in time to her 16th birthday. And she can go back and forth between the two. And when she gets back to her 40th birthday, you know, she has to live with like what she did that changed things. And it’s a, it’s a lot of it is centered around that relationship with her father though.

And the changes that she makes when she goes back to that 16 year old, to the 40 year old and back and forth. Um, But it’s really, really well done and regardless, I highly recommend it. So this time tomorrow by Emma Straub. And until next time, I hope that you’ll go out and uncomplicate your marketing and biz.

Thank you so much for joining me here today, friend. You can find this episode show notes as well as all the resources you need to simplify your marketing over at amandawarfield. com. If you liked what you heard here today, be sure to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss an episode. And if you could take a moment to leave a rating and review, it would truly mean the world to me.

Ratings and reviews are the number one way that you can support a podcast and ensure that it sticks around for many more episodes to come. I’ll see you next time, now go out and uncomplicate your marketing and business.

Hey friend! Just a head’s up — this post may contain affiliate links!

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