Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 10.38.08 AMElvis was one of my favorite artists to listen to when I was a child. My oldest brother Don introduced me to Elvis at a very young age. I believe it was “Teddy Bear” that won me over, then “All Shook Up” and then “Return to Sender.” By the age of 10 I had read, listened to, and memorized as many Elvis songs as possible. By 19 I had made my way to Graceland with my father and was surrounded by 60-year-old women with blue hair who loved Elvis just as much as me. To this day I still love listening to Elvis and I recently began thinking about what Elvis would tell me about marketing through his music. Below are a few conclusions I have come to.


Say “Thank You” – Maybe in his case Thank You Very Much. If I were to survey 50 random people and ask them what phrase they think of when they think of Elvis I am willing to bet 95% would say, “Thank you, thank you very much.” What a great phrase to be remembered for and what a great phrase to apply to your marketing and business. I was recently listening to Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Media (A wonderful company that I stock daily) talk about the value of being likeable. His words were, “The 4 most important words for your business and social media: Thank you, and, I’m sorry.” Say thanks to your customer, employees and prospects. Be thankful and share the love.

Connect – According to rumors Elvis died quite a while ago. But for some reason when I am listening to his music I still feel he is singing directly to me. Yesterday I was driving in the car and listening to “Old Shep“, the song brought a tear to my eye and I have heard it at least 100 times. I felt so connected to the words in the song that by the end of it I felt as if my own dog had passed. Elvis was a master of connecting with his audience and singing in a way that showed empathy and vulnerability. What ways can you communicate with your community that shows the same traits? Share a personal story, a company win or loss and be honest. I think you will love what happens next.

Tell a Story – The first time I heard “In the Ghetto” I felt like I was walking with Elvis on the side streets and back alleys of the ghettos of the deep south. He sang with such feeling and emotion, he offered touching details without telling too much. My imagination wandered throughout the song as I drew some conclusions and followed the clues he offered. The art of a good story is not found in telling your reader what they should think – but in offering your reader clues as to where they may end up. Reach up or down to their level and share with them a story that illustrates the point you are trying to get across.

What artists have taught you lessons?