A few weeks ago, I wrote about Will Ferrell and how he’s helping drive his career success by reaching out and connecting with his fans. Most recently, he’s done this by doing interviews in character (as Ricky Bobby, the NASCAR driver in his latest movie).
His fans love this.
It’s fun. It’s entertaining. And it’s consistent with why he’s a comedic movie actor. He really loves what he does. And he loves entertaining people.
It works for Ferrell because he continues to focus on his customer. He remembers he’s there for them. Not the other way around.
But the country ladies called the Dixie Chicks clearly do not think this way.
They think it’s about them.
When they mix too much of their personal views and political messages in with their music, they take the focus off their customers. They started this in 2003 and they’re doing it again. Their words and actions are all about them.
And their fans are letting them know how they feel about being placed second.
The ‘chicks’ have had to cancel numerous concert dates this year. They’re routinely performing to crowds of under 10,000 people in venues that hold twice that many.
Many radio stations refuse to play their recent songs.
They’ve taken a big financial hit because a lot of fans have stopped showing up to see them.
All because they started putting themselves ahead of their customers.
What they forget is their job and their business is to entertain people. As musicians and performers, their business is to make music for their customers.
When they do that, they’re focusing on their customers. And they’re good enough that their customers will support them.
But, when they focus on themselves, they lose customers. And they should.
Whether we’re entertainers, business owners or employees, our jobs are to serve our customers. We need to put them first. We need to focus on what our customer want, when they want it and how they want it. We need to help them get the outcomes they want.
We don’t need to take their time telling them about our political views. That’s not what they come to us for.
I understand we all have rights to our own opinions. That’s part of being human. And we have a right to express them. That’s part of living in a free society.
But having the right to do something doesn’t mean you should.
As the saying goes, discretion is often the better part of valor.
And as we manage our businesses and careers judicious use of discretion can help us accomplish our goal of serving our customers rather than chasing them away.
My advice to the Dixie Chicks:
1. Check your ego at the door.
2. Take a lesson from Will Ferrell and start focusing on your customers.
Your fans will thank you again and again.