Welcome to the Midnights era!
If you’ve been living under a rock or you’re simply not a Swiftie you might not be aware that on Friday 21st October – Taylor Swift dropped her much-anticipated 10th studio album, Midnights.
In doing so, she sent Swifties around the world into a frenzy.
And if there’s one thing Taylor Alison Swift knows how to do – it’s release a new album and do it in her own unique way.
Other than my Queen Beyonce – Taylor Swift is unmatched when it comes to building genuine hype and excitement around her album releases. Hype + excitement that leads to album streams and sales.
Now you might be wondering – “Tahryn, what does Taylor Swift and her album release have to do with business?”
Well wizard – the example I always use when I talk about launching, is a music artist releasing an album.
So let’s pretend you’re Taylor Swift for a moment and you decide to release a new album.
All of the steps you need to take in the lead-up to the release date to get the album out into the world and into the ears of as many of your fans as possible – that’s what launching is in its simplest form.
Releasing your magic into the world, sharing it with your community and inviting them to join you.
Now what I’ve just witnessed from the Midnights album release is that Taylor Swift is a true launch wizard. I tip my sorting hat to her.
So in today’s episode of the How I Do Content podcast, I’m sharing what Taylor Swift can teach you about launching.
Yes! This episode is all about how to create a magical launch experience. One that not only captivates your audience but also inspires them into action aka to buy from you.
If you’re in business and you’re a Swiftie you’re going to LOVE this episode – so let’s dive in.
Now I want to start this episode with a little disclaimer.
On the scale of “how big of a Swiftie am I?” I probably sit about 8.5 to 9.
I love her music and I love what she does (I mean I’m recording a podcast episode about her) – but my favourite Swift is Ellie Swift and my Queen is Beyonceé. So if you’re a level 10 Swiftie I apologise if I get anything wrong here.
I promise I’m a genuine Swiftie, I’m just not at your level or the level of the Swifties I watch on Tik Tok.
Ok now onto…
The Midnights Launch Experience
At the VMA’s in August, Tay Tay dropped the bomb that she was releasing a new album.
She did it in true cryptic fashion – and I quote “I thought it might be a fun moment to tell you that my brand new album comes out October 21. And I will tell you more at midnight.”
And once midnight came around that night, she officially announced the name of her album Midnights via her website and social media platforms.
From that moment she went ALL in on teasing us with snippets of information about the album.
As I said, it all sent Swifties into a tizz.
In true Taylor Swift fashion, nothing is just a coincidence.
Midnights was to have 13 tracks – Taylor’s favourite number and the day of her birthday.
She also released different vinyl covers of Midnights that when put together form a clock. A must-have for hardcore Swifties and also a savvy business decision when you think about someone buying one standard album vs buying all of the limited edition vinyls. That definitely would have increased the cost per customer order.
She utilised TikTok to slowly reveal the 13 track titles across 13 instalments of a series she called “Midnights Mayhem With Me”. It involved pulling numbers out of a little bingo cage and revealing the name of the associated track number.
People were SO invested! Every time she pulled a number out of the bingo cage and shared the name – the excitement and the frenzy would grow! Her fans would speculate what the song would be about and what kinda vibe it would be.
Some other key pieces of the Midnights experience included:
- Spotify revealed lyrics from songs on the album at – you guessed it – midnight, on massive billboards in New York City, London, Nashville and other locations
- A few days ahead of the release Taylor posted a schedule of the Midnights rollout (her launch schedule if you will) with all the key dates for Swifties to mark in their diaries and be on high alert for
All of this was before the album even dropped!
Midnights was officially released at midnight on October 21st. And for once it was actually a good thing to live in Perth because that meant at 12pm on Friday – I hit play on Midnights for the first time and it’s pretty much been all I’ve listened to since. FYI my favourite track so far is Anti-Hero because “It’s Me, Hi, I’m the problem, It’s Me” – sums me up very well.
And since then there’s been surprise after surprise.
From a “special very chaotic surprise” 3 hours after the official album drop (an additional 7 tracks aptly named the “3am sessions”) to the release of the music videos for Anti-Hero and Bejewelled and talk show appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Graham Norton Show.
Who the heck knows what Taylor Swift is planning next but I am here for it!
So of course this episode isn’t purely to fangirl over Taylor Swift – how exactly does this relate to your launches and how can you use this as inspiration for your next launch?
Here are 5 things you can learn from Taylor Swift to create a magical launch experience.
#1 You need a long pre-launch runway + to be well prepared
I mean this album release was planned to perfection.
Every single fucking detail.
This has been the most impressive thing for me – I’ve fucking loved it!
And it wasn’t pushed out as a quick cash grab with little thought – nope…
This was 2 months of a public pre-launch runway (yes 2 months!). You can imagine the behind-the-scenes prep and planning in the lead-up to this. I wish I could’ve been in one of those early album release planning sessions. That’s my idea of a good time.
Not only did she spend 2 months building genuine hype + excitement – Tay Tay came prepared.
She was not making shit up as she went. She was clear on the vision, the goal and the steps she needed to execute the plan.
This leads nicely to the next thing you can learn from Tay Tay and that’s…
#2 Be clear on your messaging and market on multiple channels
Taylor Swift always nails her messaging.
Each album has its own unique messaging.
The reason I refer to it as an “era” is because everything she does when promoting each album embodies the messaging of them – Midnights was no exception.
According to Swift, Midnights is the story of “13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life.”
The songs, written during the hours in the night when Swift should have been asleep, resulted in a collection that she says is “a journey through terrors and sweet dreams.”
This messaging then guided everything that came after it because messaging underpins EVERYTHING.
Your messaging comes BEFORE choosing what content to create. It’s the essence of your offer and how to communicate it through your content. Your content is the vehicle for your messaging.
And speaking of content – use multiple channels to market your offer.
For the Midnights launch Taylor really said I’m going to be everywhere. She utilised:
- YouTube Shorts
- Collaborated with Spotify, Amazon Prime, Pat McGrath just to name a few
- Appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Graham Norton Show
You quite literally had to be living under a rock to NOT know about Midnights.
Taylor Swift always nails her messaging and marketing!
Ok onto the next thing Taylor always focuses on and you definitely should too – and that’s
#3 Have fun and sprinkle your unique blend of magic EVERYWHERE
There are zillions of other music artists in the world and there are new album releases every single fucking day.
But no one quite like Taylor Swift.
And instead of trying to fit herself into a box and be the “perfect pop star” – which is something she does refer to in her songs – because she’s also an amazing storyteller who uses her lived experience to fuel her creativity
She embraces her unique blend of magic.
When she has people telling her she should more pop, more country to stop making songs about her ex-boyfriends – she stays true to who she is.
And to many critics (mostly men) the way she launches her albums is “too much” or “too over-the-top” but you can tell she is having fun and this is how she channels her creativity.
Don’t be afraid to share your magic because you’re worried people will judge you.
There will be people who judge you anyway and trust me when I say there are people out there who need to experience your unique blend of magic – your people.
This is exactly what Taylor Swift does so well – and that’s to…
#4 Think about your customer or client experience
As I shared at the start of this episode – hardcore Swifties are magical humans.
They embrace Taylor Swift as their Queen and they thrive off these album releases.
And Taylor Swift plays to her audience very well.
She creates magical launch experiences for her fans. And in turn they go down all the rabbit holes and work themselves into a frenzy.
Taylor Swift takes great joy in embedding clues, hints and puzzles (Easter eggs if you will) into her music, social media posts and comments she makes.
Finding Easter egg clues has become a favourite pastime for Swifties – some of the theories I’ve seen since she announced the release of Midnights have been pretty crazy but enjoyable to watch nonetheless.
But it’s this fanbase that has turned Taylor Swift into one of the biggest music stars in the world (if not the biggest). It has seen her break records, win awards, and sell-out tours – which ultimately means people know her, like her and trust her enough to buy what she’s selling.
Without these raving fans, none of this would be possible.
So this is your reminder that not everything is about you in your business – remember those people in your community who love you and what you do.
Whether it is they like all your posts or buy everything you’re selling – you’re in business to serve them.
So when you’re launching your offers, think about them too.
Ok the final thing you can learn from Taylor Alison Swift is…
#5 Your launch doesn’t end on the day you release the album
On October 21 Tay Tay could’ve hit that launch button and sat back and waited for Swifties to do their thing.
I mean she’d given them enough information in the lead-up and now Midnights was out in the world, there was nothing left for her to do right? WRONG!
You still need to show up and share the shit out of your offer – you have to be proactive.
Putting your offer on your website is not a launch.
Neither is sharing one single post or email about it.
And if you’re stumped as to why no one is buying your offer – be honest how much are you really sharing about it during your launch?
Did you know that Megan Trainor and Carly Rae Jepsen ALSO released new albums on October 21? Not to mention the at least 20 other albums also released on that date.
The same happens in business. People are launching offers every single day. There’s content being shared every single moment.
If you sit back and cross your fingers and hope your offer gets in front of the right people – you may as well buy a fucking lotto ticket!
For the past week, Taylor Swift has been everywhere!
Her launch open cart has included:
- Dropping 7 additional tracks in the 3am sessions
- Releasing 2 music videos
- Appearances on talk shows
- Consistent content across multiple channels
- Engaging with her fans via commenting on their Midnights inspired TikToks
Even though she has a huge fan base you don’t see her sitting back and hoping the launch goes well. She’s out there making it happen!
One of the best things about Taylor Swift in my opinion is that this won’t be the last time she launches a new album.
And you can guarantee that her next album launch – even better. Because she launches, she listens to her fans and she makes improvements or upgrades for next time.
This isn’t a quick cash grab either. This is her creative process and how she channels it and then incorporates her launches into it so she can share her unique blend of magic with the world.
You gotta respect that.
And that’s why she is a true launch wizard – someone who you can learn a lot from.
Now of course I understand that we’re not global superstars like Taylor Swift but I hope that today’s episode has given you some inspiration for your next launch. To take what you’ve heard and apply it in your own unique way.
I know I will be!
Sign up for the Launch Wizard Intensive Day
And if you’re planning to launch in 2023 and want the support of a real-life launch wizard (me not Taylor Swift) – you can book a Launch Wizard Intensive Day and together we’ll map out your own Midnights style launch plan (including strategy, messaging, content and sales).
You’ll finish the intensive with your own personalised repeatable launch process that you can replicate for ALL your 2023 launches and beyond.
Snap up the last remaining spot at the special launch price here. Once that spot is gone – the price goes up!
And that’s it for today’s episode of the How I Do Content Podcast. I do hope you enjoyed today’s episodes – whether you’re a Swiftie or not.
Come on over to my Instagram @thesocialbolt and let me know what you thought and what your favourite song from Midnights currently is.