Bring Immense Value to the Picnic

I am not much of a fan of Will.i.am ‘s music. He’s the guy behind the Black Eyed Peas and several other bits of dance magic. I appreciate that he hits his target perfectly. I’m just not his audience. But I now respect the man immensely. Not my photo. From Fortune

Thanks to this article in Fortune, I’ve come to realize just how bright a lad he is. He’s not only doing great work in marketing his own products and services, but he’s helping corporate America figure out some of their challenges as well. What’s most interesting to me, however, is that what he’s doing is coming to the picnic with ideas.

Most times, when someone famous is brought in to help a company, they are usually used as a kind of proxy. So, when Michael Jackson did the big deal with Pepsi, he just kept on Michael Jacksoning, and there was some Pepsi logo stuff behind him. By comparison, Will.i.am brought the idea of Ekocycle to Coca Cola, and he fleshed out the entire vision. It’s his project that Coke totally understands and supports, because of how Will.i.am laid it all out.

That’s the lesson to us. You can offer to help or you can bring an idea of great value to your prospective client or customer. One will get you a little bit of business. The other will lead to partnerships of great value.

Cheers to you, Will. And thanks for getting that Britney song stuck in my head. Argh.

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  • http://thefranchiseking.com/about-joel-libava-the-franchise-king The Franchise King

    Chris,

    Did you get permission to use that picture of his Crown?

    #jealous

    The Franchise King®

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Sure didn’t. I stole it like a stealing stealer.

  • Teresa

    Being a musician myself, it’s refreshing to see someone in the music industry who is not afraid to bring their ideas to the table. They are not just using the platform as a way to market their own music, but taking it a step further in pitching their own unique involvement in the company. Maybe this will become a trend!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Exactly! It’s a bigger story. : )

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      up to I looked at the draft which said $6586, I didn’t believe that my
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  • http://pjrvs.com/ Paul Jarvis

    I think he’s more an “entertainer” than a “musician”. Being the latter, I write music as an expression of myself, of art, of whatever conceived notions I have of “purity” through expression without filter. When someone writes music while looking at who their audience is, how it can be marketed, case studies of previous successes – it’s not bad (especially where his bank account is concerned), but he’s definitely approaching it more from an entertainment avenue than creating art.

    There’s value in both schools though, and he does entertaining very well. I just wouldn’t want to be in a band with him :)

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      I suppose. Good point.

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/ Ryan Hanley

    Chris,

    I don’t know if you’ve listened to James Altucher’s interview with Srini Rao on BlogcastFM but he talks about this idea and how he built his career.

    He would have ideas for articles, marketing, products, whatever for companies or businesses that he saw in the world and instead of keeping them hostage locked in some notebook he would just send the ideas to the businesses.

    “Hey Jim Cramer of Mad Money you should write these 10 articles. They will bring immense value to your brand.”

    He wanted nothing in return then to add value to Jim Cramer knowing that someday if Jim Cramer realized the value some how that value would come back to him.

    Add value… Add value first in all things we do…

    Love it.

    Hanley

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Agreed. That Altucher person is a smart egg.

  • http://twitter.com/mitchjackson Mitch Jackson

    Chris, by the time we’re done with them (1) the crown will be yours and (2) an mandatory injunction will issue changing Will’s name to “Chris.you.da.man” :-)

    • http://thefranchiseking.com/about-joel-libava-the-franchise-king The Franchise King

      Funny

    • http://twitter.com/TaniaDakka Tania Dakka

      Now that’s funny! :p (Hey, I’ve heard those words somewhere :-/)

  • http://twitter.com/Hoombah Great Jollyhoombah

    When you show you’ve already done the R&D, people are much more likely to get on board too. Some of the value is in not having to do all that work because its been done already.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Precisely.

  • outtahere78

    Innovation at its best. Brilliant.

  • http://raulcolon.net/ Raul Colon

    In 2010 I was privileged enough to be in an very close environment where Will.I.Am was playing during the Twitter Developer Conference In San Francisco. During his interview the day before and after he finished playing that day I clearly saw how he is very good at identifying connections amongst different disciplines.

    He was suppose to play for some time and he exceeded it giving it 100% that night. The lights where on and he kept on playing and who is going to drag Will.I.Am out of their venue.

    When he finished he said that as a DJ he was like everyone else just a File Uploader. An interesting thought that has stuck in my head since then.

    Thanks for sharing what he is doing… I honestly think that similar to Chris Brogan there are many Will.I.Ams.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Very interesting way to think of it. Just a file uploader.

  • Dave Crenshaw

    It’s really about going way beyond what is expected of you. I admire his ingenuity.

  • http://twitter.com/garethdaine Gareth Daine

    Where’s your feed man? Link please ;-D

  • http://twitter.com/OurMarketingGuy CallTheMarketingGuy

    Good article Chris. Even thought I am not of fan of his music, I appreciate his creativity. God knows what John Lennon would have done today if he was still alive.

  • http://makeextraincomeathome.com/ Felipe Kurpiel

    Oh.. another musician here! How cool is that!!
    That is awesome and I have to agree with Teresa, most musicians are afraid to
    show their own personality which is terrible. Actually, that not only happens with musicians, with bloggers it’s kind of the same thing.

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  • Brandon Jones

    Chris,

    I really like this post! It is so important that people bring value to the table. There are many people that say everyone is selfish and only in it for themselves which is true in many cases. Even if you are someone that is only in it for yourself, when you bring value to the table and help someone else out there is so much more to gain. Relationships are far more valuable than a single transaction in a moment in time. If you create value for others it will most likely come back to you manyfold. Thanks for sharing this great post!

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