4 Marketing & Business Secrets of the Least Likely to Succeed Singer in History

He learned to play guitar just to pick up women.

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The 60’s Rock Stars Lived for Music

In the mid-60’s, while rock groups where pushing pop music much farther than anybody thought it could go — into art and revolution — I read countless interviews with these talented musicians in Hit Parader magazine.

Just 3 Chords, and the Girls Love You?

Soon after he started college, his fraternity held a party.

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1. Decide You’re Going to Control Your Own Career

When he was still very poor, and newly married, he decided to take a J.O.B. to pay the bills. He wound up writing for Billboard magazine’s Nashville edition. He got to interview a lot of country and blues stars all around the south.

Did Buffett EVER Live the “Jimmy Buffett Lifestyle?”

The New York Times ran an article basically accusing Buffett of not understanding his own music because he’s now so rich, he can’t remember what it was like to live like he did as a young man.

What He Told High Times Magazine

This is NOT what hippie stoners expected to hear back in 1976:

“You gotta be calculating, you gotta bust your ass if you want to do anything. For me, it’s like I can’t be a sensitive artist and still be out here surviving. Certain things have got to be done in order to get where you want to go.”

Buffett’s Shameful “Secret”

Once, a friend found him holed up alone in his hotel room, refusing entry to everybody else.

More Than Just a Song

In 1983, the Mexican restaurant chain Chi-Chi’s tried to trademark “Margaritaville.”

How Much is 25% of “Margaritaville” Now Worth?

An ex-manager of Buffett’s once owned 25% of “Margaritaville.” During a slow period, he sold it back to Buffett for $100,000.

Producer Norbert Putnam Grilled Buffett About Everything Except Music

When Putnam started out in the music industry, a lawyer advised him to work only with musicians who would have long term careers.

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2. Engage With, Delight, Connect With and Entertain Your Fans

Decades before social media made connecting with and engaging your fans a cliche for Internet marketers, Buffett was practicing it.

“I don’t think they’ll be long-lived.”

Even Without Intending It, Buffett Created a “Tribe” Bigger than Seth Godin’s

Although the radio still didn’t play Jimmy Buffett songs, the word about him spread via word of mouth. People played his albums for their friends, converting them.

Give the People What They Want

He once told ROLLING STONE:

“I’m not out to make statements. I’m descended from court jesters, not theologians, and I just go out there to entertain.”

Probably the most serious conflict he ever faced was when Jamaican police mistook him for a drug smuggler, and tried to shoot his plane down. But, hey, he just wrote a fun song about it: “Jamaica Mistaica.”

Buffett is Apparently Just a Highly Likable, Can’t We All Get Along, Kind of Guy

I’ve never met him, but that’s what comes across strongly in his concerts, in his music and in everything people write about him.

Good Friends Stay With Him

One early member of the Coral Reefer Band was a new, young piano player named Michael Utley. Since then, Utley has played on every Buffett album. He’s produced and co-written music for Buffett. And he’s still one of the band.

The Friendship and Scheduling Snafu that Made Musical History and Buffett’s Fortune

In late 1971, Buffett landed a gig at the fabled music club and coffeehouse, The Flick, in Miami. In its short life it was legendary, with Joni Mitchell, Dion and other stars playing there.

Take Good Care of Your Fans (Even If They Don’t Appreciate It?)

Buffett’s original fans are, like him, no longer young by the calendar.

Keep Recruiting New Fans

I worried whether enough members of Medium would even know who Buffett was, or care, to make writing this story worthwhile.

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3. Have Something to Say Even Though You’re Not a Theologian

Tell stories.

Buffett DOES “Make Statements,” but Without Hostility and Self-Righteousness

Quite a contrast to most of American culture, which is increasingly divided.

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4. Survive

Some would no doubt argue with this.

Don’t Retire is the Flip Side of Don’t Die Young

Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane said, “All rock-and-rollers over the age of 50 look stupid and should retire.”

“Retire? To what?”

When interviewed for Vice, Buffett also quoted football coach Don Shula:

“Don’t ever stop. Retirement ain’t what it’s cracked up to be. There are only so many golf tournaments and chicken dinners. After that it gets real fucking boring.”

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Copywriter, financial writer, editor & unconventional thinker. Check out Income Investing Secrets newsletter https://incomeinvestingsecrets.substack.com/about

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