What Lady Gaga Teaches Me About Standing Up And Sticking Out In A Crowded Market

motivational speakersAs a motivational speaker , it is important to stand up and stick out if you expect to still be standing at all in this crowded market. The internet has expanded our market reach like nothing in history. Thanks to Google, I can now lead the world to my door. And, thanks to Google, my client now has thousands of more choices – putting me into a crowded sea of competitors. With one click, a buyer has access to thousands of motivational speakers just like me.  So what’s my job? To make sure they aren’t just like me. To find a way to stand up and stick out – to be different – to become a category of one – to make them see my website and say “Wait! This one is different!” So I’m looking at people in all genres to learn how I can be different. And right now, Lady Gaga is on my radar. What a BRILLIANT example of how standing up and sticking out can make you a star. Here is what I’ve learned from Lady Gaga.

  • Different is not something you go out there to find – it starts from within. Lady Gaga is different because in her heart she is different. Branding is not about going out there and picking something that you want to be. It’s about finding out who you already are – what already makes you different – what you already deliver to your customers – and then finding a way to describe it to the world.
  • Different means being brave. No question about it – Lady Gaga is brave. And I would guess that sometimes she’s just as afraid as we are – but she jumps anyway. She acts on her ideas even in the face of fear. And so can we. We just don’t always choose to.
  • Different means trying things that might not work. And trying them anyway. I doubt that Lady Gaga has guarantees every step of the way that this song will be a hit – or that this idea will work. Dreams don’t come with guarantees. That’s why it’s called taking a risk. I know that even Lady Gaga has had ideas that flopped. And she tried them anyway.
  • Different is about seeing something that doesn’t exist. You can’t copy and be different at the same time. So you have to get used to the idea of creating something new. Fostering that muscle. And, yes, you can learn to be more creative. It’s something you tap into – not something that you go out and find. Creativity exists inside of you already. I promise.
  • Different is about ignoring the toxic naysayers. I’m sure Lady Gaga has had critics who didn’t agree with what she was doing. I know, I was one of them. The first time I saw her I thought she was a freak. I thought it would never work. I ignored her brilliance in favor of judging her delivery. Let me just say. She is brilliant. And I’m so thankful she doesn’t listen to people like me. Or the world would not see her brilliance.
  • Different is about knowing your audience. Try to be something everybody wants, and you’ll be something nobody wants. Know what audience really connects with you – and be true to that audience. Don’t water down or change your message so you can appeal to the masses.
  • Different is about breaking the rules. Yes, we should learn the rules. So we’ll know what we’re breaking. I do believe in learning what works from others who have walked the path before me. But at some point I have to come up with my own way – my own points – my own story – my own rules. If we all follow the same rules, we will start to look the same. And people don’t notice normal. They notice different.
  • Different is consistency. Lady Gaga is consistent in her brand. She didn’t try it once and then revert back to normal. We can’t create a different website and think our job is done. We can’t try one brave thing on stage and then settle into that comfort zone. Different is something we shoot for – over and over. Let’s try to raise the bar on ourselves daily.
  • Different isn’t just promised – it’s delivered. If you are going to promise different – you better deliver different. Again – it’s not something you call yourself just because you think it sounds neat. You call yourself different because you are different – and different is what you will bring to the business relationship. You tell your customers you are different, and they will expect you to be.
  • Different is relevancy. Lady Gaga is different – but she speaks our language. She address the issues on our hearts. She tells our stories. And that is relevant. And that is key.
  • Different has value. No question about it – with Lady Gaga you get your money’s worth – and more. If you are different, but it doesn’t help the customer out – then it doesn’t have value. Different is still about serving your customer.
  • Different is trusting yourself and being true to what brung ya. I fight this on a daily basis – the temptation to try on someone else’s gifts and talents. I see someone else and think I should be doing it that way. I second guess my approach, thinking it’s not good enough. What if this group won’t like it? And I have to remind myself every day: Stay with what you do best. Stick to what brung ‘ya. Improve and expand and grow upon that.

So that’s how Lady Gaga inspires me. Who inspires you? Who is your example of someone who walks the talk of standing up and sticking out in a crowded market? I’d love to know!

But even more important, I’d love to know what makes you different? And are you acting on it?


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
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Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. Thanks for bringing home for us how we can learn to be different, in a value adding way, by making concrete what is done by a pop icon. I know this advice is especially pertinent for motivational speakers, but it also applies to anyone who wants to succeed by “Standing Up and Sticking Out”.

  2. KELLY!!! You have spoken brilliance here. You have! I don’t think of motivational speakers as being so smart about branding – but by golly – they sure had BETTER be! Or at least follow every single directive you have laid out here. I’m reposting this everywhere. EVERYONE needs to read this. By gosh.

  3. Kelly, you have rocked this blog! You didn’t miss a beat, and your advice music to my ears. You are the Lady Gaga of motivational speakers – off the charts talented and marching to your own drum. You are certainly on my hit list.


  1. […] but for anybody wanting to be heard. Read more to see the lessons I learned from Lady Gaga: http://motivational-speakers-review.com/2012/02/25/motivational-speakers/what-lady-gaga-teaches-me-a… Share If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS […]

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