What You Can Learn from this Hit-Maker

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on July 15, 2010 in: Branding

Summer and music. They go together. Good summer music should evoke the hot, sunny days that students enjoy between semesters. For the kids, a summer “anthem” should capture everything great about the months that you spend on the beach with your friends. For grown-ups, a good summer anthem should remind us of those carefree months of yesteryear when we weren’t busy running businesses and paying mortgages.

I recently read an interesting article about a music producer who has produced popular summer hits like “Since U Been Gone,” by Kelly Clarkson, “Girlfriend,” by Avril Lavigne, “Right Round,” by Flo Rida, “Tik Tok,” by Ke$ha, and “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry. Even if these songs are not your kind of thing, you have to admit that enough other people liked these songs enough to make them chart toppers. And the person behind the music is a guy by the name of Dr. Luke. While the artists lend their headline-earning skills to these songs, Dr. Luke is the music producer who writes, rewrites, tests, and then produces songs that become summer anthems.

The article, published on NewYorkMag.com, profiles this music producer and describes the process he goes through to create so many hits. In a moment, I’ll give you a link to the article, but first I want to answer the question you’re asking: “Heather, why are you talking about a music producer and summer anthems?”

Entrepreneurs don’t want to wallow in mediocrity. Most of us want to become successful. Maybe successful enough to ease up a little on the long hours or maybe successful enough to sell our business and relax on the beach. We can look to Dr. Luke as a case study in how to become successful. Even though he’s in the music industry and you might be in a completely different industry, here are some lessons we can learn from him:

  • He has a process: He tests and experiments with different styles. He tries out different “hooks” on a song before finding the one that works. Likewise, you should always be thinking and innovating and testing in your business.
  • He has a vision and he relies on skilled people to help him. As the article says on page 3, “He hears a song before it exists, then he figures out who can best help him bring that song into existence.” Likewise, you should cultivate a vision for your business and find the right people to help you.
  • He becomes an expert, not only in his own songs but in the entire industry. He’s quoted as saying: “I analyze songs, think about what made them work, why they did work. I think about that all the time”. Likewise, you should know your business and your competitors’ businesses inside and out and that will make a huge difference to your business.

Okay, there are plenty of other tips I could draw from Dr. Luke’s success but, with these in mind, check out the article and then apply some of his lessons to your business.


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