Whether you love him or you hate him, you have to admit, Trump has done such a swell job at becoming a household name. The kind of popularity he possesses is something that a lot of business owners aspire to have, yet fail miserably at trying to attain. The fact is, what Trump managed to pull off isn’t an easy feat. Not many would have the gall to say the things that he said, or do the things that he did. To others, Trump’s actions are considered as political-career-suicide, however, if you look at the surveys right now, Trump seems to be doing just fine. How on earth is he pulling it? Wouldn’t you like to figure out the magic behind Trump’s actions and try to learn from them? If you answered the question with a “yes”, then you’re definitely in the right place. Let’s talk about the 10 lessons that you can learn from Trump’s campaigns.
Let’s hop right in.
1. Stay consistent.
Whether in politics, in business, or in the way people deal with others at a personal level, there is value in showing consistency.
Take Trump’s brash personality for example, even though he gets a lot of flak for it, he still doesn’t bother toning it down. He still talks the way he talks, acts the way he acts, and he still stands for the same things that he stood for — at least mostly. He’s basically the same old Trump that we knew for nearly thirty years.
His being consistent has made it easy for his audience to remember who he his, since they can’t mistake him for anyone else.
2. Stay focused.
While there are a lot of issues that the presidentiables need to address, Trump almost always finds a way to connect the questions thrown at him to some of the core themes that he is known for; which is immigration, and how America needs a leader that’s great at negotiating.
His personal brand has become tightly connected with both themes, that his name is one of the very first things that will come across your mind (if you’re from the US, of course), when talking about these topics. The reverse is also true, when people talk about Trump, they almost always equate his name and candidacy to immigration issues (and solutions), or to the brazen things that he had said.
If you give it some thought, can we say the same for the other candidates?
3. Know your audience.
One of the age-old rules that marketers live and die by is, “If you’re targeting everybody, then you’re targeting nobody.” Trump exemplifies this principle so well.
He doesn’t care if others hate him for his tough-talking and his views on certain issues, he’s not in it to please everybody. He is targeting a specific group of people (the Republican primary voters) and he knows that his words are resonating with them.
4. Don’t just adhere to the norms.
Dare to be controversial. Simply adhering to the norms won’t give you any kind of advantage against your competitors. I mean, think about it. Can you imagine what would have happened to Donald Trump if he didn’t say the controversial things that he said? If he were keen on staying within the confines of what others would expect as “normal”, he’d have never gotten the kind of popularity that he has right now. It goes without saying, he’ll never have a real chance at becoming the president too.
5. Having haters is a good thing.
While most people cringe at the thought of others hating them, it doesn’t seem to bother Trump at all. In fact, he’s even used his haters’ comments as a means to further his own goals.
Because of all the bad things that people are saying about him, the media ends up going after him to get his response, this then allows him some more opportunity to defend himself and what he stands for, all while getting more publicity.
Look, you’ve got two choices when dealing with your haters, you can either go back to your room and cry yourself to sleep, or, you can take advantage of the publicity by defending your brand and what you stand for. Choose the latter.
6. Overshadow your competitor’s. Make them seem ordinary.
When buying any kind of product, would you rather go for something plain or would you go for something that’s extraordinary? You’d go for the latter, won’t you? And that’s perfectly understandable. As consumers, we want to get as much value as we can out of whatever we purchase.
That right there is the golden nugget that we need to learn. If you can manage to shift your audience’s minds into thinking that your competitors are ordinary — while you are exceptional — you’ll have a better chance at winning them over.
7. Consider your partners.
Depending on the type of image your brand is trying to nurture, having a “Trump-like” partner can prove to be quite damaging for you. Let’s face it, the type of personal brand that he has established isn’t for everyone. It isn’t ordinary, it isn’t normal, and you could certainly end up having a lot of enemies — that is something that many people can handle.
In the same way that the Republican party cannot control Trump, you also can’t control your partner’s actions. That being said, be very careful with who you partner with.
8. Keep it simple.
Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again” is so easy to understand, that even a 5th grader can comprehend what it means. Simplicity breeds clarity. When your audience have a better understanding of who you are and what your goals are, they can approach you without having to deal with the fear of the unknown.
When people look at your brand and are having to ask themselves, “What are their motives?” or “What are they really about?”, there is a possibility that your audience might hesitate supporting you. Of course, something like that will never happened if simplicity is one of the core foundations of your marketing campaigns, and your brand image.
9. Trust yourself
Steve Jobs hit the nail on the head when he said, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” As an entrepreneur, you’ll have your fair share of naysayers in your circle of connections. Don’t give into them. Don’t let them shape your future.
As you can probably imagine, Trump has hundreds of thousands (maybe even millions) of naysayers in his life. Yet, he didn’t budge. He stuck to his guns and stood up for his ideals. If he didn’t trust himself, he never would have managed to achieve the level of success that he is currently enjoying right now.
10. Be social.
Donald Trump has millions of likes and followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Heck, he even uses Periscope and other social media platforms. Also, if you’ll check out his social media accounts, you’ll notice that most of them are updated. This tells us that even Trump recognizes how powerful of a tool the social media platforms are.
While Baby Boomers might be into watching news on TV, Millennials are more into browsing through their social media accounts’ newsfeeds, to get updates. If your brand isn’t visible on the social media platforms, you’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table.
What are some of the things that you’ve learned as a entrepreneur from having observed Donald Trump’s campaigns? Please share them in the comments section below.