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What Jennifer Lawrence Has Taught Me About Marketing Strategies

What Jennifer Lawrence Has Taught Me About Marketing Strategies

As a marketer, I’m always looking beyond the typical business and marketing circles for ideas and inspiration. And celebrities and the entertainment industry can certainly provide great ideas for marketing dos and don’ts. They know how to create a buzz, deal with being in the public eye (or not) and everyone can take a lesson from their favorite celebrities.

Since Jennifer Lawrence burst onto the scene in Winter’s Bone, (which earned her a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2011) she has become one of the most powerful women in Hollywood. Not only is she an extremely talented actress, she’s also a complete marketing powerhouse.

Here are 8 marketing lessons I’ve learned from Jennifer Lawrence:

1. There’s No Such Thing as an Overnight Success

Before Lawrence was cast in Winter’s Bone, she was a working actress and left high school early to follow her dream. She appeared on episodes of Monk, Cold Case, and Medium, and then 30 episodes of the The Bill Engvall Show, along with acting in several independent films. While it may have seemed that she came out of nowhere, she’d been working steadily since 2006 in TV and film roles.

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When it comes to marketing and business in general, there truly is no such thing as an overnight success. Dig deeper for the backstory to learn how things came to the point they are at today, and don’t expect your venture to suddenly hit the big time. It takes hard work and hustle to get where you want to go – and it may take years.

2. Consistency is Key

As an actress, Lawrence is consistently amazing and delivers the goods. She also works consistently, taking on a wide variety of roles. If you look her filmography, she has been working continually since 2011 taking on roles in the Hunger Games, X-Men, Silver Linings Playbook and more. Audiences, directors and producers all adore her because they know they can count on her performance and she stays top of mind.

With any marketing initiative your audience needs to know that you won’t pull a disappearing act. It’s important that you show up consistently and you exceed their expectations every time .

3. You Don’t Always Have to Be the Lead Actress

While Lawrence is one of the most powerful people in Hollywood right now, she chooses her roles thoughtfully and carefully. She doesn’t always have to be the superstar and excels in ensemble casts, such as those in The Hunger Games Trilogy or American Hustle.

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Working in a team and finding the right support gives marketing more impact. Look at how you can hire additional talented people or team up with other companies or individuals to make your performance stronger.

4. Carve Out Your Own Niche

When Lawrence appeared on the scene, she was compared with Best Actress nominees such as Carey Mulligan and Rooney Mara. Since then, Jennifer has essentially created her own niche where no other actress is in the same league. Her star power and talent is so strong that she’s landing roles that are tailor made for her.

Creating your own niche is one of the most effective ways to set yourself apart in your industry and in your marketing. You can eliminate competition quickly by clearly creating a niche where your performance or product is so superior that no one can even swim in the same pool.

5. Stay Classy

Jennifer Lawrence is young, yet you don’t see pictures of her hitting the clubs or partying it up with friends. She understands that she is in the public eye, and unfortunately will be judged by her actions. By keeping it classy she shows that she is reliable and worthy of the accolades she receives.

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Keep your marketing classy by not bashing the competition and staying out of things that could be perceived as unprofessional or questionable. You and your organization’s brand and reputation is at stake.

6. Be Authentic and Accessible

A big part of Lawrence’s appeal is the fact that she’s so likable. Her persona is very much that of someone everyone wants to be around, she’s your girl next door, your best friend, your quirky cousin. She’s shamelessly authentic showing off her goofy side (tripping at awards shows – anyone who’s ever worn heels understands) and staying very accessible (bringing her childhood best friend as her date to awards shows). Many stars win the public over with mystery, but Lawrence does the opposite by simply being who she is.

Look at how you can make marketing more human and tap into the fact that people do business with people. If you can create an experience where customers or clients feel that your organization is accessible, they are more likely to continue doing business with you.

7. Know When to Step Back

There’s no denying that Lawrence has a well-oiled PR machine that goes to work with the release of each film, but in between films, you don’t see a lot of Lawrence. She understands that PR is best done when you have something to say and that it is not effective when you are consistently out there angling for coverage. Unlike many of her contemporaries who are out there posing hard on every red carpet they can find, Lawrence only goes for PR when it is appropriate.

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PR is a powerful tool, but you want to take a page from the Jennifer Lawrence playbook and only pursue it when you really have something to say. Focus on doing PR when you have your best news or stories to share. Your efforts will be much more effective as people will want to hear what you have to say.

8. Tackle Sticky Situations Head On

The recent nude photo scandal where hackers shared photos obtained illegally – including ones of Lawrence – was an unfortunate, but apt example of how to deal with a situation when things go bad. Lawrence was swift in her response, issuing a comment via Twitter.

Things will go wrong at some point, so you need to be ready to communicate in a timely manner as they happen. Too often companies duck and run for cover, which only leads to rumors and speculation. Have a solid crisis plan and team in place so you can deal with sticky situations head on.

Jennifer Lawrence delivers many marketing strategy lessons that we can all learn from. What celebrities have inspired your marketing strategy? What can you learn from them? Comment below.

Featured photo credit: Mingle Media Tv via flickr.com

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Published on December 17, 2018

15 Important Interview Questions to Ask Employees During an Interview

15 Important Interview Questions to Ask Employees During an Interview

The importance of asking great questions cannot be overstated. Great questions help you discover new things, diagnose existing problems, and explore how well solutions are working in your life or business. Whether you work with consultants, executives, or entry-level employees, you cannot skip questions.

Now imagine running a company where sustainability and profitability depends on your ability to determine the brightest minds and skills in the industry in a single conversation:

How do you know they’re the perfect fit for you? How do you assess their communication skills? How do you know they won’t cost your team in the long run?

You know it already; ask great questions!

The concept of asking questions isn’t new but there is a great chance that you’re not taking full advantage of it. A Harvard Business Review article refers to questioning as a powerful tool that unlocks value, fuels innovation and performance improvement.[1] As a hiring manager or recruiter, how to you get this information when you’re meeting a candidate for the first time?

Ask great questions, of course.

Without further ado, here are 15 interview questions to ask employees during an interview:

1. “What are your career goals?”

Another version of this question is “What types of problems do you see yourself solving in the future?”

This question is almost never asked and when it is asked, most questions are geared towards knowing how long the employees intends to stay in the company.

Instead of asking leading questions that would steer employees into declaring undying loyalty for the organization, ask what types of problems they hope to solve in the future.

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This does two things:

  1. It reveals the skills and interest in your employees.
  2. It lets you know what types of candidates you are attracting in the first place.

With this, you’re able to trend this data to improve how you market your job opening. And if employee retention is pertinent to you, you can use this information to improve the job function so that future employees can see their future selves in this role.

2. “Why do you think you’re a great fit?”

It is important to go beneath the surface to ask questions that make the candidates speak about themselves in their own words. However, a surprising benefit of asking this question is that you’re able to determine how well-versed a candidate really is with the company’s challenges and goals, in addition to their personal attributes.

Instead of listing off accomplishments, an exceptional employee is able to help you see how these previous accomplishment can translate into helping your organization solve its current business problems.

3. “What do you hope to learn from this role?”

The answers to this question can reveal if there is a job-skill match and if a linear career progression is expected.

As you listen carefully and mind these answers from candidates, you begin to see trends in responses that help you refine how you develop roles, responsibilities, how employees see themselves, and what they want their career to look like.

4. “How do you deal with conflict between colleagues?”

Almost every breakdown in relationship is caused by miscommunication or lack of effective interpersonal skills. But a solid indicator of how well a person communicates is how they manage interpersonal conflict.

Conflict management skills is no longer something required only for corporations who wish to settle million-dollar lawsuits. It’s an essential skill that every worker ought to possess and can make or break an organization.

Tip: Ask for a time when they didn’t get along with a co-worker and how they resolved the conflict.

5. “How did you learn about this position?”

Asking how they learned about the position reveals how the brand is perceived by the outside world. This way, you know if your current employees is your biggest source of referrals for qualified applicants.

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This also lets you know how effective your current staffing processes are and which channels are worth the effort.

6. “Why are you interested in this position?”

Again, another seemingly basic question. But when you field applications from candidates who are transferring their skills from a different department or industry, you want to know why the change was made.

What led to the aha moment? What was the internal struggle like for them? What stands out to them about this particular position? Very important.

7. “What excites you the MOST about this position?”

After establishing how passionate they are about this position, it’s not unusual that you would want to know what tasks and responsibilities excite them most. With this knowledge, not only are you aware of their sense of ownership, you help nurture these skills by encouraging and facilitating the discovery of hidden potential in your employees.

For example, a hospital nurse might detest inserting intravenous catheters in patients but jump at the task of motivating colleagues and initiating stress-reduction activities on hospital units. An office employee might cringe at the thought of public speaking but excel at creating world-class presentations.

While you can’t exempt your employee from every task in the role because they favor one thing over another, you are more aware of how rich your existing talent pool is in your organization and can utilize your talents effectively.

8. “What do you consider your weakness?”

Why should you ask a candidate what his or her weakness is when all you want is someone perfect?

Admitting a weakness shouldn’t automatically disqualify a candidate. Rather, it reveals to you how self-aware the candidate is.

Self-awareness is essential to personal and professional development, and this is sometimes a precursor to how self-directed a person is regarding their career goals.

There are arguments about the need to abolish the weakness question from interviews because it reduces candidates’ accomplishments. I disagree.

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Asking employees about weaknesses lets you understand your employees better so you can not only create a work environment that is smart, you’re able to design professional development programs that can strengthen these weaknesses.

9. “What will you find challenging about this position?”

Maybe you don’t want to ask the ”weakness question.” Maybe you’re more concerned about the capacity to perform in the current job rather than their job history.

Still, you want to know if you have a creative problem solver and how they feel about potential problems when they arise. You also want to anticipate how your employees will adjust to their roles once they are successfully hired. Self-awareness about one’s ability and limits can be observed by asking this question during an interview.

Note: This question should never be asked with a malicious intent. Exceptional employees come with flaws and this should be expected. They key is knowing whether the successful candidate is willing to be a problem solver.

10. “What additional support will you need during your transition?”

This is a very important question during the interview question because not only is the labor market diverse, the response to this question can be used to develop the orientation process and additional training materials.

As a mentor to newer nurses, this is a question I repeat more than 50 percent of the time during the orientation period. The responses I get provide me with insights into what employees really consider as constraints so that I can make their transition as smooth as possible.

11. “What qualities do you desire in a leader or manager?”

Not everyone desires a manager who provides direction while giving you free rein to make your job your own. At the same time, some employees might prefer a manager who is detail-oriented and provides all the answers.

Knowing this before a candidate is hired can prevent conflict arising from differences in communication or management styles.

12. “What do you do if you don’t agree with your manager’s decisions?”

Conflict not only happens between employees. According to a study of conflict in the Canadian workforce,[2] about 81 percent of people leave the organization as a result of conflict.

The purpose of this question is to determine how adaptable an employee is to different communication styles, what they consider deal breakers, and how they model desired behavior when conflict arises.

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The responses to this question allows you to manage expectations and an indication for leaders to continuously work on their communication and conflict management skills.

13. “What would make this company an amazing place to work?”

Maybe you can’t provide free lunches or paid hours of free time at work like bigger companies. But answers to this question can reveal a lot about what employees think is crucial to well-being.

In a study of nearly 17,000 employees,[3] it was noted that an increase in stress level is directly correlated to workplace injury. While this interview won’t eradicate organizational constraints or stressors, feedback from candidates and employees on what makes a company a great place to work is the perfect place to start.

14. “What other questions do you have for me?”

Although this is a conversation to determine the best fit for your team, company, or organization, the interview goes both ways. Yes, you are also being scrutinized by your interviewee.

The purpose of this question is to create space to answer the candidate’s questions about your organization. You also get to provide insight on processes, expectations, team culture, and information that isn’t readily available on the company website.

15. “Tell me about yourself”

If everything else seems too much, lead with this timeless question. You simply cannot go wrong here.

Sometimes, the best answers come from open-ended queries. This is your best chance to know the candidate’s history, career accomplishments, and get a feel for their career goals all at the same time.

It is less intrusive and leading with this question makes it easier to approach other questions––depending on how sensitive the position is.

The Bottom Line

Conversation is a two-way street. Good questions can give you great insights into the value an employee can bring to your company. But there is an art and science to asking questions.

While you won’t become an expert right off the bat, these questions provide a good foundation to start from if you want to attract and retain top talent in your organization.

More Resources About Job Interview

Featured photo credit: Drew Beamer via unsplash.com

Reference

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