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Taylor Swift isn’t just a musician, she’s a marketer. Her fame doesn’t just rely on fancy sponsorships or advertising, but on a multi-platform, fan-based strategy.

Here are some word of mouth lessons from a pop star:

1. Love your crazy fans
2. Create your own hype
3. Earn ambassadors

1. Love your crazy fans

All fans are important — even the sort-of-crazy ones. Like most pop stars, Taylor Swift has an overwhelming fan base, not just in numbers, but in loyalty too. But instead of ignoring those extreme fans, she encourages them. There are several stories about the people she’s surprised and delighted. For example, one super fan made a video of herself singing in the car to Taylor’s new album and posted it to Tumblr. Taylor made her day by tweeting about the post, but she didn’t stop there. To say thanks, the singer also sent her a box full of personalized Christmas presents. Turns out this fan was an intern for the Houston Chronicle, and they shared an article about her experience.

2. Create your own hype

Why wait for the media to cover what you’re doing? Sometimes it’s more remarkable to share your news first. For example, to release her new album, Taylor held her own talk show with a live audience and streamed it on Yahoo. That gave her a bigger opportunity to talk about the album, answer questions, and share what inspired it — all on her own terms.

3. Earn ambassadors

Taylor doesn’t just surprise and delight her fans with gifts, she also helps them become bigger fans and even ambassadors by making them a part of her work. She brought in fans from social media to be a part of her live-streamed album announcement, included them in her music video, and invited some people into her house for a Q&A and to bake cookies. All of these experiences turn raving fans into ambassadors — people who feel like they have a stake in her music and a bigger obligation to tell other people about it.

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