The last rap concert I went to (I’m not a concert-goer) was Jay-Z for his 4:44 album in 2017.
I bought the tickets last-minute, and was happy to get to see Jay live in a solo show for once. Though I don’t like concerts, I was OK with this one since —
1) Jay-Z is older now, no longer the hottest guy in rap — his audience is also older and more mature.
2) Jay-Z’s style was never about the kinds of things I want to avoid in crowds: drug use (cigarette and weed smoke, specifically) and aggression. I knew that a Jay-Z crowd would be mostly like Jay-Z: relaxed, cool, composed.
And that’s exactly how it was. I had a great time at the Jay-Z show.
50 Cent is my favorite rapper. The height of his fame coincided with my early twenties.
But I’ve never been to a 50 show. I’m not mad about that.
Someone told me that, at a 50 Cent concert, every audience member is extra aggressive and “gangsta” after listening to 50’s material for three hours.
That makes sense.
50’s whole rap persona was/is built around being the indestructible street thug who survived the streets and extreme violence to reach the top. 50’s music is, as he has described himself, “aggressive content” that channels his experiences and embodies public persona.
I like that content; there’s a time and place for it for me. One of 50’s concerts is not that time or place for me.
I’ll stream 50’s stuff from the comfort of my smartphone and be just fine.
I’m writing this en route back to Miami after attending the Funnel Hacking Live Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.
If you don’t know what “Funnel Hacking” is, or you’ve never heard of the company (ClickFunnels) that puts on this event, it’s OK — you don’t need to to understand my point here.
Just know this: the ClickFunnels front man (and co-founder) is a man named Russell Brunson. Anyone who showed up to FHL is surely a fan of Russell.
Russell is a Mormon from Utah who lives in Boise, Idaho. He’s a former college wrestler who has always been intrigued with sales and marketing; he’s been selling things online since he graduated university in the early 2000s (Russell is about two years older than me).
Russell has a baby face that apparently cannot grow hair. He’s a giving person whose products and services ALWAYS over-deliver based on their prices.
Though his net worth is easily in the nine figures (maybe more), you would never know it if you saw Russell. Google him and see for yourself. He looks like what, at Russell’s core, he is: a regular White dude who has his fun selling stuff on the Internet.
That’s not a diss. I think even Russell would consider that pretty accurate.
At FHL, Russell’s signature yearly event, I was pleasantly surprised at the energy of the attendees. I showed up knowing absolutely no one, and I’m leaving with 50 new contacts — all entrepreneurs, all people doing different things.
At FHL, people said hello to you and shook hands. A man paid for the four bananas I was buying at the resort marketplace and invited me to his mastermind meetup. The big-name people didn’t act like big-name people.
People were just… nice. Friendly. Highly successful, yet unassuming. Even the beginners felt comfortable telling you that they were beginners.
In other words, a bunch of mini-Russell Brunsons.
If you followed my (post-packed) Instagram stories during the week of January, you saw how eclectic my connections were.
Real estate people.
A French sales guy from Dubai.
Marketing agency partners from London.
A 20-year-old kid from the Bronx.
High-ticket e-commerce sellers.
A man who finds leads for people selling $30,000-and-up products.
Live stream video experts.
Each of these people were comfortable talking to me — not knowing who I am, not caring much about basketball (most of them), but still welcoming.
(Let me be clear here: I’m not a shy person, and I’ll talk to anyone, anywhere — “my results are not typical” for the average person who thinks you can just show up to an event and people will come running to you. That’s NOT how it works. That is a topic for a separate post.)
Now, let’s contrast Russell Brunson and his audience with another guy who has a big audience and who also — very successfully — sells stuff online.
This other guy’s name is Grant Cardone.
I like Grant and his stuff. I’ve appeared on shows in his studios in Miami, and even had my own Work On Your Game Show on his network for years (the content is still on his site today). My connection to Grant has made me new contacts and made me money (which Grant got his fair cut of).
Grant’s personality is very different from Russell’s, though.
Grant is flamboyant, showy and “out there” — you won’t have to scroll too far in his social media feeds to know what cars Grant drives, what his personal Private Jet looks like (inside and out), how much money he’s making / spending, and how highly he thinks of himself.
Grant’s net worth is over one billion dollars. I didn’t google him to know that. I just listen to him talk; he’ll tell you himself.
Some of this is show, of course — Grant is a showman; he understands keeping people engaged and entertained, and does a great job of it.
But it’s not ALL show. A good portion of Grant’s “show” is just who he is as a person.
This is not a knock on Grant — as with Russell, I bet he would agree with what I said about him.
Grant has multiple companies, too, and his own annual signature event: the 10X Conference.
I went to Grant’s event last year, held in Miami.
To say nothing of the content (as I didn’t either about Russell and FHL) let’s talk about the people who showed up for Grant. As with Russell and FHL, you don’t come to 10X unless you identify with the main character, in this case Grant Cardone.
(As you can deduce — I identify with both men in different ways.)
If I had to describe the people at 10X, I’d say this: Everyone was trying to look like they were “somebody.”
Flashy suits and shiny cufflinks.
High heels and tight dresses.
People putting “sauce” on their success to appear bigger than they actually were (I saw several people there that I know).
In other words, a bunch of wanna-be, mini-Grant Cardones. Male AND female.
10X Conference was the Instagram #EntrepreneurLife hashtag come to life.
Not necessarily a bad thing. Grant, it appears, has done a damn good job for himself and his family. You could do a lot worse than to mimic Grant Cardone.
What I want to illustrate here is how both men, and 50 and Jay-Z, all successful, well-compensated and well-known entrepreneurs, attract completely different audiences to their signature events.
(And yes — it’s not lost on me that I may have been different myself at each event — but I really don’t think I was. But then again, I’m the worst person to judge myself.)
Think about yourself, and the people you are attracting to you — your events, to your content, to your sales pages, to see you in public and ask for photos.
Those people who are attracted to you are showing you YOU.Think about yourself, and the people you are attracting to you — your events, to your content, to your sales pages, to see you in public and ask for photos. Those people who are attracted to you are showing you YOU. Click To Tweet
Not so much that they’re direct reflections of your whole personality. Something about what you say, what you do, and how you say it is drawing these specific people to want to get closer to you.
They see, hear and read you and say, “YES!!! I want more of THAT.”
Russell teaches that the people in your audience either want to be you, want to have what you have, or they identity with what you do or have done. They come closer and closer to you to get more of that.
Neither Russell nor Grant is doing it the “right” or “wrong” way. They’re both being exactly who they are. Apparently, both have hit on winning formulas.
I’ve consumed enough of both men’s material, and dealt with enough of their respective staff (the people who choose and continue to work for you are a great reflection of you, as well) over years to know that neither guy is putting on a front.
And, I think both guys, if asked, would be happy with the tribe they’ve built. It’s exactly what they want around them.
Look at the people who are coming closer and closer to you — what messaging are you sending out that’s attracting this crowd?Look at the people who are coming closer and closer to you — what messaging are you sending out that's attracting this crowd? Click To Tweet
If you wanted to change who those people were, what would you need to change about you and your messaging? Reply and let me know — I read all responses.
See the following MasterClasses about leadership, connections, messaging and people —
#223: Getting In Front Of The RIGHT Audience
#1015: Should You Start Creating Even Without An Audience?
#923: How To Build An Audience
#236: How Your Audience Selects Itself
#205: Staying Authentic In Your Brand Message
#230: Your Mess is Your Message
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