Liberace was well-known for his flamboyant lifestyle both on and off stage. During the 1950s-1970s he was the highest paid entertainer in the world. That’s pretty amazing considering he was a pianist. His career spanned five decades. I just saw the HBO film “Behind the Candelabra,” with an amazing performance by Michael Douglas in the starring role, with Matt Damon as his lover. (And, yes, these two actors do kiss in the movie!)
Why do you think Liberace was so popular? I loved the movie, and found myself strangely attracted to this character. I remember my stepmother gushing over Liberace and wondering why. I think it’s because we love drama, and we love it when people are excessive.
What can we learn from Liberace about better business blogging? Although he was a master at expressing himself through music, Las Vegas shows, records, TV, and concerts, he didn’t write. Had the Internet been around, however, he would have skillfully used it in the same way he employed public relations expertise to deny his homosexuality and project “family values.” Remember, this was a time where no one was openly gay.
How can you make your business blog a little more flamboyant or sexy? Here’s how you can take away some of Liberace’s style and wisdom and apply it to your business blog:
- Add color: Liberace began his career as a classical pianist. At the time, everyone wore black tuxedos and played black pianos. He saw that as boring. So he started wearing a lot of white… then he added glitter… and then he took costumes to an extreme and added furs. Does your business blog “wear black?” Dress it up appropriately, without being gawkish. Use compelling photos and images.
- Add bling: If you have a side-bar, put some interesting widgets there. Liberace liked to wear huge rings on all fingers. Not sure how you play the piano like that, but he liked to say, “Too much of a good thing is wonderful!”
- Tell a nice story: One of the most endearing things about him was that he could tell a nice story or two about his life, his family, and about the common values he shared with his audiences. No matter his personal life, he connected with universal needs for belonging and love. People wanted to believe him. Do you connect with your audience of blog readers?
- Flaunt it: Liberace wasn’t shy about his excess shopping, and enthralled audiences with costumes, furs and jewelry. He worked hard, and made sure people knew how as a pianist, he deserved the fruits of his success. Do you let your blog readers know about your success? Your projects, products, awards and rewards?
- Reach out: Liberace often asked audiences for requests and tried to involve his audience in his show. Do you ask your blog readers questions and engage with them? Do you link to other people, authors, and other blogs?
- Be prolific: Liberace never stopped working. Do you write frequently enough? Does your blog publish at least twice a week? He also surrounded himself with talented people who helped him be creative. Do you have a team? Do they keep you on track?
- Light a Candelabra: When he put an ornate candelabra on his piano, it became his signature. It was the first time a pianist thought to “brand” his act. His pianos become more elaborate, encrusted with mirrors to reflect light. Do you and your business have a brand, one that stands out from the crowd?
These are a few tips you can apply to your business and build a better blog that reflects your personality, values, and your own style. I’m not suggesting furs and jewelry, but I do think most business blogs could spice it up a bit. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you.