Learn Internet Marketing From Angelina Jolie

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Learn Internet Marketing From Angelina Jolie

Who really cares what you can learn about Internet Marketing from Angelina Jolie? I don’t know about you, but if Angelina were standing in front of me right now, the last thing I’d ask her is what software she uses for keyword research or whether she prefers Thesis over Atahualpa. Angelina Jolie and Internet marketing hardly sound like they should be spoken in the same breath.

However, that’s what you came here for and I can assure you you can learn something about Internet Marketing from Angelina. Give me a minute and I’m sure something will come to mind….

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OK! I’ve got it! Controversy! Angelina Jolie is the Queen of Controversy yet she’s one of the most popular women on the planet. So let’s talk about how to use controversy in your Internet Marketing campaigns.

It’s no secret that controversy attracts attention. Just look at the Charlie Sheen fiasco if you want an extreme example. People who’d never hear of Charlie Sheen or watched even a single episode of Two And A Half Men flocked to the Internet, the radio and the TV to find out what was going on. When Sheen lost his job people applauded and prayed that he’d finally shut up about the dragon’s blood.

And if you’re a celebrity watcher, Angelina Jolie is the epitome of controversy. Her teenage angst and rebellion were plastered all over the gossip mags. Her penchant for marrying her co-stars and then divorcing them after only a few months is still being gossiped about even though she’s been with Brad Pitt for years now. The tattoos and the rumor that she carries Billy Bob Thornton’s blood in a pendant around her neck are the first things a lot of people think about when you mention Jolie’s name.

And let’s not forget the biggest news of all – the break-up of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston is solely attributed to that vixen Angelina Jolie. Whether that’s true or not will probably never be known, nor is it really anyone’s business, but that alone has kept her – and Brad and Jennifer – in the news for years and when the rumors finally do start to die down, for some reason the flames are mysteriously fanned again.

With Angelina’s bad girl image and the constant cloud of controversy that surrounds her you’d think she’d be one of the most despised people on the planet. But the crowds just keep on loving her. What’s the difference between Angelina Jolie’s brand of controversy and the brand Charlie Sheen was spewing only a few months ago? Why does Angelina always come out on top and Charlie ended up losing everything, including his kids?

There’s a right way and a wrong way to use controversy and Charlie Sheen did it all wrong.

Marketers and ad men have been using controversy as a sales tool for years because it works. But you have to use it right.

Use controversy to make yourself look good: Sheen used controversy to make his opponent look bad and that’s the worst thing you can do. You never make yourself look good when you’re pointing fingers at someone else. It just makes you look like a cry-baby, whiny butt, tattle tale.

On the other hand, Angelina doesn’t point fingers. She doesn’t publicly blame her ex-husbands for the break-ups and she doesn’t publicly blame Jennifer for paparazzi and negative publicity. No matter what she thinks privately, she never publicly attacks her opponents. When you enter into a public battle you need to be armed to the hilt and above reproach, otherwise somebody will be there to point out your failures, too.

The best way to use controversy on your site is to simply present both sides of the argument, without naming names or pointing fingers in any way. Savvy readers will know who or what you’re talking about anyway and those who aren’t in on it will just think you’re being petty for naming names. Rise above your urge to call another blogger out.

Make sure you know the facts: Before you take a public stance on a controversial issue, make sure you have all your facts straight. Research, and then research again to make sure you haven’t missed something. There are trolls everywhere on the Web who love to find little chinks in the wall and then pick at it until it comes tumbling down.

Be gracious: Perhaps the biggest Internet Marketing lesson we can learn from Angelina Jolie is just to be gracious in the face of adversity and controversy. You know the old saying, “Never let your opponent see you sweat.” If the controversy involves you personally, just smile, nod and wave.


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  1. Holly Jahangiri

    This is really excellent advice, Steven – something most people who get “controversy sells” don’t fully understand. This is the puzzle piece too often missed by the “any publicity – even bad publicity – is good publicity” folks. You have to be brave, accept your fair share of responsibility, not point fingers and place blame, and generally be above reproach – even if you’re not – to make this work. Take legitimate criticism on the chin and don’t try to squirm out of it if it’s fair; don’t panic and get nastier than your opponent if it’s not.

    1. Steven

      I really love the idea of using controversy to get attention for your blog, but you need to be prepared for the consequences, and to have a full understanding of the ins and outs.

  2. Candice

    While you do make some excellent points about Angelina Jolie (her non finger pointing vs Charlie Sheen, etc) I think you’ve left out one HUGE factor and that is, she’s gorgeous!

    You’ve totally left out that beautiful women become icons no matter if their actions are good or bad. Listen to how people (men & women) talk today about how they “Love” Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly/Princess Grace, and on the men’s side, John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton – both handsome and charismatic. (and obviously most of these were before the internet and they STILL made the world buzz about them!)
    These people were all extremely good looking and fashionable, and so people talk of how much they “love” them, often knowing very little about them.
    No one seems to love Eleanor Roosevelt, and her vast accomplishements seem to be only known by an academic few.

    Angelina’s actions make headlines around the internet because of her beauty. If Brad Pitts ex, Jennifer Aniston, wasn’t also beautiful, the three-ring circus around the big break-up wouldn’t have been more than a sentence on the net somewhere. It’s only because Aniston is considered one of the most beautiful women in the world – along w/ Jolie – does it make it “news”.

    So while much of your advice is good, I think perhaps you should use a more relatable/attainable example.

    Anjelina doesn’t have to work at getting her name out there on the net – she’s gorgeous, therefore everyone will do her work for her….as you did in this piece. :)

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