David Letterman has had the second longest late-night hosting career ever, being only second to Johnny Carson. His show has retained its popularity, and he’s also a television and film producer who runs the company Worldwide Pants (shows made by the company include the successful Everybody Loves Raymond). Read on to find out what you can learn about internet marketing from David Letterman.
Give to Get
If you think about the model that late night talk shows are based on, and really, most television, you start to notice a pattern. The idea is that viewers tune in and willingly put up with commercial interruption because the entertainment is that good. In other words, Letterman and others like him are providing value and because they provide value, they have a willing audience who listens to their sponsorships.
Does this sound familiar? Your blog or email list should work the same way. You should provide such amazing value that people want to tune in and listen to you or read your content, and since you’re providing such valuable content, they won’t be turned off when you send sales emails or post about your newly launched product or service. When you focus on giving your audience value and making them happy, you’ll get their attention and eventually their money.
Keep Your Cool in the Face of Controversy
Letterman has had some bumps in his decades-long career. One noticeable one was his hosting of the 67th Academy Awards in 1995 – he was lambasted by critics who said that he did a poor job and that his irreverent style didn’t match with the usual glamor of the Oscars. Many of his jokes fell flat, meeting no applause or laughter from the audience. What did he do?
He kept his cool, laughed at himself, and turned the issue into something of an inside joke on his show. Soon after the Oscars, he joked on his show that he didn’t have any idea he was being televised.
Another controversy arose later in his career, when he confirmed several affairs that he had had with his female employees, following an extortion attempt. Letterman dealt with it much the same way – by addressing the issue head on and refusing to lose his temper. And he dealt with a recent death threat in a similar fashion.
Sometimes, jokes fall flat. Sometimes, someone is offended when you had absolutely no intention of offending anyone. Sometimes, you’ll get trolls in your blog comments; or you’ll write a post on a topic you feel strongly about and receive heated, angry replies. What do you do?
You take after Letterman and you keep your cool. Losing your temper, ranting, or getting publicly angry doesn’t serve anyone – and in fact, it can lose you a lot of credibility and make your customers decide never to buy from you again.
Have A Mentor
It’s arguable that Letterman wouldn’t have got half as far as he did today without he assistance and mentorship of Johnny Carson. Carson wanted Letterman to replace him on the Tonight Show and had all but promised him the position; they remained friends even though the position at the Tonight Show went to Jay Leno instead. Carson also made several cameo appearances on the Late Show.
Having a mentor is so valuable that it really can’t be exaggerated. If you can find someone who will willingly show you the ropes and let you learn from their past mistakes so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes, you’re already way ahead of the game, and you’ll find it a lot easier to build momentum with your business.