Though he may not have a shelf full of Emmy Awards (though he has racked up quite a few Teen Choice Awards), Ryan Gosling is sure to be spotted grinning his way down the red carpet at this weekend's award show. What he lacks in Emmys, he gets back in Internet cred — the Hey Girl meme that's sparked a plethora of niche copycats (Silicon Valley Ryan Gosling is one of my personal favorites) has made Ryan even more of a hot (and I mean white hot) topic around school courtyards, watercoolers, break rooms, knitting circles, craft nights, and happy hours 'round the globe.
But tere's more to Ryan Gosling than those chiseled abs and faux Jersey accents (don't be fooled — he's from Canada). In fact, his real life can teach you a few things about building a passionate audience, engaged community, and rabid fan base. We dissect his best assets and how they can help you and your business below.
Make it personal — Ryan is not afraid to show off his sensitive side, having openly talked to the press about his personal life, respect for ex-girlfriends and the fact that he wants to start making babies. Not many celebs will be as forthcoming with these types of intimate details. He's not pretentious. He's open. He's relatable. And that makes him endearing.
Like Ryan, let your personality shine through in your business. Don't be afraid to be your genuine self - being who you are will attract more customers than trying to fake your way through some sort of made-up persona. Besides, the stench of bullshit is hard to miss, and honesty is always better received than a pile of turds.
Fight for your customers — Ryan Gosling is a real dude. He even stopped a fight in a New York City intersection once. I mean come on — everyday super hero or what!? Instead of fending off would-be attackers on city streets, you instead can be an advocate for your customers and community. Your customers want to know that you're fighting for them. That you're on their side. Make up your own rules as you go along instead of sticking to the old, corporate mentality of saying "no" first and asking questions later. In fact, someone once told me that Joie de Vivre employees have to get permission to say "no," accommodating guests' requests with a friendly "yes, we can do that for you." No wonder they're one of the best places to work ... and stay.
Keep reading to find out how getting "naked" can help you build a committed community (no nudity required).
Have a sense of humor — Ryan has been known to get seriously giggly while reading Hey Girl submissions during press junkets. He gets, and appreciates, the hilarity of the situation. And that makes him adorable and adored. For you, there will be countless moments when you'll want to pull your hair out, punch a wall, shake somebody, throw a coffee cup, scream till your throat burns, and pout like a five-year-old child in the middle of Toys R Us. Especially when it comes to nasty customer feedback. Do not let it get the best of you. Having the ability to laugh at it later, hell, even laugh at it while you're getting it, will keep you sane. You will need to rise above those intense feelings of fight or flight, deal with the situation at hand, smile, and learn from it. Your Graddad was telling the truth when he said that laughter is the best medicine, and personally I'd rather swallow that than a bitter pill of anger that stews in my guts for longer than necessary.
Go all in or go home — Have you seen Blue Valentine? Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams get naked for art. I'm not saying you should take your clothes off for your business, your customers, or headlines, but you should definitely "go all in" when you're building a company. There's no half-assing it if you want to succeed. Get up early. Go to bed late. Work on the road. Answer every email, every Tweet, every comment on your blog. Every Facebook post. Ask any successful business owner and they will tell you that this is what it takes. Make a decision to jump, and then jump. Be amazing. Your customers will thank you.
Ryan Gosling aside, do you have any other thoughts on how to build a passionate audience? There's plenty to be said on this topic that isn't written, so leave your comments below!