Want more fans? Be like Barry Manilow.

bm beagle

About six weeks ago, I opened a Facebook message from my sister:

Barry Manilow is going to be in concert in OKC in April. If you don’t come, you are dead to me.

She didn’t have to twist my arm. Growing up in the 70s, the two of us wore out our mother’s Barry Manilow albums. His songs, full of drama and emotion, appealed to our theatrical sensibilities and we knew every lyric by heart. So there was no freaking way I was going to miss the chance to belt out those songs with my sister again.

I may or may not have told just about everyone I know about the concert, including posting it on Facebook. The reactions were mixed. Like me, some waxed nostalgic about how much they loved him. Others, however, just looked perplexed and wanted to know why.

Why? WHY? Because he writes the songs that make the whole world sing, that’s why!

Well, the big night finally arrived last week, and IT WAS AWESOME! He is an absolutely amazing showman. More than that, though, he connects with his audience in a very personal way. He’s having fun, you’re having fun and for about an hour and a half, the world is a very happy, joyful place to be.


My aunt, my sister and I getting ready to get our Manilow on!

Of course, I get that Barry Manilow isn’t for everyone. But who cares? He doesn’t have to resonate with ZZ Top fans or Marilyn Manson fans or Taylor Swift fans. He just has to resonate in a deep and meaningful way with his fans. Which is something he does very, very well.

And that’s why I’m telling you to be like Barry Manilow.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to appeal to everyone by playing it safe when it comes to copy and branding. But the truth is, there are always going to be people who don’t necessarily connect with you or what you have to say. And that’s okay! Because they’re never going to be your biggest fans, anyway.

On the other hand, if your messaging genuinely reflects who you are and what you stand for, you’ll attract the people you’re meant to work with and serve. The ones who resonate most deeply with your message will become your most loyal fans, and they’ll help grow your fan base by telling others about you.

In other words, you’ll have groupies! Seriously, who doesn’t want groupies?

And on that note, I have to go change into my Barry Manilow concert t-shirt.


Random question: If you could see anyone in concert, who would it be? Tell me in the comments below.


  1. Great advice that is actually hard to implement! Appreciate the reminder and I’m excited to be headed to my first Jimmy Buffet concert in early June…another artist that definitely knows his target audience.

    • Ooooo…Jimmy Buffet! He is definitely on my “must see someday” list!

      You’re SO right about it being hard to implement. I struggle with it all the time. I’ve found that a good test (at least with writing) is whether something was easy to write or not. If it was a slow slog uphill, it’s probably because I wasn’t being me. If it was easy and fun to write (like this one), I was being true to my actual voice.

  2. Great advice. And I LOVE BarryManilow!

  3. I also grew up with Barry Manilow, although I don’t think I ever saw him in concert. I love the “I love beagles” t-shirt. I don’t really enjoy large concerts anymore since my husband and I have taken up ballroom dancing. I’d much rather dance than watch a concert.

  4. Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Amber it is me mom of Madi!!
    I had a ‘puter issue yesterday and was trying to sort out my bookmarks this morning (they got all scrambled) lo and behold when I clicked here I found YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!

    I hope you are all well. We are fine. Madi is 14 1/2 and still a diva!! Just went through a huge remodel here. We decided to ‘age in place’. Stop laughing. 🙂

    I have seen Barry in concert it was fabulous just as you said. I also saw Elvis in concert. I have no words to describe his concert. Now fast forward to today. I’d love to see George Strait, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Reba and Brooks and Dunn!!!
    Hugs all around Cecilia

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