Michael Franti

I recently attended a Spearhead concert produced by Wanderlust in Tahoe, California, and even though I have seen Michael Franti (the lead singer of Spearhead) and his band at least a dozen times, the experience always leaves me inspired.

After the concert, I started thinking about Spearhead’s insanely raving fan base and wondered what a small business owner can do to inspire and excite her target audience to take action.  After all, what’s the point of having a business if you are not inspiring or motivating your customers to buy your products or services?

So, here are my observations on how to captivate your target audience like a rock star:


Raving fans at Spearhead concert.


1. Be passionate about your product or service.

Spearhead is passionate about their music.  Their passion transcends beyond the stage with their high-energy performances. When you attend a Spearhead concert, you cannot help but get swept up in the enthusiasm of everyone around you. Their passion is contagious.  When your product or service spreads like wild fire, that means others are passionate about it too.  Passionate fans make great evangelists!  Who doesn’t want customers raving about their products and services to their friends?


Warming up the crowd.


2. Partner with others to create buzz.

To create some buzz for your product, it helps to partner with others. Spearhead builds anticipation with awesome “warm up acts.” By the time Spearhead shows up, the crowd is fired up and ready to rock out because bands like MC Yogi and fire dancers have worked them into a sweeping movement of anticipation. The anticipation technique works really well for the launch of a new product.  Who can you partner with to help create buzz?


Stay Human


3. Make your message clear.

If you listen to Spearhead’s music for any length of time, it becomes very clear that their message is about about hope for humanity. Their concerts often leave people feeling hopeful about our world. Spearhead sings about truth, social and environmental justice, and love. Franti clearly takes a stand against those who wage crimes against humanity and sings about the struggles of the disenfranchised. Lesson learned:  Don’t make your target audience guess at what your product or service is about. Confused customers never buy. Be very clear in your message.



Fans on the stage


4. Make your target audience feel important.

Franti loves to engage with his audience and make them feel important. During his concerts, he gets off the stage and sings and dances with his fans. Oftentimes, he will pick a couple of people from the audience to join him on stage and invite them to play his guitar. He usually ends his concerts by inviting children and senior citizens up on stage to dance with him. He always makes his audience feel like they belong there.  It’s a very inclusive experience. When you care about your customer base, they will know it because they will feel like they matter.


Engaging the audience with some fun!


5. Throw some fun into the customer experience.

You have to try really hard to not have fun at a Spearhead concert.  From the uplifting music, to the balls in the air, to the hula hoop fire dancers, it is truly a magical experience filled with tons of happy people. Who says business has to be boring? Throw some fun into your customers’ experience. In the famous words of Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” If you make people smile and feel happy from their customer experience with your company or transaction, they will remember that…and a happy customer is priceless.



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