Your subway slowly screeches to a halt and the doors cannot open fast enough. You are late, and the hustle and bustle of the morning commute is wearing at your nerves and at this point you would rather eat broken glass than spend another second in this sardine can on tracks. At long last the doors of the subway car open and the air in the subway tunnel is just as pungent and stale as the air inside the car, but you can see the station lights at the top of the stairs and so you break for it.
At the top of the stairs you find something different. Something that you have not seen before. There is a man in a pair of jeans and a baseball cap playing the violin. The sound is so full and illustrious, and surprisingly the subway station plays incredibly to the acoustics of the musician. The violinists plays with great passion, pulling his bow across the strings of the instrument and every part of his body seems to be illustrating the story of the song he plays. But, you are running late and have absolutely no time to hang out and watch this guy jam on a violin. You think about throwing him a couple bucks but you only have $20’s out of the ATM and don’t want to make change out of his violin case, so you blast past him and continue on your way to work with out ever giving him a second thought.
What you didn’t realize however was that you had not just passed by your run of the mill street musician playing a hammy down fiddle, looking for the extra coin in your pocket, but rather one of the worlds most revered violinists of all times, Joshua Bell playing his $4 million Stradivarius violin.
Not too long ago a friend of mine told me of the Washington Post article Pearls Before Breakfast. The article is about an experiment done in partnership with Joshua Bell where they actually play out this scenario. Bell takes his $4 million violin and begins to play at the top of a set of stairs in a Washington DC subway station, while hidden cameras record how many people even notice. The experiment goes on for about an hour and over 1000 people pass by, most of them not even giving Bell a second look. Little did the subway patrons know was that Bell had just held a concert at the Library of Congress a few nights prior where it is estimated that his earning were somewhere around $100 per MINUTE, and that dignitaries from all of the world would travel to come see him live in concert. Despite his incredible display of talent only 1 person recognized him.
So why am I telling you this? The point is that even if you are the best in the world at what you do your venue and presentation matter. As a business owner, or speaker, or technician of any craft if you want to be noticed you need to do at least 3 things.
1. Choose an appropriate venue. (LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION)
No one noticed Joshua Bell’s extraordinary talent in the subway station because they were experiencing his masterfulness out of context. Because there was no indication that what he was doing was incredible, no one realized how incredible it was. So if you want to break a world record, or sell an extraordinary product, you should know your worth, and do it in a venue that is worthy of what you are selling.
2 . Never underestimate the power of marketing.
We live in a time where you can literally spread a message to even the darkest corners of the earth. If you are doing something that you think is worthy and you want it noticed, then you need to be ready to put in the work to spread the word either by mouth, or by getting it out on social media outlets. Also, don’t be afraid to use Facebook dark posts to let people know what you are doing. Facebook is an excellent tool to ensure that your great product or service or event is presented to the right people.
3 . Create value by limiting access.
It is no secret that the wealthy and privileged get first dibs on the good stuff. We have seen it time and time again. Refrigerators, cell phones, cars etc… the elite always get these items first, and then later they are mass marketed and sold to the general public. Market your product or service the same way by selling only a select number of memberships to your service, or a small number of units of your product, so people are willing to pay top dollar. Once your product or service is popular amongst the elite, everyone else will be standing in line waiting for their chance to get some of the good stuff. Consider how Joshua Bell was able to charge $100 per minute when he performed at the Library of Congress, but could not even convince people to drop a few dollars in his violin case when everyone had access to his live music for free.