Limp Bizkit & Why You Must Find Your Niche In Content Creation & Branding
Limp Bizkit. The name alone may stir up imagery of oversized pants, backwards baseball caps, rage, and the infamous Woodstock ‘99, which was anything but peaceful. So you’re probably wondering:
“What can I possibly learn from one of the most hated bands to exist, and why, for that matter, would I want to learn anything from them?”
Well, it might be beneficial to adopt Limp Bizkit’s niche philosophy for you and your content.
“I’m going to do to you what Limp Bizkit did to music in the late 90s” — Deadpool, 2014
Time for a history lesson…
Limp Bizkit’s third album, “Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavoured Water,” dropped in an era dominated by boybands like ’N Sync, yet in 2000, they nabbed the biggest sales debut ever for a rock band, selling 1.1 million copies in one week. Combined, the band sold 40 Million albums worldwide in their lifespan. They were the face of a young Nu Metal genre; a combination of metal, rap, and pop, featuring artists like Linkin Park and Korn. Limp Bizkit were naturally shunned by fans of all three genres. Too aggressive for pop audiences, and too rap-centric for metal fans. There’s even repulsion behind the name Limp Bizkit, chosen by lead singer Fred Durst. He wanted people to pick up their album and say:
“Limp Bizkit, oh they must suck.”
Why would a band do this?
Limp Bizkit & Fred Durst were identifying and targeting a niche for themselves. They didn’t want to be for everyone, they wanted to be for someone. There’s an art to repelling people you’re not interested in, while attracting those you want, and Limp Bizkit may be better at this than making music.
Seth Godin, author of “This Is Marketing” and owner of top-rated marketing blog, “Seth’s Blog,” echoes this discipline. In his talks, Godin describes marketers, content creators, and artists appealing to the smallest group possible. If your message resonates with a small target group, they will share it through word of mouth to larger groups. Avoid catering your message to the masses, because the masses are so large, with differing opinions, it’s impossible to appeal to everyone without watering down your core beliefs. Weak messages seeking approval from everyone, will appeal to no one, and you will miss your niche.
Godin uses the Supreme store as an example. While walking in New York he saw a line-up of young people around the block, waiting to get into Supreme. Godin thought they were all idiots, and that’s exactly the way it should be, because Supreme is not built for Godin. He and his demographic are not Supreme’s core audience, so their opinions on line-ups and the brand as a whole do not matter. Supreme repels this demographic, while attracting young buyers to line-up. These are their brand ambassadors, the one’s they want to attract, their true fans.
What are True Fans?
In Kevin Kelly’s essay, he describes a true fan as someone willing to buy anything you produce. These diehard fans will wait hours in line to get their hands on your new products, drive 200 miles to watch you sing, and buy every version of your book. To be successful as a business, brand, or band, you need 1000 true fans, and from each fan, you need $100 to make a living. If you are happy making a living, and not a fortune, then this is your model for success. Remember, you don’t have to hit 1000 fans, it really depends on what salary you are comfortable living on.
Unknowingly (or maybe not), Limp Bizkit followed the true fan blueprint. They were not making music for everyone; their music appealed to a niche of fans who craved a fusion of multiple genres, with a lot of anger. In a YouTube video breaking down Limp Bizkit, one fan calls them an outlet for rage, speaking to teenagers in a time where most music didn’t. Limp Bikit went against the grain, refusing to sound like any other band on the charts. They were criticized, and probably told by some executives to tweak their sound to earn a wider fanbase, and make more money. Limp Bizkit stayed true to their roots, to themselves, and their fans. This is what businesses and brands need to do to have success. It’s easy if you identify with your business or brand. Limp Bizkit was making music they wanted to hear, so you should be selling products and a message that appeals to you.
The Bigger Picture…
These aren’t just practices to be used by brands, bands, and businesses. This concept can be applied to your social circle as well. There are many people who go through life trying to be everything to everyone, and that just might be a formula to end up with no one, or unsatisfying relationships with others. The best thing to do is follow the cliche: be yourself. Be the version of you that you can effortlessly be. Show off your interests, hobbies, and personality proudly. Find topics you are passionate about, and discuss with others. You will attract those who also take an interest in those topics, which are exactly the people you want in your life. Would you want to form a relationship with someone who doesn’t share the same interests or values as you? If you are true to who you are then you will attract people who appreciate you for you. Learn this, and carry it into your business ventures.
So maybe you don’t have to be a fan of Limp Bizkit, their music, or personalities, but you can be a student of their practice. Limp Bizkit is only one of hundreds of artists who found a niche for their music, and through that niche, they reached success. Find a message that speaks to you, find people who are like you, spread your message to them, and be content with your content.
See you at the next stop…