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5 Things Marketers Can Learn from Pharrell Williams

At the age of 40, Pharrell Williams remains a star in the music world. Not only did he established major success in the music industry by earning 4 Grammy Awards, but has also excelled in other fields such as fashion, arts, and philanthropy. In a recent Fast Company article, Pharrell covered some of his values, routines, and work ethics that have helped him achieve what he has accomplished today. Here are 4 things marketers can learn from Pharrell Williams:
  1. Diversify your skills

    Pharrell Williams has worked in various fields during his 21 year career. He has produced music for other artists, created an urban clothing company called Billion Boys Club, and even ran his own YouTube channel called i am OTHER. This has allowed Pharrell to meet people from different parts of the world, gain new knowledge, and most importantly, diversify his revenue streams. By creating multiple businesses, Pharrell has avoided putting all his eggs in one basket. This is a vital approach marketers can adopt. We can learn different marketing tactics such as digital advertising, content marketing, Google Analytics analysis, and copywriting, to broaden our skill sets and improve our capability. This allows us to offer different services to our clients or teams and diversify our revenue streams. For instance, if one of our services becomes less popular (i.e. traditional newsletter creation), we can still maintain your revenue stream level by offering other services such as social media.

  2. Set a daily schedule

    Pharrell does his phone calls daily between 10:30 a.m. and noon and enters his studio between 12 and 1 p.m. Once he’s in, he works tirelessly. This tightly packed schedule enables Pharrell to organize exactly what he wants to work on daily, concentrate solely on specific tasks, and know what he needs to tomorrow or the week after. Marketers can also adopt this methodology to increase productivity. By setting a concrete schedule, you can determine when’s the best time for you to write and reply emails or manage your social media activities. This removes you from all the external noise and helps you stay focused on your current duties.

  3. Embrace collaboration

    Pharrell’s work with an array of global fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton and artists like Takashi Murakami, a contemporary Japanese artist, has allowed him to see things from different perspectives and in turn, learn abundantly. According to Pharrell, “you’re only as good as your team. When you envisage success, you should see all the people you work with, in addition to yourself. When I look at that picture, I see giant angels who are much smarter than me, who can oversee the things that I don’t know about.” Pharrell’s appreciation for collaboration has allowed him to work with the world’s largest stars and brands to push his career forward. Just like Pharrell, marketers today can embrace collaboration and diverse thinking. With the continued growth of globalization and technology, marketers today no longer solely work with local colleagues. They work with oversea teams from places like Brazil, China, or India. This creates massive room for cultural interaction and idea sharing, which in turn enables marketers feed their innovative minds with new, brilliant concepts.

  4. Stay humble

    Tyson Toussant, cofounder of Bionic Yarn, an eco-thread production company, says Pharrell is extra humble. Pharrell calls everyone sir or ma’am and treats a doorman the same way he treats Bill Gates. This has ultimately allowed Pharrell to maintain a strong staff team, meet pleasant people, and most importantly, acquire new knowledge continuously. Moreover, by remaining modest and having an open mind, you can also be acceptable to innovative concepts that you’ve never imagined. You can learn new advertising approaches, presentation tactics, or management styles to enhance your creativity and productivity significantly.

  5. Work quietly

    Though many companies today want their employees to bond and bounce ideas off each other, they still need to give people with an environment that they can work peacefully and diligently in. As Pharrell puts it, people have to “be quiet and absorb.” People need to work in “an extremely well-disciplined environment” where they’re plugged in and focused on their tasks. This reverse belief of multitasking has helped Pharrell work tirelessly on his projects and accomplish different goals. We can all adopt this approach by placing ourselves in a quiet environment where we focus on nothing aside from the tasks in front of us.

Pharrell is a philanthropist, a musician, an entrepreneur, and surprisingly, an unclaimed career advisor. By learning from Pharrell, you can become more organized, diligent, humble, and open-minded. This will improve your ability to work with people from different ethnic, cultural, or economic backgrounds. This in turn can help you become a better marketer, a better business professional, and most importantly, a better person.