Think Bigger

What Weezer’s cover of “Africa” teaches us about the power of showing up

In December 2017, a 14-year-old Ohio girl created a Twitter account with a noble vision — not unlike the Declaration of Independence, the moon landing, or the invention of penicillin: Get ‘90s alt-rock band Weezer to cover Africa by Toto.

pasted image 0 10

For months, she diligently and consistently tweeted hundreds of messages to the band, imploring them to cover the 1982 yacht rock classic.

Finally, in May 2018, Weezer’s lead singer Rivers Cuomo tweeted her back with a link to their cover of Toto’s smash hit.

If you haven’t listened to the whole song yet, stop reading this. Click on the link below. And enjoy the best 3:56 of your life.

What does a silly meme on the internet have to do with GrowthLab, entrepreneurship, or really anything at all? Great question!

Two reasons we’re talking about this:

  1. The song is dope af.
  2. @weezerafrica offers us a master class in connecting with influencers.

Imagine you’re trying to sell an online course on lifting weights and getting stronger. Your sales are modest — but you want to really scale.

Do you think you’ll land more leads by:

  • A) Investing in traditional marketing tactics (e.g., ads, billboards, pop-ups, word-of-mouth) or
  • B) Having Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gush about your course on his Instagram story that goes out to millions of fans.

The answer is the only one capable of throwing the People’s Elbow.

The Rock

She’s not the only one who was successful in getting an influencer to respond through “alternative” measures either. For example, there was the time a superfan man started a blog so he could get two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay to go to the zoo with him.

At the zoo

You might not be trying to get an early-’90s alt-rock band to cover the greatest song in the world (or a professional baseball player to come to the zoo with you), but the lesson here is the same:

Reaching out to influencers doesn’t have to be a slog — it can actually be a lot of fun.

The girl who reached out to Weezer had a unique and focused message for them: Cover Toto’s Africa.

It was funny. It was irreverent. And most importantly, it got their attention.

If you want to connect with any influencer, you need to make sure you stand out from the pack too. Be bold in your proposition. Offer them value no one else has even considered. Don’t be afraid to be weird about it.

To help you there, here are some of our best resources on reaching out to influencers who can help you scale your business (with scripts on how to email them).

Once you realize reaching out doesn’t have to be a scary experience — and that it can be kind of fun — there’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do to keep you from connecting with any influencer.

You Might Also Like

Think Bigger

The hidden hypocrisy of wanting “more”

If you could have anything in the world, what would it be? Turns out it’s harder to answer this than you’d think.

Think Bigger

How to make big money from tiny lists

Four entrepreneurs share stories of running successful business launches with small email lists. Find out how they did it.

Think Bigger

Product launches: What makes a successful launch anyway?

Breaking a revenue goal isn’t always indicative of a successful product launch. Here’s how to measure “success” in your product launch plan.