Business Tips from Mean Girls

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In today’s blog—I’m gonna break down what you can learn about website design & marketing from Mean Girls.

You’ll learn:

  • The recipe for ending up in your ideal client’s Burn Book (aka. what you don’t want) 📖
  • Why you shouldn’t have the same branding as your industry peers so you can stand out 👛
  • That your ideal clients don’t have ESPN & need things spelled out clearly on your website 🌧️
  • If butter is a carb or not 🧈

(Never watched Mean Girls before or need a refresh? Click here, here & here for the summaries.)

(For the record I haven’t *actually* seen the 2024 version of Mean Girls yet—and TBH I’m probably not going to *shrug*)

Let’s start with the marketing & launch for Mean Girls.

Based on a parenting book from 2002 the OG Mean Girls premiered in April 2004 (the 20th anniversary is this year 🎉)—followed by Mean Girls 2 in January 2011 & the new “musical” version in January 2024.

It was originally going to be called Homeschooled (It just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?)—which is a lesson in itself on how naming movies & rather offers in your business can be important.

It’s best known for its iconic quotable lines—like “That is so fetch!” or “She doesn’t even go here!”. And October 3rd is the official Mean Girls Day based on one of the lines in the movie.

^^^ And this is an example of why adding personality-packed copy is vital for your business.

Contrary to popular belief—people will read your website copy & social media captions, but they’ll be skimming. And they won’t even skim if your copy is boring.

You probably don’t need to (and shouldn’t) create catchphrases & one-liners to make your copy personality-packed—BUT you should add your personality in the word choices you use & the tone of your writing.

^^^ And your branding & website design shouldn’t be boring either.

While the OG Mean Girls was a success, being called one of the most quotable movies of all time—when it comes to the “sequel” in 2011 & “musical” released this year…

Let’s just say almost everything went downhill with marketing & quality 🫠

I hadn’t even heard that there was a Mean Girls 2 until recently. I’m surprised Disney didn’t try & promote it (even though it was made by a different company) considering how many of their actresses that had gotten their start on Disney Channel were in the film #missedoppurtunity

I couldn’t find any evidence of Mean Girls 2 being marketed & the quality of the movie is like maybe a 2 out of 10. TBH it might be the WORST movie ever made (so if you haven’t seen it yet—you’re not missing anything)—especially when you compare it to the OG.

^^^ And I have a theory as to why it was so bad is…

In Mean Girls 2 the main character is really the guide in the story when the hero is the secondary best friend character—that combined with the fact that the mean girls aren’t even that mean, makes for a terrible movie.

^^ And the same problem can happen with your content if it isn’t focused on your ideal client’s problems & desires.

Now fast forward to this year & the release of the musical version of Mean Girls & it’s a mixed bag in the marketing success area…

The marketing team did a decent job of gathering social media buzz about the movie—hyping people up to go watch it in theatres, exactly what you should do before a movie premiere.

BUT the problem lies with what they didn’t include in the marketing for the 2024 Mean Girls…

They didn’t market the movie as a musical *facepalm*

To try & appeal to a broader audience they didn’t include in any of the promos for the movie that it was going to be a musical. <<< Much to the surprise of the people who bought tickets to see it & suddenly the characters in the movie start singing.

I mean can you imagine how you would feel if say you’ve signed up to work with a copywriter—but when you hop on a Zoom call to discuss your project, they say they’re going to sing for you instead? Pretty weird, right? <<< At the very least it’s a quick way to get added to your audience’s Burn Book.

They also, in an attempt to make the 2024 Mean Girls not an exact remake of the OG film, managed to strip all personality from the script (all of the lines that made the OG iconic gone) AND even watered down the musical aspect of the movie compared to the broadway show.

^^^ So to try & appeal to a broader audience they managed to make a movie that wasn’t wow for the OG movie or the Broadway musical fans. Was it okay? Maybe. But it fell flat compared to the iconic & memorable status the OG movie has.

And this is a great example of…

Why you should niche down in to speak specifically to YOUR ideal client’s problems & why you need to be honest in your marketing.

The fear of niching is that you’ll niche your TOO much—but in most cases you’ll actually attract more ideal clients by niching. And if you do niche your business you’ll likely still attract people that are outside of your niche—like the OG movie attracting a male audience in their 30’s, who clearly weren’t the target market for the movie.

Another complaint moviegoers had with the 2024 Mean Girls is that there was a ton of product placement throughout the movie—for brands that people pointed out didn’t even fit the type of characters in the movie.

^^^ This is a reminder of why it’s important not to add too many pop-ups to your website—because people will get annoyed with them & leave your website.

And it’s also a reminder that if you’re going to promote something on your website or anywhere within your business to keep it on brand, with something your ideal client would like or need (read as: don’t have Elf Cosmetic ads in your movie when the characters are more the Dior Beauty types).

Here are some notable quotes & plot points from the scripts of Mean Girls that can help you with your website design & marketing.

Quote: Bethany Byrd: “I saw Cady Heron wearing Army pants & flip-flops, so I bought Army pants & flip-flops.”

Business Lesson: However ridiculous it might be in the movie—social proof does sell (92% of consumers feel hesitant to buy when there are no customer reviews available). And you need testimonials sprinkled within your website pages & social media posts.

Quote: Karen Smith: “I’m a mouse. Duh!”

Business Lesson: Your ideal clients don’t have ESPN—aka. they won’t have a psychic 5th sense that will explain what you do on your website. <<< You have to spell it out clearly for them in your copy & have an easy-to-navigate website.

Quote: Karen Smith: “On Wednesdays we wear pink.”

Business Lesson: Your branding shouldn’t make you look like you’re part of a clique—and your color palette is arguably the most memorable part of your brand. So if all of your industry peers are using pink for their websites—you probably need to take your branding in a different direction so you stand out as different.

Quote: Cady Heron: “Looks like he’s headed for the projection room above the auditorium!” & Regina George: “Get in loser, we’re going shopping!”

Business Lesson: I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again—you NEED call to actions on every.single.page of your website. Because if you don’t ask someone to go check out your portfolio to see your past work or reach out via your contact form to inquire—they won’t do it.

Quote: Ms. Norbury: “Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by Regina George.”

Business Lesson: ^^^ Do you feel like this on Instagram? If so, you probably need to work on your website so you can reach your ideal clients there with SEO—just sayin’ 🙋🏻‍♀️

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