The hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black took the world by storm last year. This comedy-drama series is based off of Piper Kerman’s memoir on her experiences while imprisoned for a year, for a crime she committed ten years prior.

This past weekend, thousands of people traded in the summer sun for uninterrupted, full episode access to the second season of the show.  While eager hands were hitting the “next episode” button on the screen, none of them were wondering how this hit series tied in with marketing. Except for me.

While you sat there submerged in the “what would life be like behind bars,”  phenomenon, I unveiled what every small business owner can learn from this jail house series.

Without further adieu, here are the three marketing lessons we can learn from Orange is the New Black:

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Imarketing-lessons-orange-new-blackt’s not rocket science – you need to know what your competitors are doing. Who are their ideal clients? How are they attracting your potential customers?

Not to be dramatic, but both in prison and in business, this can be life or death. If you want to ensure that your business thrives, conducting a competitors’ audit is a great way to discover who you are competing with, and how you can use that information to leverage your success.

This service will cost you, but believe me, if you use this information to your advantage, it will be worth every penny.

Keep your business running when you’re “locked up.”

If you haven’t been convinced before, emergency proofing your content is the best way to ensure your business keeps running while you aren’t able to be present. In OITNB, this sadly falls by the wayside and the main character loses a big business opportunity.

Make sure you don’t do the same, by having the following in place:

– Creating an editorial calendar in a project management site, like Basecamp or Podio. This will keep all of your tasks in one place, and help other team members pick up where you left off, if needed.

– Scheduling your email marketing and creating autoresponders – Mailchimp and Aweber both offer scheduling options.

– Scheduling your social media – I recommend using BufferApp for day to day scheduling, and Hootsuite for promotional tweet scheduling.

– Create your content in batches –  Choose one or two days per month to dedicate to your content creation. This can be your social media, blog posts, or any upcoming promotional work that needs to be done. Once created, it is easy to schedule it out using the resources mentioned above.

And last but not least…

Have a strong voice

marketing-lessons-strong-voiceIn most cases on OITNB, the inmates need to have a strong voice, defend themselves, and stick to their word.

No matter what you’re selling or how you are selling it, confidence and consistency are king. Your voice needs to reach your target market, make an impact, and be uniform offline and online.

The best way to ensure your voice is streamlined, is hiring a marketing team to handle all aspects of your brand. Whether this is outsourced or in house, having one team spreading your voice keeps your message powerful, and will attract your ideal customers.

Now it’s your turn

What do you think we can all learn from Orange is The New Black? Which marketing tip do you find to be most important? Comment here or tweet your thoughts to Fingerprint Marketing.

Erika Jordan is a social media strategist who helps women entrepreneurs  Lose The Suit – ditch the stuffy corporate jargon by creating simple, fun and highly effective strategies to create valuable connections online. She is a valued member of the Fingerprint Marketing team, as well as Head Boss Lady over at Hey Boss Lady, LLC.