There is fame and then there is infamy. There are two types of fame: long-term fame and “15 minutes of fame.” Actors and actresses are well-known. Some of them are famous. Barack Obama is famous, and he will be famous for a long time as President of the United States. Osama Bin Laden had infamy, and he certainly had his 15 minutes of fame before being assassinated. Anyone, for better or worse, can become famous. Many people can achieve 15 minutes of fame by accumulating hundreds of thousands of views on a YouTube video.
However, there is another kind of celebrity. It is not necessarily global fame, such as that enjoyed by Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. However, within a niche, it is possible to achieve local, regional, and then national fame. And fame can lead to respect, authority, and money, whether it comes from a business venture, a very wise investment in a startup or IPO, book sales, or another source.
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This is the kind of long-lasting fame that screams “success.” Many people achieve this level of celebrity relatively easily. And here are seven relatively simple steps to get you started.
1. Begin by focusing on others rather than yourself
If you want to become a niche celebrity, the first step is to become a truly trusted resource for others. This entails doing the following:
Inspire, entertain, and educate others without regard for sales or promoting yourself or your company.
Be a real person, not a faceless entity, behind that company.
Be accessible and transparent; maintain a social media presence that includes conversations; respond to emails; and be present wherever important conversations are taking place, particularly in groups related to your niche.
Don't try to be “better” than others; instead, be helpful, friendly, and humble.
Engage others on a daily basis, particularly influencers. Spending time with influencers qualifies you as one as well.
If you succeed, don't be the first to brag about it; instead, try to share the lessons you've learned and inspire others to follow in your footsteps. And if you don't succeed on the first try, don't be shy about admitting it. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes and discussing them rather than attempting to appear as a superhuman.
Compare this to the traditional notion of an industry leader: one who gave the occasional interview; one who had “gatekeepers;” one who knew s/he was “better” than the others; and one who was inaccessible. This will not work for you because you do not yet have any celebrity.
2. Get Your Face and Personality “Out There”
Brands are no longer spread primarily through products and services. They are spread by celebrities on social media and in the news.
It's almost as if we've gone back in time to a time when storekeepers had personal relationships with all of their customers. Of course, these cannot be face-to-face, but they can still be strong relationships. Relationships are in high demand among today's digital consumers of everything.
If you've written a book, for example, you'll need to show online communities who you are, your sense of humour, compassion, incredible expertise, or whatever else makes you a “giant” in your niche. Provide free excerpts from that book to every digital community you can think of. Set up book signings wherever possible and contact the local news media to have them covered. Provide an additional benefit in exchange for a book purchase. Make a name for yourself by promoting your face and personality, not just your book.
Infuse your personality into everything you do, both online and offline. Hold events, create videos, and plaster them all over the place if you're in a business niche. Include customer testimonials in your blog posts and on your social media platforms. Do everything you can to spread your brand by focusing on the people factor rather than the product or service. Create something that people will look forward to every week – something that will draw them to you and cause them to draw their communities to you as well.
3. Make Consistent, Public, Interesting, and Free Content Available
The brand Jack Daniels is well-known. For many years, it has been a well-known brand. And it has done so by keeping itself in front of the public on a consistent basis. In the past, it relied on expensive television advertising. Advertising that those of us who simply want to become well-known in our field cannot afford.
We have to find cheap ways to get famous, and even Jack Daniels is doing so now. It's not all over the news anymore – that's a thing of the past. What is Jack Daniels going to do now? It has a fantastic website and a fantastic social media presence. It runs contests in which people can submit new drink recipes. It asks customers to submit strange bar stories, which it then publishes – customers love it, and Jack Daniels continues to be popular. Because it understands how fame is now built, Jack Daniels will be famous for many years to come. You can build your own fame by employing the same strategies that Jack Daniels employs.
Involve your “public” in everything you do. Aside from the cost of having employees or contractors maintain your websites and social media platforms, the cost of providing amazing, interesting, entertaining, and inspirational content is low. Nobody wants to read what appears to be a textbook, and nobody wants to hear about products. They want some entertainment as well as education, and they want it in interesting ways.
Even if your niche appears to be “boring,” there is a way to successfully interact with your audience while leveraging your authority status. Simply put, by providing free detailed information on every aspect of your business. Moverscorp, for example, publishes a plethora of fantastic guides covering virtually every aspect of moving – from selecting a company to packing to tipping movers and things to do after the move.
You can gain fame if you are dedicated to providing your audience with the best content possible. There are no barriers and few rules on the Internet. You build a fan base, and that fan base, if your content is good, reaches out to its communities. People share what is free and publicly available. So give freely and openly!
4. Donate to a Deserving Charity
Sponsoring a well-known and compassionate charitable cause is one of the best ways to increase your fame. You can do wonderful things while also increasing your fame.
Why do people adore Toms Shoes, and how did Toms Shoes become so well-known? Because owner Blake Mycoskie, dubbed the “chief shoe giver,” donates a pair of shoes to a deserving child for every pair of shoes sold. And he has now expanded his efforts to include efforts to restore sight and drill for water in third-world countries. For everything he does, he is a hero, especially among millennials, the largest purchasing demographic. And he is well-known in his field.
Jessica Erickson, the owner of Headbands for Hope, has gained national attention for her charitable work with children's cancer research and her donations of headbands to young cancer patients. This is a great path to take if you want to make a difference in people's lives while also gaining fame. These kinds of stories are popular in local, regional, and state media, and their reach grows. Both Mycoskie and Erickson have appeared on numerous national television shows.
5. Establish Connections with Influencers
There are well-known people in related fields. Influencers are already well-known in their respective fields. Hanging out with successful people is one of the “rules” of success.
The same is true in the digital realm. You can “follow” influencers, join their discussions, and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Cultivate these relationships before proposing any reciprocity of promotion, but eventually you will be able to do so. It is important to be respected and liked by an influencer, even if they are not directly related to your niche. Influencers can also introduce you to other influencers. Depending on the type of fame you seek, this can eventually lead to speaking engagements, interviews, and/or book promotion, among other things.
6. Pursue Your Fame Every Day
This means a variety of things. It could be joining new groups. It could imply contacting local media with a press release. It could imply producing outstanding content or videos. It could imply reaching out to new social media communities. However, you must commit to doing something every day to promote your fame. If you do this for a year, you will be astounded at how well-known you have become among your target audience.
7. Develop your Guru Status
At first, you'll give away a lot of stuff, perhaps creating free “how-to” e-guides. Perhaps you'll make slide shows and videos that offer expert advice. Create new “stuff” and start charging for it as the demand for your stuff grows. Why? Because famous people are expected to charge for their “stuff,” and you have the right to be compensated for your efforts.
Neil Patel, the content marketing guru, has the ideal combination. He is a Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics, and Hello Bar co-founder. These are for-profit businesses with well-known clients such as Amazon, GM, and NBC. He also maintains a blog, Quick Sprout. He offers free educational articles for content marketers and business owners on his website. But he is always promoting his fee-based services on that blog, one of which is to make a business owner a “guru” and famous in his or her own niche.
It is simple, but not always easy, to become famous in a year. It takes a concerted effort and a commitment that must be maintained every day of the year. It could mean spending two hours on that book, or an hour contacting local press to promote a charitable event, or writing the best content ever, or networking and “rubbing elbows” with influencers. It can be exhausting, and it may mean that your workday has just become longer.
Before pursuing this “fame” goal, you should ask yourself why you want to be famous and what it will mean to you. If you can answer these questions affirmatively, you are ready to embark on the journey.
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