There’s fame and there’s infamy. There’s long-term fame and “15 minutes of fame.” Actors and actresses have fame. Some of them have infamy. Barack Obama has fame, and he has long-term fame as a President of the United States. Osama Bin Laden had infamy, and he certainly had his 15 minutes of fame until taken out. Anyone can become famous, for good or for bad. And many can have 15 minutes of fame by getting hundreds of thousands of hits on a YouTube video.
There is another kind of fame, however. It is not global fame necessarily, such as that enjoyed by Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. But it can be a local, regional, and then national fame within a niche. And that fame can result in respect, authority, and income, whether that income comes from a business venture, a very smart investment in a startup or IPO, book sales, or another source.
This is the fame that is long-lasting and that says “success.” Many people achieve this kind of fame and do so relatively easily. And here are 7 relatively simple steps on that path.
1. Begin By Making It All About Others, Not Yourself
If you are going to reach niche celebrity status, your first step is to become a truly trusted resource for others. This means that you do the following:
- Inspire, entertain and educate others without thought to making sales or promoting yourself or your business
- Be a real person behind that company, not a faceless entity
- Be accessible and transparent; have a social media presence that involves conversations; answer emails; be present wherever there are important conversations occurring, especially in groups related to your niche
- Do not be “better” than others; rather be helpful and friendly and humble
- Engage others daily, especially influencers. Hanging out with influencers makes you one too.
- If you succeed, don’t be the first one to boast, but try to share the lessons you’ve learn and inspire other people to follow your path. And if you don’t succeed from the first attempt, don’t be discreet about your failure either. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes and talking about that, rather than trying to appear as a super human.
Compare this to the traditional concept of a supposed industry leader – one who gave an occasional interview; one who had “gatekeepers;” one who knew s/he was “better” than the others; one who was inaccessible. This won’t work for you, because you don’t have any fame yet.
2. Get Your Face and Your Personality “Out There”
Brands are not really spread by products and services anymore. They are spread by personalities on social websites and news media.
It’s almost as if we have returned to days of old when storekeepers had personal relationships with all of their customers. Of course, these can no longer be face-to-face, but they can be strong relationships nevertheless. Today’s digital consumers of anything demand relationships.
If you have written a book, for example, you need to show online communities who you are, your sense of humor, your sense of compassion, your incredible expertise, whatever it is that makes you a bit of a “giant” in your niche. Provide excerpts from that book for free to every digital community possible. Set up book signings everywhere possible and call the local news media to cover them. Offer an additional benefit with a book purchase. Get buzz going by pushing your face and your personality, not just your book.
Inject your personality into everything you do online and on the ground. If you are in a business niche, hold events, make videos, and plaster them all over the place. Feature your customers in your blog posts, on your social media platforms. Do anything that you can to spread your brand by spreading the people factor, not by pushing the product or service. Come up with something that people will look forward to every week – things that will draw them to you and make them draw their communities to you too.
3. Provide Consistent, Public, Interesting, and Free Content
Jack Daniels is a well-known brand. It has been a well-known brand for years. And it has done this by consistently keeping itself in front of the public. Now, in years past it relied on TV advertising – expensive advertising. Advertising that those of us who would just like to become famous in our niche cannot afford.
We have to find cheap ways to become famous, and even Jack Daniels is going the cheap route now. It’s not all over TV – that’s a thing of the past. What does Jack Daniels do now? It has an amazing website and an amazing social media presence. It sponsors contests for people to submit new drink recipes. It asks customers to submit weird bar stories, which it publishes – consumers love it and they continue to love Jack Daniels. Jack Daniels will be famous for years to come because it understand how fame is now built. When you use the same strategies that Jack Daniels uses, you can build your fame too.
Get your “public” involved in everything you do. Other than the cost of maintaining your websites and social media platforms through employees or contractors, your cost of providing amazing and interest and entertaining and inspirational content is cheap. No one wants to read what looks like a textbook; and no one want to just hear about products. They want some fun and some education and they want it in engaging ways.
Even if your niche seems “boring”, there’s still a way to interact with your audience successfully and leveraging your authority status. Simply, by offering free detailed information of every aspect related to your business. For instance, Moverscorp publishes loads of amazing guides, covering pretty much any aspect of moving – from choosing the company to packing to tipping movers and things to do after the move.
You can build your fame if you are committed to giving your public the best content ever. On the Internet there are no walls and there are few rules. You build a fan base and that fan base reaches out to its communities, as long as your content is great. People share what is free and what is publicly provided. So give free and public!
4. Sponsor an Important Charity
One of the best ways to enhance your fame is to sponsor a well-known and compassionate charitable cause. You can do wonderful good while you increase your fame as well.
Why do people love Toms Shoes, and why has Toms Shoes become so famous? Because owner Blake Mycoskie, “chief shoe giver,” donates a pair of shoes to a needy child for every pair of shoes he sells. And he has branched out now into efforts for restoring eyesight and drilling water in 3rd world countries. He is a hero, especially among millennials, the biggest buying demographic, for all that he does. And he has great fame within his niche.
Jessica Erickson, owner of Headbands for Hope has gained national fame for her charitable work with children’s cancer research and her donations of headbands to young girls with cancer. If you want to make a difference in the lives of people and gain fame as well, this is a great path. Local, regional and state media love these kinds of stories, and the reach spreads. Both Mycoskie and Erickson have been featured on national television shows several times.
5. Develop Relationships with Influencers
There are famous people in related niches. Influencers are already famous within their niches. One of the “rules” for success is to hang out with successful people.
The same goes in the digital world. You can “follow” influencers, participate in their discussions, and make yourself known as an expert in your niche. Cultivate these relationships before you propose any reciprocity of promotion, but ultimately you can get to that. Being respected and liked by an influencer, even if not directly related to your niche is big. And influencers can introduce you to other influencers as well. This can ultimate get you speaking engagements, interviews, and/or promotion of your book, and so forth, depending upon the type of fame you are seeking.
6. Work on Your Fame Everyday
This means many things. It can be to join new groups. It can mean to contact local media with a press release. It can mean creating amazing content or videos. It can mean reaching out to new communities on social media. But you must consistently commit to doing something every day to promote your fame. If you do this for an entire year, you will be pretty amazed at how famous you have become with your ideal audience.
7. Cultivate your Guru Status
At first, you will give away a lot of stuff, maybe you will create free “how-to” e-guides. Maybe you will create slide shows and videos that provide expert advice. As the demand for your stuff grows, create new “stuff” and begin to charge for it. Why? Because famous people are expected to charge for their “stuff,” and because you have the right to earn money for your hard work.
Neil Patel, the guru of content marketing, has the perfect combination. He is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics, and Hello Bar. These are for-profit companies with famous clients like Amazon, GM, NBC, etc. He also has a blog, called Quick Sprout. Here he provides free educational articles for content marketers and business owners. But always on that blog, he is promoting his fee-based services, one of which is to make a business owner a “guru” and famous in his/her own niche.
Becoming famous in a year is simple, but not necessarily easy. It takes concerted effort and a commitment that must be held every single day of that year. It means spending two hours working on that book; or it means an hour contacting local press to promote a charitable event; or it means writing the best content ever; or it mean networking and “rubbing elbows” with influencers. It can be tiring and it can mean that your workday just got longer.
You have to ask yourself, before you take on this “fame” goal: why you want to become famous and what it will mean for you? If you can answer these questions positively, then you are ready for the journey.