The Fame Formula: Creating the Super Elite
Fame=Personal Branding + Publicity + Brand You Marketing + Personal Financial Development + Brand Longevity Strategies
This formula made a priest a Pope, a small time weather girl Oprah, and transformed a reality TV star president. It can be applied to anyone on Earth, including you.
Publicity: The yeast of the recipe. The catalyst that makes everything else work to its maximum effect. One People Magazine profile can make a physician ‘butt’ the line and become the foremost “expert” in her field.
Personal Branding: Accept that you, yourself, are a brand. Like Coca Cola or Target. Design, build, and market Brand You.
Expand Your Brand Playing Field: You’re not a patent attorney specializing in solidifying the rights of your clients in Southeastern Asia, you’re an intellectual property lawyer. Maximize what you can magnetize.
Marketing Your Powerful Personal Brand: Create demand for your services. If you do your marketing correctly, others will always do your selling for you.
Personal Evolution: In order to achieve brand longevity, you must ride the ever-changing tide of the market. Cadillac makes a great car but they have a Research and Development lab working year round to keep it fresh.
The Celebrity Next Door - Anyone Can Have Fame: Yes, Anyone
There is no invisible barrier keeping you from becoming a smash-hit success in your field. You can do so with little or no money, in a matter of months, (certainly less than two years.)
It takes work—especially if you’re starting from scratch—but you can get there. That’s the great thing about formulas: they work across the board. If you can achieve name recognition, everything else follows quickly.
Winning the election is more about the number of yard signs with a candidates’ name on them than you would ever believe.
A little secret we’ve learned over the years: an author’s best-seller status isn’t about the book.
Your Fame Foundation: The Platform
We hear this all the time: A fame seeker is over the moon to have booked a television appearance. They wow the cameras and go home to sip champagne to their newfound fame, as the phone chimes excessively with congratulations. A few days later, everyone forgets. These hopefuls then feel they missed their big break having failed to monetize the publicity, and momentary celebrity fades before you can say ‘one hit wonder’.
What’s tragic for these unborn successes is that the result could have been different. That one interview could have been their big break, as it has for so many. There’s one difference between those who launched vs. those who stalled—the winners had a platform.
Platform, here, refers to the sum total of your websites, speaking engagements, professional activities, media appearances, books, media kit, articles, scripts, social media connections, charitable associations, organizations you control, your fan list, etc.
Your platform is how you interact with fans. It is your fame foundation and without it, you’ll get nowhere, fast.
Everyone Loves an Author
Show me someone hailed as a top ‘expert’ in their respective field and I’ll show you someone enjoying success, fame, and wealth. Writing and launching a book is one of the fastest ways for anyone to achieve expert credentials in the public eye. Author status creates a fantastic differentiator between you and your competition.
Imagine you’re choosing between two great doctors to deliver your child. Doctor A may be clever and accomplished, having delivered countless babies, but Doctor B wrote the book on it. That makes the decision easier—you’d be lucky to have a doctor like that. This applies universally to all fields.
Be the one that wrote the book.
Author status wins elections, captures the best clients, snags the reality tv deals, garners media attention and gets you talked about.
The odds of getting a book deal are very low, but agents and publishers will fall over themselves to sign an author with a strong platform—which is to say—any author who will sell thousands of books on their own.
You Dot Com: Your Powerful Online Footprint
The internet puts professional fame within reach of Everyman. It no longer takes several years and a small fortune to create a nationally recognized personal brand—your teenager may be doing it on social media as we speak.
There’s no excuse to not have a great personal website. A blog can be written in an hour, and it takes little more to design your site if you have the right help.
No need to spend your weight in gold on a new website, think of it as an interactive brochure: present your information in a compelling manner to people. Introduce yourself to virtual visitors by making the graphics, layout, copy and font all scream Brand You.
People will take your website at face value: a mom-’n-pop store in Vermont can look like a multinational conglomerate, and a 200 employee industrial firm can look like one flimsy cobbler.
Whether you like it or not, people will judge you by your online presence.
Create a Powerful Presence: Role, Image & Message
Celebrity image is crafted, intelligent rhetoric is learned, and personal presence can be deliberately amplified. All constitute packaging for your personal brand.
People talk about the X factor—that feeling you get when Al Pacino walks into a room and the air is thick with his aura. Even if we’d never heard of Al, that commanding presence would turn heads.
There should be a flare of showbiz in your branding, even if you’re an orthopedic surgeon.
Shakespeare was right, “All the world’s a stage”; your professional (and often personal) life is a story, and guess who’s the star? You play the leading lady or man in your own tale—define it clearly. Wherever you go, you’re telling a story about who you are in your world—make it a compelling one and play it up to your advantage.
Write your story and and hone it with each retelling—don’t forget to dress the part! How would a costume designer emboss your role?
Fame Fuel: Media Exposure and How to Get It
If fame is the most powerful force in the universe, publicity is the fuel that feeds and maintains it. Sometimes it’s just a question of knowing where to start—it can feel like you can’t have media attention without publicity and vice versa—a catch 22.
The big joke is everybody is looking to everyone else to tell them what is important, trendy and relevant. Nobody knows you’re there until you tell them and nobody knows what to do with you unless you provide instructions. Don’t wait for the media to take notice, make it impossible for them to ignore you.
Most find media attention intimidating—why would they want to pick me?! But consider the network’s point of view—on most days there just isn’t that much breaking news to provide a steady stream of content, especially in the digital age where they must provide doubly deliver. The media actively hunts for captivating material—give it to them in a pretty package and they will eat it up.
Successful Personal Brands: Skip the Rookie Media Blunders
We’ve helped people in various industries achieve fame for so long, we have a sizable mental blooper reel of media-rookie mistakes. Here are a few doozies:
Assuming you’re ‘off the record’—Talking to a reporter is like talking to an arresting officer—anything you say can and will be used against you. They aren’t necessarily there to paint you in your best light—so make sure you’re sitting squarely in it.
Holding back—Give them something to talk about by sharing as much valuable information as you can during an interview. Don’t be stingy with your content. If you want to hook them, lead with your best.
Publicity does not equal an advertisement—People want to get to know you and your message, not to feel like they somehow got cornered by a used car salesman. The audience can smell desperation, so just be the best you possible and trust it will move people.
Leverage Fame: Join the Lucrative World of Professional Speakers
One of the top benefits you get from investing time, money and energy into branding yourself is that you become eligible to join some of America’s highest earners: professional speakers.
Everyone knows that former presidents, best-selling authors, and other major notables make hundreds of thousands of dollars each year by giving a small number of talks. Four hundred thousand dollars a pop makes sense for Barrack Obama, but what most of our clients don’t realize is that even beginners can make $2,500-$5,000 per engagement. Plus, it lends you significant “street cred" as a sought-after authority on your subject.
Any professional can successfully package and market themselves to nonprofits, associations, corporations, colleges and private groups as a professional speaker. In good economic times or bad, meeting planners have money in their budgets for keynote presenters at their regional, national and international meetings.
There are more than 50k events/year where a keynote speaker earns up to $25k—or more—for their 45-90 minute presentations. Only a limited number of people pursue these opportunities.
Fame Barriers: They are Self-Created, Get Past Them
Out of concern that we were missing something, we recently looked back at all the people we helped achieve fame, as well as the ones who failed along the way. We asked ourselves, what stopped these high-potential fame seekers from getting to the goal line?
We identified four common fame barriers.
- You rush to be an overnight sensation.
- You don’t do what it takes.
- You try to take shortcuts.
- You never actually start.
Building fame is a process of creating a strong foundation and then planting seeds for success. Shortcuts on the path to fame are pitfalls in disguise.
Imagine you’re cooking your favorite cake from grandma’s recipe book—a childhood treasure. You wouldn’t dare leave out an ingredient lest you ruin the whole process (and have grandma turning over in her grave.)
Don’t skip a single step here either—a formula’s a formula.
Fame for Life: Maintaining Your Personal Brand
Year after year, we see people pass swiftly through the spotlight like clouds through the sky. The truth is, most musicians with a hit song do not stand the test of time.
You may be surprised to learn that fame longevity has much to do with kindness. That’s right—being a good person goes a long way. Those humble pleasures to work with often nab opportunities from haughty primadonnas. If you’re nice to 100 people, a thousand may hear about it. Be kind to everyone that crosses your path, you never know who will come back around.
Philanthropic and charity work also go a long way toward keeping you—and your reputation—super positive.
Along the lines of being pleasant, avoid the trap of over-exposure. The Meryl Streeps of the world, who’ve stood the test of time, do not oversaturate the market. While other celebrities get overplayed like an old favorite song that you can no longer stand, the true successes maintain mystique.