By Jeff Beals
In order to enjoy the lead-generation and prospecting benefits that a sales practitioner can get from personal branding, I recommend you become a sort of celebrity.
But I always feel a little uncomfortable using the word, “celebrity,” because a lot of celebrities are frankly lousy people.
We see it all the time – celebrities behaving badly:
1. A beautiful teenage movie star grows up into a drug-addicted has-been with a long rap sheet and a collection of orange-jumpsuit photos.
2. A professional athlete goes to jail for assaulting his girlfriend.
3. A famous musician and his bodyguard are arrested for punching an autograph-seeker in the face.
And then there are those who do outrageous things in hope of becoming famous.
The continuing popularity of reality television shows and viral social media videos have made it possible for seemingly anyone to be a celebrity if they have the right look, at least a little bit of charisma and the willingness to perform outrageous stunts in front of millions of incredulous eyes. Turn on television and you’re apt to see someone allowing a camera crew to document their most intimate moments just so they can be a celebrity.
The word “celebrity” has become tarnished.
You may be surprised that I, as author of a book on self marketing, am troubled by the over-emphasis on celebrity status in America. I’m concerned despite the fact that I advise professionals to become “a celebrity in your own sphere of interest.”
In a loud, crowded and brutally competitive world, it’s easier to find and attract new business when you are well known by the people who make up your personal target audience: – clients, potential clients, anyone who could refer business, industry VIPs, community leaders, etc. If you’re a celebrity in your own sphere of business, you possess social and professional power that can help you reach your goals.
I think of “celebrity in your own sphere of interest” as being known for an on-going series of respected achievements. In order for your “celebrity status” to be effective, exhibit good behavior. If you work hard and do impressive things, you deserve be “celebrated,” and that’s where the word “celebrity” comes from.
But how do you let the world know the wonderful things you are doing without coming across negatively?
You need the right attitude and the right frame of mind.
Despite the necessity of personal branding, many sales practitioners are not entirely comfortable doing it. They’re afraid they might cross the fine line and become the type of person that others try to avoid. That’s a reasonable concern, because nobody likes braggarts, show-offs, know-it-alls and blowhards.
Ironically, living as a celebrity in your own sphere of interest requires the virtue of humility. Promote yourself while making it look like you’re not trying. Let people know what you’re doing without being obnoxious. Above all, make sure you have real accomplishments to promote.
You can avoid turning your personal branding efforts into egotistical boasting by asking yourself two questions:
If people knew the real reason why I want to become a celebrity in my own sphere of interest, would I be embarrassed?
If the answer is “no,” you’re probably okay.
Do the things I do for personal branding purposes also have legitimate economic, cultural or social benefit?
If the answer is “yes,” you’re probably okay.
Simply put, you will find it easier to generate new business if a lot of quality people know you and have a positive image of you in their minds. Being a celebrity in your own sphere of interest makes you more powerful. Just make sure that as you journey down the path to personal stardom, you take your ethical and moral beliefs along with you. If you do, you should be just fine.