It’s a story as old as Hollywood – a teenage movie star eventually turns into a washed-up drug addict with a collection of orange-jumpsuit photos.
It’s also a story as old as professional sports – a star athlete is arrested for punching an autograph-seeker in the face.
We commonly see celebrities behaving badly in public, and because of that, the word “celebrity” can have a negative connotation. Nevertheless, society is obsessed with fame and fortune. In fact, some people do outrageous things just in the hope of achieving celebrity status.
Viral social media videos and reality television shows have made it possible for seemingly anyone to be a celebrity if they’re willing to do something crazy. Turn on television, and you’re apt to see someone happily allowing a camera crew to document their intimate moments.
Because the word “celebrity” has become tarnished, you may be surprised to hear me say, “you should be a celebrity in your own sphere of interest!”
Fifteen years ago, I wrote my first book. It was called Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One. It’s fairly outdated now, but it still sells a handful of copies each month on Amazon.
The book’s premise was that everything you do in sales, business and life becomes easier if a lot of people recognize your name and have positive feelings associated with it. Prospecting for new business is much more pleasant if prospects have heard of you before you call them. Some people call it “personal branding.”
In a loud, crowded and competitive world, it’s easier to 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.
Despite the necessity of personal branding, many sales pros 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. They don’t want to be like the celebrities I described above. Nobody likes boasters, know-it-alls and blowhards.
How do you let the world know the wonderful things you are doing without coming across negatively? How do you toot your own horn without being a braggart?
The right attitude and the right frame of mind are key.
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.
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.