Scheduling note: Don’t worry, Jacob Share will be back posting regularly starting next Friday. I’m filling in for him today and will quench your thirst with this new article ;).
Personal branding is more than just a career development concept and practice. Powerful and world recognizable brands, such as Oprah, Michael Jordon, Tiger Woods and Brad Pitt have names that stimulate feelings, emotions and millions (even billions) of dollars.
A celebrity is a widely-recognized or notable person who commands a high degree of public and media attention.
The role of the celebrity has changed drastically over the past decade. You used to have to get a lot of mainstream attention to be known and respected, but those days are slowly coming to an end.
Of course Hollywood celebrities still have a lot of star power and can command a world of opportunities and fame, but the internet has given rise to a new type of celebrity, the micro-celebrity. If you never thought you could be a celebrity, this is your big chance. Social media has enabled anyone, yes you, to become known in a particular area and have raving fans!
Not everyone desires to be in the spotlight and if you like your privacy, forget about it. The new micro-celebrities are public with everything and can handle the new media paparazzi. In the digital world, your personal brand can be shared, embraced or tossed away. In order to stand out, become known for something and achieve micro-stardom, you need to follow a few basic principles.
- Visibility creates opportunities. People live in their own worlds, whether they like it or not. Every time you meet someone knew, you have the ability to let them into your world. You haven’t heard of most people walking this earth, but you have discovered people through various mediums, such as TV, radio, websites, newspapers, bulletins, magazines, etc. If you aren’t visible you don’t exist in people’s eyes. By getting your name out there, people will learn about you and make a quick and intuitive decision whether they want to do business with you or not. In order to become more visible, you need to become your own PR spokesperson for the brand called you. You need to get your story and messaging right so you can talk to the press, which now includes bloggers, and hopefully, they will write about you.
- Everything is public. As a micro-celebrity, you have to come to terms that everything you say and do is public online. Think about the life and times of Britney Spears. She can’t make a move without having her picture taken. Every morning she wakes up, her faces graces a different magazine cover; sometimes for better and other times for worse. On the web, anything you write or post can be shared to a group and then to a larger network and so on. After you post it, you lose control of it and people can post about you at any time. You need to be smart about what pictures you use and make sure they best represent the brand called you!
- Go to where the people are. Sure starting a website or a blog is a great personal brand strategy, but the people are already located on popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and Ning. Facebook has over 175 million users, while LinkedIn has over 35 million, Twitter has about 5 million and MySpace supposedly has over 200 million. You need to setup shop on these networks by building your profile and interacting with the users there. Aside from becoming apart of those communities, you are also gaining control over your Google results because each of these services rank high for your name.
- Take risks. I’m sure you’ve heard people say “risk and reward.” When it comes to building a celebrity brand, you need to take risks. Be brave and don’t be afraid to speak your mind because transparency and authenticity are cherished on the web. Getting your name out there is how you build brand, but you’ll have opposition, so you have to be prepared and be strong willed. You should take calculated risks, such that you have a pretty good idea what the risk could yield if things work out.
- Own your domain. Both literally and figuratively, you need to control your piece of the web. This means that you should purchase yourname.com (domain name) and start creating content, so that you’re positioned as the #1 expert in your field. As a reward, you will be ranked #1 in Google and the media will go right after you.
Being a celebrity is within reach right now, finally after nearly a decade. You won’t have to fly to Hollywood and beg people to give you opportunities. It’s time to create your own opportunities by building a powerful brand on the web. This is your chance to make a difference, get noticed and have fun!