So, I know you’ve heard the buzz, right? Something along the lines of “Become a celebrity and make tons of cash.” Thought so. Well, it must be true, right?
After all, we ALL know that in order to make a lot of money, we’ve got to get our name “OUT THERE.” And what better way to do that than tv? radio? newspapers?
Yeah, maybe that’s the shortcut we need. PUBLICITY.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Here’s the deal. I like publicity. It IS a worthy pursuit, for some businesses. (And if you need a suggestion for who to get YOU on the glowing box, I’ve got a rock star recommendation for you. She delivers results.) But, the ONLY real shortcut to making a lot more money is by getting your clients IN HERE, not by getting your name OUT THERE.
Listen, we’re smarter than this. You and me. The “little guys.”
Let the BDC (big dumb companies) spend gobs of money getting their name, logo, and mascot “out there”… like the enormous mistake Pepsi made 4 years ago when they spent MILLIONS on a new logo… or like the Geico lizard, which proved to be a MASSIVE failure sales-wise… or like the BILLIONS of dollars spent on Superbowl ads that “win awards” but do NOT buy even a fraction of an increase in market share. Let them spend their time and money on such follies. But not us.
As a side note, these marketing directors for said companies need to be fired. Maybe beaten up too, but definitely fired.
I can tell you –without a shadow of doubt — that the cult of celebrity is more seductive but less powerful than you think. WHY? Because many of my clients find themselves in the cult… I mean, in the club. =) I’ve worked with those with “celebrity” — showing up on this show and that. National shows. National magazines. One woman (a published author) has been on / in – and I’m looking at her website now– Cosmo magazine, Fox News, NBC, CBS and more. When I first met her, I asked how much money she was making. $400 a month.
But, she’s just ONE example. I call these people, “over-exposed and under-paid.” They keep focusing on generating more celebrity. And they milk EACH exposure for ALL it’s worth. They think this celebrity is a shortcut, a magic bullet, an easy button. BUT, I wish they knew that selling programs, selling seats, etc. will STILL be an issue for them — no matter how many shows they end up on — unless they get some foundational stuff in order first. You see, the cult of celebrity is not profitable on its own. (Certain reality tv stars, of course, noted exceptions.)
Let me prove my point. How many of you are deadheads? I know you’ve at least HEARD of the Grateful Dead, right? Well, they are one of the most successful bands in history of music. They created a cult following that generated tons of success for them… and allowed them to be the touring band with the MOST longevity and sustained success.
And here’s the thing. MOST bands did the whole “glossy” facade thing. When they went on stage, they were announced. They came on with fanfare, and they donned really flashy, over the top outfits. They had set and costume changes. And they performed FOR their audience. Each song was timed and each run was planned and the live performances sounded VERY much like the record or tape or cd you bought. And — hey — these can (also) be great concerts.
But, the Dead…
their concert started with the band warming up … on stage. Their runs were unplanned, their live performances different EVERY SINGLE day. They made mistakes. Stopped songs. Joked about it. Started over. And while they continued to invest more and more in speakers for the “spinners” or lights for people enjoying the psychedelic aspect of the show… they looked like everyone in the audience.
Celebrity? No doubt they enjoyed it, but it wasn’t their focus. They weren’t actively building their own celebrity. Now, I’ve never had the privilege of sitting down with the band, but it seems to me that the ONE aspect of success that they mastered better than ANY band before or since is this notion of CONNECTION over celebrity.
They created a cult of CONNECTION.
THAT is what your clients and customers want from you. They don’t want a glossy performance. They’re uninterested in the facade of perfection. Hint: They know you’re pretending. They want a connection.
Build the CONNECTION. And let the celebrity — amongst your target market — come to you.
Ending note: It’s NOT that you shouldn’t be hiring a PR person. I’ve already hired someone to begin actively pursuing this for me. And will soon engage said rock start PR agent to guide my assistant’s efforts in this endeavor. But, you don’t want “celebrity” without the other cornerstones NECESSARY for business success.
2) The Ability and Willingness to Sell
3) Agility to Meet Your Market’s Needs
THEN, if you want, celebrity. =)