Your Expertise Can Take You There
Back in the day, most celebrities won our hearts with their exceptional talents and/or good looks. They were often movie stars, singing sensations and professional athletes.
Take a look around today and you’ll see an explosion of a different breed of celebrity. We idolize experienced chefs like Emeril Lagasse, financial experts like Suze Orman, even theoretical physicists – can you say Stephen Hawking? They’re all examples of people who became celebrities because of their expertise, and they’re no different than you and me.
Everyone has something they’re very good at and anyone can use that expertise to “Celebritize” him- or herself. No matter what business you’re in, how big your company is (or isn’t) or what kind of book you’ve written, you, too, can become a popular talk show guest or sought-after source for journalists.
Just apply the three F’s:
To be a modern-day business or author celebrity you have to know 1) what you’re good at, 2) what you’re passionate about, and 3) what people need from you.
So, what’s your specialty? It can be anything: gardening, management, economics, knitting, housecleaning, politics. The experts we all know run the gamut, from carpenter Ty Pennington to dog trainer Cesar Millan to fitness buff Jillian Michaels. They came from an array of backgrounds but they all knew what they were good at, did it very well and wanted to become celebrities.
Next, what are you passionate about? Being good at something and being passionate about it aren’t necessarily the same things. You may be great at fixing cars, but it’s not something you love to talk about. You don’t bring up the latest bad carburetor at parties or share tips for keeping cars happy. If that’s the case, this topic won’t qualify for the expert celebrity game.
Narrow your focus: Working at Bob’s Garage may not rock your world, but you spend countless happy weekends restoring classic automobiles at home. You love talking about your newest projects; how you resuscitate engines, where to find parts. This is passion. You’ve got to love doing it, talking about it and teaching others about it in order to be successful.
Finally, what do other people need from you? So what if you’re good at fixing cars AND passionate about restoring classics? Is there a market for that? Do people want to talk about it and are you the right person for the job?
Once, you might have said, “No, there’s no market in celebritizing yourself around restoring classic automobiles.” But that was before Car Talk on NPR made co-hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi famous.
Nowadays, if you have an expertise and passion, you, too, can find your audience and become a celebrity.
Focus On What Works
We all know what will work for us – and what won’t.
“Blink” and “Tipping Point” author Malcolm Gladwell is a celebrity, but I don’t think you’ll ever hear him screaming into a microphone on some shock jock’s call-in show. It’s not him and it’s not his audience.
On the other hand, Guy Fieri, celebrity chef, cookbook author and winner of the Food Network’s first “The Next Food Network Star” contest, IS just the kind of passionate, excited and outgoing individual to create a personal brand. He has made a career out of what works for him: using his natural enthusiasm for his expertise – cooking – as entertainment.
Finesse the Message
Your message needs to be clear, concise and focused. But what is that message?
Let’s say your expertise is organization and you’ve realized that most people aren’t organized and even fewer people recognize the value of organization. To make it clear for them just how important it is, you’ve come up with a simple three-part message that you communicate everywhere you go: Organization saves time, increases productivity and boosts profits.
That message is delivered every time you publish something, hand out a business card or invite someone to read your blog. It isn’t conveyed just in words but in the graphics on your brochures, website and business card.
If a carpenter, a couple of car mechanics and a physicist can do it – so can you.
Applauding your efforts,
Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children.