Want to become famous? Then stop trying!

Paris Hilton Kimberly Stewart

One reason you may want to become well branded is so that you can be famous within your industry. A lot of people like to be the center of attention and I’ll even admit that I am an attention junky. But if you want people’s eyes to always be on you, here are some things you need to know first:

  1. Don’t try to be popular – take a look at the most popular people in your industry, chances are they didn’t try to become popular intentionally. The people who usually try too hard don’t become popular.
  2. Be yourself – the most important part about creating your personal brand is that it represents you. If people don’t like who you are or if they have a problem with you, then that is their problem and not yours.
  3. Speak your mind – whether you are known to say stupid remarks or the wisest ones, don’t be shy. If you have something to say then open your mouth and talk instead of sitting in the sidelines while everyone else is passing you by.
  4. Don’t follow the norm – people who blend in are the ones who usually don’t become well branded or famous. I know this may contradict with point number 2, but you have to differentiate yourself from the norm if you want to succeed.
  5. Provide value – if you are really good at one thing, don’t be afraid share your secrets. Sooner or later people are going to know what you know, so might as well share it with them and get credit for it.
  6. Leave an open channel for communication – the only way people will get to know you is if you let them. This means publicize your email, phone number and any other contact information so that they can talk to you.
  7. Don’t reveal all your cards – there needs to be some sort of mystery about you or else people will move on to the next hot thing. By building up suspense people will always come to you instead of you going to them.

Anyone have any other ideas of how to become famous?

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Comments

  1. You had to put the hilton’s!!! hahaha

    Anyways, these 7 are great points. #2 is the most important for personal branding, because if you aren’t authentic, people will be repelled and your career will eventually drown.

  2. I’ve tried being myself but the consequences are usually very brutal verbally and eventually physically from a POV prospective. There’s something about being preppy and having a trust-fund that really ticks most of the norm out. I am not spoiled, my parents just love me more than yours :)

  3. Forgot to say this Neil from my present and previous comments but keep up the excellent work. I’ll see around the next big seminar.

  4. I like #7 – be a little mysterious ;)

  5. The picture is the most appropriate image for this post. Nice one!

  6. I’ll admit I have failed to follow every one of these tips at one time or another.

    How to become famous isn’t a problem, what to become famous for is an entirely different discussion.

  7. Thanks for linking to article how to be popular. I think many people who try to be famous find it is not as attractive as they hoped

  8. Michael, you are right! I think it’s very important for what you become famous.

    I like the message from the T-shirt “Stop being desperate”. I really think that being desperate gives you no chance – except maybe someone can become famous for it.

  9. There’s one more way: Piggyback on the established brand/popularity of someone else.. which is pretty much what K-Fed did on Britney… although he messed up by ultimately having no bloody talent or real charisma :)

  10. Great points Neil! :)

    Well who doesn’t wants to be popular? Today everybody does. This is the only reason which would bring name, fame to the personnel. Not trying to become famous is the best advice I got. If you know things then sharing it with others will bring you popularity, but if you try to become famous by manipulative ways, won’t help you!

  11. Deliver value and if you are worth your salt, you will gain popularity. Simple! = )

  12. Fascinating post, Neil. You might appreciate a post I recently made about “Character-Driven Branding.”

    http://ihack.us/2007/11/14/character-driven-branding/

  13. Anyone who reads this shite and actually takes it heart have no chance in hell of becoming anywhere remotely famous.

  14. Michael Lodispoto :

    What is fame? For that matter what does fortune do for you? Do they go hand in hand and will any of us have both?
    Personally I don’t think any of us will have a problem being wealthy. That is easy in America if you work hard and smart.
    As for the whole list – well take number 1 – Who was Paris before the sex tape other than an idiot with a lot of money? Yes the sex tape made her famous beyond ‘just’ ( if you can call it that) an heiress worth hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars. So that is marketing. Well I guess if you crave the spotlight as she and her family has for quite some time. You should look up her parents’ story and Grandparents and see the intrigue there!
    2 – Some people should not be themselves, Witness Britney right now.
    3 – Stupid remarks can kill a career. Tom Cruise and his Scientology comments are making people stay away from him now. I guess after your famous who cares right?
    4 – I agree completely. A wise man once told me that no one ever got wealthy working 9-5. Be different, Blog, create your own destiny, forge your own way in the world. Do what needs to be done to succeed, and you will.
    5 – A most excellent point. if you don’t provide value then you are nothing in this world. You can fool people only so long with your charm or good looks. Simply do every job so well that others will notice. There is no such thing as a job not worth doing well. Always give more than expected as well. Not one job have i ever had where if quiting time was 6pm, did I leave at 6. Make it a point to leave as late as possible and give more than your boss or co-workers expect. You will find in no time that you are relied on quite often and miraculously become successful.
    6 – This is one I kept but only with my own employees up until I started my blog just a few weeks ago. All of my people know they can always get a straight answer from me and never have to second guess things. I spell them out quite easily for them, whether that be in expectations or goals.
    7- So So True. Have you ever seen the Movie Cleopatra, the one with Elizabeth Taylor. That movie is fantastic for seeing how those in power keep it and maintain that element of mystery. Example. When Cleopatra was first brought into see Caesar (rolled up in a carpet), one of the first things she did was look at Caesar’s maps. She told him there were some very important positions not even noted, which would put Caesar’s legions at a disadvantage.
    When she left and his Genrals returned, Caesar turned to them and said ‘ Do these maps seem wrong to you? They said, ‘Why no” Caesar then stated “I have a sense for these things, please look into these hills here and consult the local map makers to update our maps”
    There in lies the mystery, he had a ‘sense’ for these things.
    Mystery of how he built his reputation!
    Since about none of the people reading this are intending on being famous like Hollywood Stars, I think your list is decent and suited for those of you who will make it big.
    So I will add Persistence. One of the most important qualities you can ever have. One of my favorite quotes ever is by former President Calvin Coolidge. it is so fitting for your list if you apply it the way I’m saying. It goes:

    “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”
    Now that is a quote to listen to.
    I will add my own two favorites to your list that I personally have used for over a decade and half. I hope you like them. They helped me do very well in life, at least financially.
    Zig Ziglar said it best when he said You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. This is extremely important I think. One more is by Robert Heinlein who said – “Always listen to the experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done and why. Then do it.”

    • WOW, appreciate the in depth comments. You make some good points.

      1. Valid point about Paris.
      2. There are exceptions to this rule as you pointed out with Britney, but for most people, they should try and be themselves. If you look at Britney, being her dumb self is helping keep the spotlight on her. Not sure if this is press you want, but it is helping with media attention.
      3. With the stupid remarks, there are limits to it. If you are going to say something that is racist or offensive, it is probably best to keep it to yourself. But if you are going to say something stupid that will not hurt anyone… then why not take a chance.
      4, 5, 6, 7. Glad you agree.

  15. What’s so great about being famous?

    Here’s a quote from George Harrison (The Beatles): “I wanted to be successful, not famous.”

    ___
    How often do you feel unwell?
    That’s too often…

    http://www.wellnessaid.com

  16. Hey Neil – just found your blog, and I love it. That picture really made me pause, were the words on the singlets photoshopped in? Hahahah! My god!

    Cheers,
    Albert | UrbanMonk.Net
    Modern personal development, entwined with ancient spirituality.

  17. Harish Yadav K. :

    I’ve done the point #5 at my work, however, always got answers like- ” We knew this!”, “Not bad”, etc… and credit far off.

  18. Like the article Neil, although the surefire winner for me is leaving the house without underwear in a low-slung sportscar….

  19. Point 5 is particularly important…and is not thing the Hilton sisters don’t do!

    Phil

  20. Great post Neil. As someone once said, “When all think alike, no one thinks very much.”

    Sammy Simpson
    http://www.thetunein.com

  21. thanks for the tips Neil. I liked your name, your website, and the way John has potrayed you.. I am kind of jealous of you. :D but I believe jealousy can’t hurt the one at good end but atleast let you understand something out of you. isn’t it ?

  22. Great piece – It actually makes you think about high school – the cool kids never really tried – they were just “cool” – its just something you have to feel and roll with. Confidence is key.

  23. Paula in Seattle :

    Hi Neil, Thanks for the fame list.

    Fame seems tricky, though. There are so many pitfalls with the benefits. I’ve lately realized it’s best to be only kinda famous. Famous in your world, not the whole world. Famous enough to acquire assets, perks, and esteem, but not famous enough to endure perma-paparazzi and paranoia.

    I like your phrase “attention junky.” It really boils it down to the personal desire to be a star, even if for only 15 minutes at a time. Personally, I wouldn’t want peoples’ eyes to ALWAYS be on me; I have too many bad hair days. (Plus, I like “watching people” too much for them to always be watching me!) But once in awhile, attention is fun, and can be a nice, healthy boost to the ego.

    But along with the powerful and postive moments, comes the occasional embarassment. We can TRY to block out those oops moments, just like celebrities try. For instance, I can “accidentally” try to erase the old TV interview of me on the ancient Beta tape the next time my grandma plays it. (The handy fruit-shaped magnet from her fridge just might do the trick.) But those truly in the public eye don’t have such an easy out, with their every move documented.

    I’ll share my three tips for achieving some degree of fame, (we’re talking micro-fame here) or at least just enjoying some of the benefits.

    Number one, BUY your place. You want to go to Sundance or Toronto and rub elbows? Buy a pass. It will cost you, but you’ll be in the action. Once, I bought a real, Hollywood, red-carpet movie premiere ticket, with afterparty included, for a screamin’ deal. My sister and I made a trip of it and had so much fun. After flying home, I saw us on Entertainment Tonight and Wire Image. No one will ever recognize me from that microsecond of fame. Ever. But I had fun, and I have pictures. Other examples include VIP party passes, auction plates, and opening night tickets. These things aren’t always cheap, but they’re sometimes not as much as people think (and can be a tax write-off on occasion!) Time your purchase with celebrity guests/speakers, and you’ll get a taste of going behind the velvet rope. Or if you miss the party altogether, sometimes you can pick up the entire gift bag, chock full, on ebay. There! You have some fancy celebrity chocolates, jeans, and shampoo, and you saved big bucks on actually going to the party.

    Number two, TALK and people may listen. Check Oprah and Ellen for upcoming shows and topics. Both have long lists of who and what they want on their show. A free trip and a guest spot is certainly worth writing home about. If you can’t get the ooopmh for the national exposure, go local. Most large cities have afternoon shows and cable spots that constantly need content. Be an expert on something, anything, as long as you can speak passionately. Seriously. Anything. I’ve been on TV for clipping coupons and wrapping presents. These are both activities I love. Sometimes local interest stories even make national news, like the Today Show and Good Morning America. What have you got to lose, right? So start talking it up here and there. Before you know it, you’ll know what it feels like to be mic’d up and going live.

    And number three, just enjoy the BENEFITS, without actually having the worry of getting famous. I found my way to your site by reading about your venture into AmEx Black Card territory. There are huge perks with that. HUGE. I’ve been test driving just the Platinum card, and I am loving it. Benefits like free upgrades, special events, and freebies make a big difference in our perceptions, and therefore enjoyment, of an experience. Take for instance the free drink I enjoyed recently while sitting in the airport lounge that I never had access to before. Ironically, that free drink felt like a million bucks.

    Anyhow, thanks for the great blog. You’ve got a great sense of humor, and put so much food for thought out there. Keep up the good work! Sincerely, Paula

    • WOW, great tips. I would have to agree with you in a large extent, but I personally would not mind being fully famous instead of somewhat famous. Now realistically it is much easier to become famous in a niche and probably a wiser thing to do. But if I had the chance to be fully famous, I would gladly accept it.

  24. if you guys want to become famous right now, stop waisting your time and try the internet you biches.

  25. The title of this article reminds me on the Nike slogan – “Just Do It!” A slogan which our Conference is to do something useful for others. Thank you Neil!

  26. cash loans uk :

    I have some problem with Hilton sisters pic at the top. I think they represent what this article says not to be.. :)

  27. i would like to become famous becuse every one has talent and and im one of thim and im 13

  28. Ha, ha, I love the Paris Hilton photo in this post. Is there anybody who secretly wouldn’t like to become famous? I admit honestly that I’d love to. Thanks for your tips, they seem to be very reasonable and worth using!

  29. So the trick is to provide as much value as possible, without giving away all your secrets…..it works for me. There has to be some serious bait to lure them fishies…..

  30. those rules apply to any social interaction, not only buisness,
    stop trying so hard and just go with the flow, love it

  31. Now you’ve gotten your new website and you’re eager to start making some gross sales! But, how are you going to make gross sales if you happen to don’t have high volumes of holiday makers to your web site?

  32. great article about redirecting personal energies, this article makes the point that becoming famous is less about becoming famous than it is about doing something that earns you fame… fame obsessed people have a clot in their thinking that stops them from doing worthwhile things that would gain attention… of course a bit of real talent doesn’t hurt!

  33. Hello Neil,

    I agree with your every point but some time our mind is not react according to our sitution so what we have to do on that time ?

  34. I would love a chance at fame and I’m a pretty amazing singer so remember my name cuz I’m gonna try 2 be famous

  35. Thanks for linking to article how to be popular. I think many people who try to be famous find it is not as attractive as they hoped

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