There are tons of people we could probably all know just by saying one name and these individuals have become famous or depending on the circumstances, infamous. Many of these individuals probably have no discernible talent other than they seemingly know how to manipulate the media into building them an audience.
Obviously, the reigning champion of this is Kim Kardashian. Kim, in turn, learned the ropes from her mate Paris Hilton. On and on it goes, there have always been people in the media spotlight who seem famous for being famous. We used to have names for them like “socialite” or “flavour of the month”, now we refer to them simply as celebrities.
In the world of marketing online, there have always been these people floating around the edges – they know the right people, they seem to be in every selfie at every bar at every event – but for the most part, they were rather benign. They were bit players in the chorus of an off-Broadway musical.
One thing that’s fascinated me recently is how a few people I know have started gravitating towards this style. I’m not sure if it is deliberate (I’m certain there’s an element of it that is) and how much just is stupid self-importance, but it’s happening more and more.
Let me backtrack for a second.
You want to build an audience. Since starting Casual Marketer back in February, this has been a consistent theme that I’ve banged on about over and over again. If you can have people following you because they find what you offer valuable and entertaining, you’re doing well.
The central element, however, is usefulness. You have to be offering something to people that moves them forward in their journey faster than they otherwise would because they have placed themselves within your sphere of influence. Your job is to accelerate their progress in a discernible way.
Sometimes though, it’s easier to start crossing the line into Hopium Dealer territory and become a bit of an egomaniac. That’s a really slippery slope that you need to be incredibly careful to avoid.
Well, the simple fact is, it’s easy. When you’ve built an audience it can be really easy to fall into the trap of making the conversation about you rather than about them. You start taking pictures of you being silly on your seemingly endless vacations, you show them photos of whatever toy you bought today and lots of pictures of you drinking and having a wonderful time.
That’s easy to do because it generally doesn’t require much effort beyond having fun and enjoying yourself. It’s way easier than actually sharing stuff of value and sitting down doing some work.
And you know what? More often than not, you and your business will get a bump, particularly if you’re in the coaching or personal development market. People will see you on your third vacation in the last six months and say to themselves, “This person clearly has it all worked out, I want the life they’re leading, I’m going to join their program!”
Let me tell you, there are tons of those people!
They don’t just want to be like you, they want to BE you. They want to drink the mega banana daiquiri and eat the hat made of nachos in some weird exotic locale.
Heck, they deserve it!
And seeing as you seemingly have no time to do any work to achieve that level of success, you’ve obviously got it figured out and being part of your “Inner Sanctum” or whatever you call your program will be their gateway to “the next level”.
Eventually, you spend all of your time piss farting around looking like you’re having a blast that you forget to actually keep doing whatever it was that got you that audience in the first place.
You lose your real edge. You become a parody.
Then one day you wake up and you notice that the only people left paying any attention to you are no hopers and leftovers desperate to pay you ten bucks for an eBook on some topic you were the master of two years ago when you last did any real work.
I’m not saying this to be a buzzkill. I’m thinking of your long-term best interest. Having an audience is a valuable commodity and the more value you create for them, the better the quality of people you attract.
When you stop producing value and start making everything you share about you, selling hope to the desperate masses, then you attract people who are looking for shortcuts and habitual failures. Their attention is fleeting as they are always looking for the next “cool” person to help them “level up”.
What I’m suggesting is that you focus on being the person who delivers the best quality to your audience, works hard, is humble and thinks about the long term. That strategy will ensure that no matter what, you stay relevant and valuable to your audience which is the most important thing you can be.