11 Steps to Becoming Internet Famous

When you’re trying to market and monetize your know-how, becoming famous in your chosen area goes far beyond vanity. In this business, Internet fame means: more reach; more sales; more credibility; more joint ventures/opportunities; more fans; more fame… and the virtuous circle continues. The more Internet famous you become, the easier it is to sell your products, create new products and grow your audience. That’s where the money is. (To clarify, we are talking about fame for your expertise in your chosen niche/topic – not generic “famous for being famous”).

How to become famous when you’re nobody

  1. Be so good that they can’t ignore you. Are you unknown, with no contacts and no influence? All the big names started there. The solution? Start creating noteworthy stuff. It’s simple really. Before others start noticing you, you need to be doing/creating something that deserves to be noticed. Are you creating anything interesting? Are you doing something that makes your target audience say, “Wow, cool!” Your output is your portfolio. Show others what you’ve created so far; what you’re trying to do; how you’re serving others and you’ll be surprised at how many people will help you.
  2. Be serious. Hard work does not get the respect it deserves. Books like The Four Hour Work Week are misunderstood to mean working hard is for chumps. Are you committed or just dabbling? Are you creating great content and products? How far have you come under your own steam? Are you taking action or just talking? Are you procrastinating? Are you helping yourself or just waiting for others to help you? If you get 100 rejections, would you keep going? Are you willing to put in the work? The unglamorous 4 a.m. shifts? Saying no to going out because you’ve not hit your work quota? All the famous experts weren’t handed their position – they put the work in.
  3. Choose your target audience. Who will you help and how will you help them? Becoming Internet famous is much easier when you have a clear target market identified: marketing, being heard and being noticed are all easier.
  4. What do you want to be famous for? What do you want people to think of when they hear your name or hire you/use your product? What area of expertise do you want to be known for? This may change down the line as you refine your offer, your brand, your audience and that’s natural but you should always have a clear idea when you start out.
  5. Develop your personality to appeal to your target market. Being someone/something you’re not is exhausting. Be authentic, be yourself but be “the best version of you”. Identify your three most appealing personality traits, e.g. I’m kind, I help others without expectation, I’m positive – and use those as the pillars of your Internet personality.
  6. Develop a professional brand image and apply it consistently. Use the same username where possible, the same profile picture, the same logo, the same fonts, the same colours. Successful companies know the importance of brand consistency.
  7. Choose your weapon. You should be wherever your audience hangs out and not necessarily where the latest fad dictates. Non-negotiables weapons would be your own branded website and Twitter account (as your audience grows, Twitter’s power becomes more evident and self-perpetuating). As time and resources allow, you may want to hit the event talk circuit (highly effective); establish a presence on Facebook (recommended), or extend to YouTube or podcasting. But go narrow and deep to begin with: find the medium that suits you and your content and become great at it.
  8. Spread your message. Whilst you may not have a full-time, fully-established presence on all social networks, you should still use them to extend the reach of your content: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon, Slideshare, Delicious… You can outsource posting to these.
  9. Have a simple, actionable social media strategy. In an ideal world you would have a skilled team of full-time social media strategists backing you up but if you’re on your own you need to cut your cloth accordingly. The good news is, you can reap most of the benefit of social media is 4 × 15 minute sessions a day. A routine you can use:
    Morning session: respond to one or two tweets from previous day; tweet once; respond to  blog comments. (When replying to comments, always try to add further value).
    – Lunchtime session: publish that day’s blog post (written the day before); tweet it out; update your Facebook status accordingly.
    – Afternoon session: as with Morning session
    – Evening session: respond to any interesting comments or questions you didn’t get round to during the day.
    This is a basic strategy which you will quickly outgrow but it will serve you in the early days.
  10. Initiate conversations with your audience. It’s not all about promoting you or your product. Ask your audience questions relevant to your niche/expertise (in the early days, concentrate on adding value not just shooting-the-breeze: What can you help them with? Do they have any questions you can answer? What do they think of a particular situation? How would they solve a common problem for your target market? What do they think is the best way to achieve a particular result? What do they want more of? Ask your fans to share their experience, advice, lessons. Welcome, thank and share their input with everyone else. Your fans will feel appreciated.
  11. Create freaking amazing content. One of the fastest way to become Internet famous is to give your audience free content that blows them out of the water with its usefulness. Don’t be mediocre – create something as though it were your life’s work. Seriously, give this your time and full-attention, spending days or even weeks to create something that your customer avatar and established experts/influencers in your field will notice, pick up and share. Do this and you’re on your way to fame. Create content that you could easily charge for and give it away in exchange for your target’s email. Build your audience now with insanely great content and monetize later.

Takeaway points

  1. No one is stopping you but no one will do all the work for you either.
  2. Your job is to create fantastic content your target audience cannot ignore. Write books, give talks, create courses, start a digital magazine… Whatever it is, take it seriously and build your credibility.
  3. Just because they’re not talking about you doesn’t mean they don’t notice. Don’t base your self-worth or the value of your work on the approval of others. It takes times to create anything of value and during that time you may not receive any feedback, comments, compliments or encouragement. Keep going. Put metrics, in place to measure your progress – they will serve as your North Star. When nothing seems to be happening but your metrics are pointing in the right direction, be happy, you’re on the right path.

Action steps

  1. Identify your magnum opus. What can you create that will get you noticed by your target audience and influencers? It could be a book, a course, a training program, a software service. Start creating that. Share your progress, get feedback, talk to people, modify, improve – but get it out there. If you want to be Internet famous, you need something people can gather around, share and talk about.
  2. Stop waiting for others to give you permission to do what you want or permission to succeed. You hold the key to your success in you, in the work you create. Print this out and put it above your desk: I want their help but I don’t need it. Do great work and fame takes care of itself.
  3. Become a skilled public speaker. Get training. Join Toastmasters. Nothing builds credibility – and Internet fame – like speaking at events, sharing the platform with other experts. All the big names are accomplished speakers.

Photo credit: blondinrikard via Foter.com / CC BY

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