There are many degrees of “famous.” In fact, fame is relative when broken down. My die-hard sports fan of an uncle may know every player to don a Detroit Tigers uniform while my best friend from college may not know what an inning is.
Because there are so many levels of fame, every business person who is “known” should leverage it. Plenty of start-ups publish blog posts to resounding silence and have to pay for every Facebook like, email sign-up, and Twitter follower they receive.
If you have a network, use it.
Here’s how you can get started:
1. Start with Friends and Family
No, I’m not joking. When you are known just for being you — maybe you’re an athlete, philanthropist, or stage performer — your friends and family are your biggest fans. They love to boast about every single thing you do and will share it to their social media platforms, by word of mouth, and through email.
If you are starting a business and you have a fan base made up of your friends and family, start there. Let them know what you’re up to, have them follow your social media accounts, and pass along any materials they can forward to their friends.
Exceptions to the rule: anyone who is toxic or who would purposefully tarnish the image of you or your business. Skip those people!
2. Nurture Your Raving Fans
Anyone who is well known has a core group of raving fans who want to be a part of everything they’re doing. Maybe these individuals love your foundation’s mission, followed your college sports career, or were first in line at your local concert.
The key is to feed any and all material to this group. Make them feel special by giving them inside information. Start a closed Facebook group just for them where you make a point to spend time each week engaging.
These people are your lifeblood and will grow your business or foundation.
Think of a bulls-eye. Your raving fans are the circle at the center. The more you feed those fans, the bigger that circle will get because they will spread what you’re doing to their networks. That’s how you grow.
3. Keep Relationships with Influencers
If you have reached the point of stardom — even if it’s local — there are influencers who have shared your story. It may be a local news or TV reporter, the principal or superintendent of a school, or a PR director.
Nurture those relationships and make sure they are mutually beneficial. Do favors for those influencers (within reason) by coming out to an event or signing memorabilia for an auction.
Yes, there are those who will try to take advantage of you, but try to find the genuine ones who clearly care about you and what you’re doing. If you have to ask a trusted friend and family member to help you spot the good apples, do it. The key is to find the influencers who have your back.
4. Give Your Network a Reason to Care
It isn’t just enough to maintain these relationships — you have to give these people a reason to care.
Whether you have a for-profit business or a non-profit foundation, share the personal side of why you started that entity and then continue to engage with content. Stay active on social media, post photos of your business or foundation, conduct interviews, and talk about the passion you have for what you’re doing.
Leverage the network you already have to kick-start your marketing efforts and then continue to grow as a person and a professional. These people will cheer you on every step of the way and help you make your dream a reality!