Whilst seeking popularity is always frowned upon by many, it is a big requirement if anyone intends to make it into the mainstream or even as a micro-celecbrity.
A micro-celebrity is defined as : One who gains a cult or mainstream following due to viral INTERNET distribution. Does not refer to those who have gained limited or cult followings through traditional media. Does not refer to has-beens or “B-list” celebrities. (Urban Dictionary)
Law 6 in the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene says “Court attention at all costs” what is unknown counts for nothing.
The tips I will share here will help anyone get to micro-celebrity status or even further push into the mainstream. You will realize that nowadays that micro-celebrities such as Zimbabwe’s Floridah Mapeto or CST tend to end up affiliated with what is known as the mainstream.
I myself went from Facebook popularity to being on Good Morning Zimbabwe on national TV, several newspaper publications ( Newsday, Sunday News, Herald), speaking engagements, award winning’s and nominations and many other milestones which are affiliated with the mainstream. Likewise people such as Floridah who is in my example have been nominated even for Zimbabwe Womens Awards (ZIWA) for being outstanding. That are many other examples out there we can look at but I will proceed to give out practical white hat tips and routines you can take.
1. Be your raw self:
That minute when you cut out the mask that we give to society is when you can truly start standing out. As long as you are trying to blend with “them” you are going to have a hard time standing out. If you have a strong rural background, do not try to mesh into the uptown persona by making up accents and so forth. Stand out and embrace who you are with no shame.
This is important and saves you in the long haul. A fake identity will later be exposed and trolled yet if people knew who you were from the onset.
2. Dress And Look Different:
You cannot be outstanding by dressing the same as the regular jaw. You need to be styled in a manner that is rare to most people. Our example, Floridah for instance tints her hair and keeps it short and though she didn’t come up with blond-tinted African hair she is one of a few girls you will see with tha look which makes her competition close to non. You can recognize and identify her.
Your look has to be easy to describe if someone were to tell someone about you. “Oh, don’t you know Dudu Manhenga, that woman who wears long hats, ” or “Sharky, the guy who is almost always in African attires and beads.”
Standing out is important in that, it opens avenues for your gifts or whatever value you offer to be seen. Value may be in the form of articles, music, posts, or maybe your value is just how you look if you’re a model.
Do not fear to be awkward, because Schingy and Team Bho went to the 2015 Zim Hip-hop awards wearing primary school uniform and they are one of the most remembered spectacles of the night.
3. Speak Different
After you look different, you may as well still be part of everyone else if you do not speak different. Yes you can be popular as, “That guy who dyed his hair white and wears flip-flops with a tie” but it’s stronger when you tie that look to a purpose and speak towards that purpose especially when dressed like that.
Sharky (Soko Matemai) firstly dresses as an Afro-centric person, then he speaks as one including naming his album after his totem which embodies the African culture he embraces. This creates consistency as opposed to many other youth who may wear the same African attire as a fashion statement yet do not even know their totem or how to greet elders the African way.
In other words, whether the look you embrace is conscious, scientific, philosophical, goth, outrageously crazy or hedonistic you need to study much and embrace it as a culture. This is consistent with what I said in the first point. Fakes will be exposed.
4. Speak up
Do not be afraid to voice out against undertone issues that others whisper about. Speak up!!! –
People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies.
As long as it looks just if you can use this method. You can throw satire at the institutions that screw over people, diss or make fun of perceived Villains. This doesn’t work however if you try being popular by “throwingshade” at a group which is oppressed.
Floridah Mapeto is popular for speaking on behalf of women for instance. The things about relationships they think about or whisper but never say for fear of societal judgement. She is ready to take a shot for the team and get trolled and heckled as long as she has aired it out. Obviously both men and women have risen to respect her for that honesty.
Pastor Evan Mawarire made headlines in months for airing his concerns against failure by Zimbabwe’s political leaders.
People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies. – Thousands gathered outside the court in solidarity when he was charged with subversion by the state. Wow!!!
Now your cause may or may not be a political one but the rules stay the same. What are the problems you think you can take a bullet for?
Standing up against an oppressed minority will get you popular through the backlash but the problem is you will be popular, yet no one will like you or want business with you.
5. Be Awesome At What You Do
Self explanatory but the importance of this can never be exaggerated. Work on your craft with such alacrity, patience and perfectionism (though perfection is un-reachable). Do not take any chances with the craft you want to be popular for otherwise the popularity will just be hype.
Imagine waiting for a movie all year only to get a mediocre, basic plot that’s been done before.
6. Networking and Support
Attend the events of your niche and support others initiatives. Those people may in turn support yours. At events you have the chance of getting contacts that build bridges to take you to where you want to go. Word of mouth is a very big tool and it’s spreads better when people like you as a person.
7. Improve Your PR Strategy
If you do not have journalist contacts and press release templates yet, you need to improve on that. Collect names and contacts of journalists, bloggers and and any media personnel in your niche. Nurture ethical relationships with them and when you have a newsworthy milestone let them know.
Most of these people already get a lot of messages from people who want features that’s why standing out as outlined in most of the article will help you get their attention. Another strategy is to deal with college students studying for journalism because it is a no-brainer that they may not be at the Herald today but chances are they will be in the next few years.
Be strategic by nurturing an ethical relationship before they are on demand. If you are definitely newsworthy they’ll never ignore you and once you’re min the news whether via an intern or an article by a rookie, the thing is, the paper will still be bought by over 68,000 people a day.
Even the most boring television programs are said to be streaming to over 900,000 viewers at a time.
It’s a wrap.
Follow @Mcpotar on twitter.