How Celebrities Build a Mega-Brand (What You'll Never Learn in Business School)

In addition to helping clients in the business world to develop charismatic confidence to grow their businesses faster, I also help celebrity actors, musicians, singer-songwriters and many other artists launch their careers and reach Oscar and Grammy potential.

One of my personal pet peeves is when celebrities are scoffed at as being mere pretty people who got lucky.

That is never the case. Most bankable celebrities have earned their place at the top of the pyramid.

They've taken risks, they've often worked harder than serfs from the feudal era, and they've done the deep soul-searching and figured out who they really are, embraced it, packaged it, and placed it on the proverbial supermarket shelves.

Below are my core checkpoints I use to assist my clients in helping them build mega-brands, and effect maximize change in their audiences:

1. If you're not having fun, it's not working

In this case, fun translates to feeling inspired, feeling empowered, feeling invigorated.

Performing artists need their work to give them a kick of joy. So do entrepreneurs and CEOs.

Actors are wrongly told they need to bleed for their craft. In the business world, there's too much dogma about working hard (which is important) but not enough about the importance of the joy of forward momentum in a beloved career.

In this era, the businesses and leaders that thrive are the ones having the most fun--look at companies like Vimeo, Airbnb, Wag and of course, Google.

They've committed to success on their own terms while creating positive environments for their employees, thus creating a perfect storm of maximum productivity and success.

2. Are you effecting change?

Just as actors know that they need to bring about change in their partner on-stage or on-screen to have an indelible impact, successful entrepreneurs know that change (in the form of results) is essential.

Business is largely about working to get the desired results through ingenuity and/or creative persuasion.

Ultimately one's business should not singularly be focused on providing goods or services, but should also aspire to effect change by creating something useful, and showing the world what it didn't know it wanted yet .

If you're not getting the results you want, it's time to take stock of what needs to change for you to have greater impact.

3. It should feel easy and free

I often have to remind my acting clients that "great" work is not about pushing for a desired emotional response, but a focus on talking and listening--the journey.

In order to thrive, your business needs to have a strong sense of flow in all areas--from communication with team members to interacting with clients.

Ultimately, your daily doings should have a sense looseness, fluidity and harmony, not a constant sense of drudgery and stickiness as if you're pushing a boulder uphill.

4. Don't guess what "they" are looking for

My entertainment clients sometimes try to perform in terms of what they think producers or directors want, stifling their own one-of-a-kind quirks and mannerisms to mold themselves into what "they" might be looking for.

This is a failing move because most of the time, the production team has no idea what they're looking for, all they want is for someone to be the solution to their problem.

This is just as deafeningly crucial in business.

Always assume "you" are who they're looking for and bring yourself to the task, or delivery, or speech...to show someone what they didn't know they wanted yet.

Stop making a fetish out of constantly trying to guess what your clients want/are looking for--put something useful on the table and be the answer to their problem.

5. Do your version of it

Too many of my artist clients try to emulate the brands of already established celebrities.

Too many entrepreneurs try to copy successful businesses in the hopes of mirroring such success in the market.

Sometimes that works, but copying another person's success is never the way to make millions, or billions.

Doing your own version of a service or product that undeniably has the stamp of your particular blend of magic is the best way to carve an irreplaceable niche.

Building a mega brand is a long road, but if you're able to meet all the checkpoints in a strong confident manner, you're well on your way.

 

This article was originally posted on Inc.