What do celebrities like Beyonce, Oprah, Madonna, and Tom Hanks all have in common? They've established authority through their personal brand.
None of them require an introduction in their industry or otherwise. They dominate their space, having created authority that translated into opportunity, celebrity, and ultimately, long-term success.
While you might not have celebrity status, there's a lot you can learn from their rise to fame. Let's take a look at the influence celebrities wield and the four steps you can take to build that same influence, no matter the industry:
1. Be authentic in your intentions.
The most successful celebrities are real and authentic across their social channels. Jessica Simpson gives her fans a glimpse into her personal life through pictures of her family. Chris Pratt lets his comedic side take over through silly, funny, and often touching posts about his beliefs, and the causes and foundations he supports.
You can do the same by infusing your personality into everything you share. Being authentic about who you are and the intentions of your brand will build strong ties with your community. Those deep roots lay the foundation that will allow you to boldly go after the life you want.
2. Go boldly after the life you want.
As you begin to build your personal brand, a lot of things can begin to show up. One of the most destructive forces that can derail your efforts is fear. It's natural to fear exposing your brand to the world or taking a stand for what you value within your life and business. That's where clarity of purpose and innate passion steps in.
If you want to build a powerful brand, you have to name it, claim it, and embrace the fear. Because when you do, that's where the magic happens. As Tom Hanks told The Telegraph back in 2009, "My work is more fun than fun but, best of all, it's still very scary. That terror is what makes me feel alive. It's a wonderful feeling, unlike anything else in the world."
3. Get clear on your boundaries.
Celebrities are in the spotlight 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If the camera isn't in their face, a fan, hater, or critic is. Many have learned the hard way that throwing caution to the wind, and posting in haste, can be detrimental to a personal brand.
Beyonce has been very forthcoming with her struggles on what she should (and should not) share on social media. During her self-produced HBO documentary Life Is But a Dream, she wondered, "How do I keep my humility and spirit? How do I continue to be generous to my fans and my craft? How do I stay current, but how do I stay soulful?"
I suspect you've wondered the same. The key is to get clear on your boundaries and define your communication process. Take ten minutes to reflect on what you're willing to talk about on social media. For example, you're mentioned in a tweet that's politically biased. Do you respond or ignore that post?
Now think about the conversations you'll either engage in or walk away from. Not every conversation is worth your time or effort. Can you imagine if Madonna or Lady Gaga responded to every mention? They'd never write or sing another song again.
Lastly, determine how you'll handle negative talk or feedback. This unfortunate truth is a reality of social media that no one can escape. Especially when you're a celebrity. The legendary feud that played out between Amber Rose and Khloe Kardashian was proof that knowing when to walk away isn't always common knowledge. Remember: you have the power when on social media to give in, give up or move on.
4. Establish thought leadership now, not later.
If you want to achieve success, you need to create thought leadership and become a recognized expert and authority. Why? Because celebrities like Oprah know that influence gives you a huge leg-up. And the data supports that.
A study from influencer marketing platform MuseFind shows that 92 percent of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or a traditional celebrity endorsement. As an influencer, Oprah built a career out of her compassion, empathy, and opinion. As her authority grew, doors of opportunity easily swung open. And they can for you too.
Traditionally, you needed a relevant educational degree or had to spend a lifetime in the industry to get to the point of significant influence. Today, you can share your thoughts on social media, leverage speaking opportunities, and stay in front of your audience through live streaming video.
The sky's the limit. Building a brand of influence is only limited today by your own creativity.