I have had the pleasure of working with dozens of people who have become celebrities in their industries or areas of interest. I have also spent time studying other individuals who have risen from obscurity to become stars in their universe.

Some work within a business area. Others are famous among a consumer audience. Some are old hands with years of experience. Others are teenagers who have quickly become experts in their niches.

Their names are known across their areas of specialization. When they express an opinion, their peers listen. Their phones continually ring with invitations to speak at conferences. Journalists are always chasing them for comments.

These people love their “work,” and many are making more money than they ever imagined they could.

I also know lots of extremely knowledgeable people who remain completely unknown in their industries. In fact, many of these people know a lot more about their subjects than the celebrities of their industries do. Their opinions are valuable, but they’re rarely heard.

So what makes the difference between the industry celebrities and those who remain  invisible?

The list below highlights the things that, from my observations, industry celebrities do really well and that set them apart from the experts who stay in the shadows. If you pursue these activities, there is no reason why you should not become an industry celebrity.

Strategy 1 – Clearly Define Who You Are

Sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how few wannabe experts clearly define who they are and create a personal identity. The celebrities are very clear about their niche expertise and who makes up their audience.

It is not enough to say, “I’m an expert at Internet marketing.” Join the crowd! There are loads of people claiming the same thing. You’ve got to set yourself apart. Choose a niche. For example, become the world’s expert in link building. It might be a narrow niche subject, but there are millions of people interested in it.

It is better to be the world’s best in a narrow niche than to be one of many experts in a broad subject.

Strategy 2 – Get a Website

Without exception, all the celebrities have their own websites, which they keep updated.

This is the most powerful weapon in their arsenal to keep themselves in front of their target audiences … and is often a very important way of making money.

They use their sites to continually post their opinions, news and contact information. Articles, photos, video clips and downloadable documents all make up their web presence.

Strategy 3 – Have an Email Newsletter (or RSS Feed)

A website relies on an audience remembering to visit on a regular basis. The celebrities don’t like leaving these things to chance.

All the celebrities go out of their way to build relationships with their audiences. The most common way of doing this is collecting their audience members’ email addresses and sending them a regular newsletter. Celebrities know these newsletters are a very important tool in building their reputations, so they ensure that their newsletters look professional and contain really valuable information.

More and more expert sites also allow their visitors to sign up to an RSS feed so that every new article gets pushed to their readers’ PCs.

An email newsletter is another vital tool in your celebrity-building tool kit.

Strategy 4 – Get Published

Most of the celebrities have had a book published. It is amazing how one book legitimizes an individual as an expert. It is a very time-consuming project, but if you are serious about establishing yourself as an industry expert, get writing.

Strategy 5 – Join the Speakers Circuit

To become an expert, you have to have your opinions heard. The best way to do this is to start speaking at industry events.

It can be hard to get your first speaking invitations. You will need to be very proactive to get heard. One of the ways that I have found works is to start with associations, societies, universities and chambers of commerce. Write to them (or call) with a suggested workshop, seminar or presentation. Often you will get invited to participate in their annual meetings or events. If you do a good job, you should get invited back and eventually make it to the stage at a national conference or other big event.

It will take perseverance to get really big speaking gigs, but it is worth persevering.

Make sure you videotape these talks and put them on your website. They are great content that will build your reputation.

Strategy 6 – Run Your Own Seminars or Workshops

Once you have an audience, the way to be sure of getting heard is to run your own seminar or workshop.

You will need to create a compelling title that will really excite your audience. One route to success is to approach individual companies and offer to run a workshop for their staff.

Strategy 7 – Get a Column in a Relevant Magazine

Getting a column in a magazine that is read by your target audience is fantastic way of staying in front of them. Like publishing a book, writing for a magazine gives you great credibility.

Choose the magazine in which you would like to get a regular column. Look at the articles they currently run (and the type of advertisers they get). Write a description of a column that you would propose to produce and write a couple of example articles. Call the editor and discuss your ideas. Send her the examples.

Remember to publish on your website any articles you write.

Strategy 8 – Become a Journalist’s Friend

Journalists are always looking for experts to provide comments for their stories … or better still, to provide them with stories to write about. Celebrities are always on the radar of their industries’ journalists.

Make a list of all the journalists who cover your industry, and spend time helping them. Comment on their articles. Introduce them to interesting people. Offer ideas for stories. Make yourself always available for comment.

Journalists are always great contacts and worth investing time in.

Strategy 9 – Be Seen in All the Right Places

Make an effort to attend all the important industry conferences.

Make a list of who you want to meet while you are there. If possible, book meeting times with the key contacts before you arrive.

At presentations, make yourself visible by making constructive comments and asking well-thought-out questions.

Strategy 10 – Join the Relevant Associations and Societies

Every industry has its own societies and associations. This is where much of your audience will be. It is worth joining up and actively participating. Write for the website and newsletter. Speak at events.

Strategy 11 – Be Persistent

Above all, remember that celebrity is never achieved overnight. You will have to work at it, but persistence WILL pay off and the rewards can be huge.


The industry experts and celebrities I have met are ordinary people with focus and determination. Everyone has something he or she is passionate about. With the Internet and email, anyone can build a reputation as a leader. All you need is the desire and persistence to reach your goal..

And remember – the prizes can be huge. You will have celebrity and respect, control of your life and the potential to earn more money than you could as a corporate wage slave.

Just do it!