Celebritize Yourself: A Book Review

Images courtesy of Celebritize Yourself

Are you keen to be better known and respected in your field of expertise?

Have you wondered how seemingly ordinary folks - policeman, plumbers, teachers and housewives - have risen to become well known household names?

If you do, consider adopting the principles written by Marsha Friedman in Celebritize Yourself: The 3-Step Method To Increase Your Visibility and Explode Your Business.

So what are the three steps? Simple. They are:

1) Write!

2) Speak!

3) Sell!

Written in simple English with a direct "DIY" style, Celebritize Yourself outlines the benefits of being a celebrity, describes how one should publish a book to establish credibility in any field, and elaborates on the publicity generating process. Backed by Friedman's own experience as a seasoned PR consultant, the slim volume narrates the whos, whys, whats, whens and hows of achieving personal limelight.

To reinforce learning, salient points for key ideas are summarised into factoids. Examples of these include the following:

"Opportunity has no birth date, though it most definitely has an expiration date."

"For your book to become your marketing tool, you must become the architect - the carpenter, if you will - of your very own celebrity."

"Your message is what will define you."

The first three chapters of Celebritize Yourself adopts an introspective "why should I be doing this" approach. Peppered with examples from the real and "reel" worlds, Friedman highlights the pros and cons of stardom, helps us to identify how we can change the world, encourages us to determine our weaknesses, and provide tips on how we can transform ourselves accordingly.

With the foundation in place, the book next elaborates on the book writing and publishing process (hint: you don't have to do it all yourself) and strategies on generating publicity. From the local presses to nationwide TV, Friedman proposes that the way to secure an interview is to be entertaining, informative and motivating.

One should also master the art of generating sound bites and learning how this makes all the difference. As a matter of fact, the book is chock-full of them on every page!

In the final three chapters or so, Friedman dives more deeply into the nuts and bolts of the business of fame. Here, we're taught how news is made and why different approaches are needed for radio, TV and print media like newspapers, magazines and websites.

To bring greater clarity to our journey, we should ask ourselves a series of questions, namely:

1) What's Your Vision for Celebrity?
2) What is Your Commitment to Your Vision?
3) What is Your Own Unique Message?
4) Why Does Your Message Appeal to You?
5) Why Will Your Message Appeal to Others?
6) Who's Your Target Audience?
7) What's Your Plan for Celebrity?
8) When Will You Start?
9) Have You Picked the Right Teammates?
10) How Will You Measure Success?
11) How Did You Score?

With its target set on lay readers who may be doctors, chefs, insurance agents or anybody with an area of specialisation, the book is more skewed towards personal motivation rather than management methodology. As a seasoned PR practitioner, I find that much of the book's publicity tips are fairly commonsensical. You can probably find most of these strategies if you surf article websites and blogs widely and deeply enough.

Having said that, I like the optimistic (almost bouncy) way in which Friedman paints the picture of personal profile building. Personal branding, publishing and public relations are presented in a refreshingly straightforward manner without the usual marketing speak. With the proliferation of personal profiles in the age of "Me Media", building one's star status becomes more important than ever before. For this, Friendman's book provides a good road map of the way ahead.

Special thanks to my buddy Daniel Goh of Young Upstarts for making this review copy available to me.

Labels: , , , , , , ,