“Our goal is to make you famous,” they said.
This may be exactly what you would imagine an agent would want, to have big name, celebrity clients. But as a twenty one year old just out of college, I was more interested in an agency that would get me consistent work doing the type of theatre that I wanted to do. I honestly didn’t care about fame, and I had thought this agency had the same mentality. I had heard and seen that their clients were doing great acting work all over the country. Even though they weren’t household names, they were living the dream by making their living as actors. That’s all I wanted. So why were they all of a sudden talking about making me famous?
“We don’t really care is Lisa Marie in Hoedunk, Kansas knows your name,” they continued, “We want to make sure that every director and casting director in town not only knows your name, but is a fan of your work. Our goal is to make you famous among the right people.”
To me, this is the goal of every artist, business, actor, or engineer. Too often we believe the lie that it is the number of fans or the number of followers that dictates our fame, and therefore our influence in the world. The reality though, is it’s not about numbers. It’s about becoming famous, gaining fans, and building trust among the select few that will catapult you in your business or industry.
For there actor in New York, you can have hundreds of screaming fans at the stage door each night. But if you aren’t famous among the likes of Jim Carnahan, Tara Rubin, and Bernie Telsey, you might not be an actor in New York for very long. Actors are most successful when they are famous among casting directors.
Most of us don’t know who Neil Gaiman is. Unless, of course, you read graphic novels. In which case, Neil Gaiman, the author of the prolific Sandman series, is probably considered a huge celebrity in your eyes. Do you think Gaiman cares whether the suburban mother of three knows his name or not? Not unless she, or kids, really like comics. Writers are most successful when they are famous among their target audience.
Do you think that H2Odyssey cares if Oprah Winfrey loves their brand? My guess is, probably not. Unless Oprah has recently become a scuba diving fanatic. Businesses are most profitable when they are most famous among their target customers.
It’s not about reaching the most people, it’s about reaching the right people.