33 Methods for Achieving Superstar Status

33 Methods for Achieving Superstar Status
by Leann Regalla

Courtesy of Handmade Business

Marketing is an art in itself. Believe it or not, you already have a big part of the skill set. The rest can be learned through hard work and dedication.

You've learned to study, to practice, to be persistent, to grow a thick skin, to listen to your audiences and grow with them. Start thinking of marketing as an extension of your art instead of something opposed to it.

This is our concluding series, Part Three--the final 33 ways that will help you tame your fears and launch your inner superstar.

Shatter all the current records.
Go down in history as a game changer. You have the potential--it's time to live up to it.

1. Rock your merchandise.
Sell related merchandise. Let's say you're a photographer with a series of studies of coffee cups or wineglasses or spring flowers. You could sell the mugs or wineglasses or flowers as well as your prints. A band that had a huge percussion number in their show sold drumsticks and they flew off the table.

2. Ride the momentum.
Right after fans buy and are happy, ask for shares and referrals. Don't be afraid to do this more than once. Offer incentives and tokens of appreciation. Have fans submit pictures or videos of themselves enjoying or displaying your stuff to post on your website, and share on social media and in blog posts.

3. Throw a huge after party.
Create super-cool bonuses or gifts to show your collectors you appreciate their support. Throw an actual party for local collectors.

4. Return the applause.
Thank followers again throughout the year. Ask them for their birthdays for the purpose of sending them a gift. Then create a customized happy birthday message for collectors--a photo, cartoon, poem, postcard, print, or special greeting.

5. Push the limits.
Do one critical thing better than your competition. Find something that's needed in the market, but often lacking and figure out how you can provide that. It could simply be a more personalized approach or taking your service one step further.

6. Break new ground.
Try something that's never been done before. It could be a new method, using unusual media or a novel delivery method.

7. Admit you're a fierce competitor.
Even if you consider yourself more cooperative than competitive, always be improving on your former self.

8. Raise the bar for the future.
Set a new standard for others to follow. Jumping three cars isn't very exciting when jumping twenty is commonplace. List all the ways people tell you that your work makes their lives just a little bit better. Consistently do more of these things, so that they become expected in the marketplace.

9. Do the impossible.
It's like shattering a world record for the longest time trapped under water. List all the ways you can care more. Passion, dedication, and a real desire to give your collectors what they want creates crazy loyalty.

10. Wear your emblem on your chest.
Like Superman, create your character, persona, and your brand. Proudly display them everywhere.

Be all that you can be
Don't concentrate on the negatives. Take a tip from Star Wars' Yoda. To quote the tiny guru, ''Do or do not--there is no try.'' Be positive about your talents and capabilities.

11. Be a valiant warrior.
What will you courageously fight for? What causes and principles do you stand for and believe in? Don't be afraid to talk about them. While it's true you could turn some people off, you will also be attracting many more who agree with you.

12. Be hungry.
Don't be content to rest on former accomplishments or awards. Celebrate, yes, but then set your sights higher and prepare for your next challenge.

13. Be a champion.
What things about life and art do you value? What will you go to any lengths to defend? Friendship? Stress the relationships you build with people, and treat all your collectors as friends. Charity work? Spread the word. Mutual interests create a bond. Don't be afraid to stand for something.

14. Be exclusive.
You don't have to let everyone into your club. You might appeal to young parents wanting to capture sweet baby memories. Maybe no one can possibly understand your work except granola-munching hippies. Embrace your following.

15. Be discriminating.
Once you decide who your ideal fans are, go where they hang out. Hang your art in a winery or upscale bistro, not in a take-out pizza joint (unless your pop-art style really fits there). Be everywhere--but really be everywhere that you fit.

16. Be controversial.
If you try to appeal to everyone, you will appeal to no one. But, if you turn off some people, you will win the loyalty of others. As popular blogger Jon Morrow says, ''Whatever you gotta do in your own head to be okay with people not liking you--Do it.''

Your popularity comes from your heart, mind, and hands.
It's not all about fame and fortune. The more people you reach, the more you can improve their lives. This is how your work starts to change the world, with your corner of it.

17. Become a PR machine.
Produce and share lots of entertaining, educational, and informational content online. Keep your fans updated regularly through e-mail, your blog, and social media. Deepen the experience and don't let them forget about you.

18. Get on the bill for larger and larger shows.
Learn how to guest post--writing for other people's blogs as a way to grow your own fan base. Yes, artists can leverage these opportunities to their great benefit, and many do.

19. Be ready when the press comes knocking.
Finish or spruce up your physical and online press kits and portfolios.

20. Read all your fan mail.
What do people like about you? What are you doing that they respond well to? How are you inspiring them? Respond as much as you can and build those relationships.

21. Meet and greet.
How do your collectors get to meet you? How do they develop a personal connection with you? People relate to real people much more than brands or companies. Hold an annual customer appreciation barbeque, bowling night, or rafting trip. Host chats and webinars, and respond to your blog comments.

22. Earn a permanent place in their hearts.
Get on their A-List--become the e-mail message sender they never miss and always read first. Think about what steps you must take to build that kind of intimacy, likeability, and trust with your fans.
33 Methods for Achieving Superstar Status

23. Make fans a part of the family.
Inclusion, being a part of something great, is priceless and exciting. Tell your biggest collectors about your artistic mission or personal charities. Let them know how they can join and make it easy for them to do so.

24. Find out what's working.
Get in the habit of asking customers how they heard about you. Track this information. If you use registration forms or e-mail signups for events, shows, or workshops, you have a perfect opportunity to gather this data. You can also ask as part of wrapping up a sale, or when you get phone or e-mail inquiries.

25. Be seen everywhere.
Learn about tools for sharing content between social media platforms. Start using them. Claim your free listings on Google Places, Bing, Yahoo, and the like.

26. Become a household word.
Craft your pitch so that it's clear what you do and for whom. Use a form similar to these examples: ''I create [this] for [these people]''; ''I think it's wrong that [situation exists], so I'm on a mission to [thing you're changing].''

27. Hire or become your own publicist.
Get a strong bio. This is not a recitation of your résumé. It's about your compelling story, what drives you, and, most important, how this helps you relate to your fans and make their lives better.

28. Hire or become your own spin doctor.
Take a close look at your websites ''About'' page. Make sure it's not really all about you, but instead what your work does for people, what experiences they will have, and what they can expect from you.

Stake your claim on the mountaintop
You've worked hard to get where you are. Own it! Don't shy away from your success!

29. Do photo ops in your tights and cape.
Make or commission a well-designed, attractive logo or photo that clearly communicates what you do. It doesn't have to be expensive or world changing, just the picture that says a thousand words.

30. Wear your glam costume everywhere.
Update all your social media profiles and delete any that you habitually neglect. Give yourself permission to really connect and engage in a few manageable sites that you enjoy. Remove unused profiles or perk them up, and update the links and content occasionally to drive people to sites where you do interact.

31. Polish your image till it shines.
Occasionally check all your pages and links, and make sure they all work. Ask for help with this if you need. Send new people to your highest converting page.

32. Share the spoils.
Celebrate with and thank the people who got you where you are. Generously share the lessons you've learned.

33. Be truly humble.
Be open about your past and current challenges. People don't really connect with superhumans. They want to see real people who have tackled and triumphed over the same obstacles they are facing now.