Claim Your Way to Fame and Sell More of Your Product at the Same Time

One of the best marketing tools is to get publicity for your product or service by making your own claim to fame. What you need is a title.

Needless to say, I am not talking about a title such as “Your Highness” or “the Right Honorable” although you may well deserve both. For marketing purposes, your title should tell the world that you are one of the leading authorities in the field that you work in. It also helps if the title is a bit controversial.

With a title, you can use publicity to build your business by positioning yourself as a qualified and credible expert, particularly in the media. Media people are willing to help you if you give them what they want. Thus, you must find a way to make your expertise known to the media so that they can contact you whenever they need someone to comment on a particular product, service, or story.

After Paul Hartunian wrote a book called How to Be Outrageously Successful with the Opposite Sex (Ultimate Secrets, 1991), he claimed in his press releases to be “the nation’s leading authority on dating and relationships.” No one else gave Hartunian this label — it was his own claim to fame.

Hartunian even challenged anyone who thought he or she was America’s leading authority on dating and relationships to call any of the over 1,000 radio talk shows he was on. No one ever did. Hartunian says, “To this day, I remain the undisputed, unchallenged nation’s leading authority on dating and relationships.”

Giving yourself a title is a form of branding. “It’s not enough to be the best at what you do,” advised Jerry Garcia. “You must be perceived as the only one who does what you do.” The better the title and the more visibility you have, the easier it is to get media coverage — and keep getting more.

Once you have claimed a title, there are many avenues that you can pursue to further establish yourself as a renowned expert in your field:

    Fifteen Ways to Claim Your Fame
    1. Get yourself featured in publications.
    2. Get interviewed on a radio talk show.
    3. Appear on the television news.
    4. Write a regular column about your field of expertise for print media and/or websites.
    5. Publish a monthly newsletter that you send to subscribers and to all your media contacts.
    6. Speak at conferences and seminars.
    7. Volunteer yourself as an “expert source” for media people who may need someone on short notice for breaking news related to your field.
    8. Connect your product or service to a charity or cause.
    9. Conduct a survey related to one of your products or services and then announce the results to the media with a press release.
    10. Sponsor a contest to promote your service or product and announce it in the media.
    11. Put on some stunt related to your product, service, or expertise and announce it to the media.
    12. Write a letter to the editor and list your title (claim to fame) with your name.
    13. Distribute your press release about your product or service via a publicity service that distributes news releases electronically to news rooms around the world.
    14. Publish your press releases on your website.
    15. Provide the producers of Oprah with a show idea or theme with suggestions for other experts besides yourself being on the show.

Use your title as much as possible. Start small if you have to. No doubt every person marketing a product or service would jump at the chance for a guest spot on Oprah.

There is great value to appearing on a show that reaches millions, no doubt, but don’t ignore the smaller programs — those that reach only a few thousand people. Astute marketing people will do the smallest of shows because they never know who is listening.

One small thing often leads to another small thing and a number of small things can lead to a big thing — such as a feature on Oprah or 60 Minutes. In short, a greater share of the marketplace for your product can belong to you if you can get the word out about it using a unique title.