Need some sharp minds..how to monetize my "celebrity"?

32 replies
Okay, I've been racking my brains on this one for a while.

As the title states, how do I monetize my 'celebrity'?

I use the term 'celebrity' loosely as I am aware it is only mild.

Here it is in a nutshell. I have appeared on the following:

1. National TV about 10 times (in Canada)
2. Local TV 8 times.
3. Local radio for 2 years as an ongoing contributor
4. Local newspapers on and off for a few years as a contributor
5. Host of my own community TV show that is seen in several major cities.

I created a video tutoring site with over 400 lessons and worksheets. This did not turn out as planned due to the explosion of FREE video lessons and worksheets all over the internet.

I currently have about 14 books and workbooks on Amazon. Again, there are tons of free stuff all over the internet. As a one man show, with limited time, I cannot compete with free.

So, I have a dilemma. I would like to have control over my own destiny and not rely on Amazon, AdSense or Clickbank for a paycheck.

My media experiences definitely give me an advantage over others in my field. The question is, how do I best monetize this advantage?

I'm looking forward to hearing some insightful responses.
#celebrity #make money #mindshow #monetize #sharp #television #website
  • Profile picture of the author mpluto
    Monetizing celebrity is done through OUTRAGEOUS promotions of all kinds.

    You have to have BRASS BALLS to do it.

    Break all the rules and be known for it.

    Stand for something!

    Always be able to defend your position. Use any attack as marketing advantage. Pick fights. Allow others to pick them for you.

    Have integrity and originality.

    It all comes down to having brass balls and outrageous promotions.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin_Hutto
      So it appears that your niche is children's education... what is your desired end result?
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      • Profile picture of the author theteach
        My desired end result is to set up 'something' online that will bring in money as I sleep.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fantastic
    Think of what you've been in newspapers, on TV, etc for...

    If it's for some product you sell, you're off to a good start...

    If it's for going to jail...

    You might be in trouble.

    More details about what you do? What national TV network and for what?

    Are you already making money off of what made you a so called celebrity?

    One thing though...

    If you have to tell people you're a celebrity...

    It probably won't work. Keep that in mind during your marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author theteach
      Fantastic,

      Finding and/or creating a product is the problem.

      I have an established name in my field and I am still working on growing it throughout the general public.

      With regards to the internet, I definitely have to inform people about my status.
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      • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
        Wow; tons of great stuff here!

        So, no need to compete with "free"; rather, embrace it!

        Your website's goal is to get parents to subscribe to your list, and you have massive amounts of material that you can send them periodically. Once they're on your list, the goal is to get them to buy your books, your tutorials, your videos, as well as personal consultations with you, the expert. Plus, there's nothing wrong with selling them related materials from other authors with whom you are comfortable.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Videos and product endorsements.
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  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    Hi Stuart,

    If you want to have control over your business, then you need your own platform on the internet. That means creating your own website, blog or static, where you can market your self as an educator and market your books.

    Be sure to read Amazon's terms of service, first, so you avoid problems with how you market your books external to Amazon. You can have all the marketing on your site and have links going to the books at Amazon. I think that's acceptable but verify it.

    I also recommend you avoid branding your self in any way as a celebrity, if only in the mildest sense of the word. You do want to brand your self as an experienced educator and an authority, expert, etc.

    If you build a site, you can and should take complete advantage of your media exposure. However, on your site, make sure the focus is on how parents and their children will benefit from your books. You can appropriately, strategically and truthfully place copy and graphics of your media exposure, though. Reserve the details for your About page and be sure you have a proper About page.

    Get as many testimonials as possible since they are social proof and will help with marketing efforts.

    Your subjects are tough because they are about learning what most students probably consider difficult and boring subject - for the most part. Getting kids to do extracurricular study can be a tall order.

    Thinking about the best target audience, how about targeting home-school children? If you do that, then you can take more targeted efforts such as contacting sites dedicated to the home-school audience. You can maybe buy advertising on them or contribute content if they will include a short by-line with your site domain name.

    I read that your time is limited and we all get that. But as an author, you really need an online platform. Achieving control over your products and business is probably only done with your own site, domain and hosting.

    You can start a Youtube channel with good tutorials; perhaps a few based on each book in your series. You can also put them on your site. You can join Kurt Melvin's Video Thunder sub-forum to learn about video creation and marketing at YT. Small cost but worth it so you can best leverage your time.

    Create an email list with an opt-in on your site. You'll need a solid free report or maybe videos for the opt-in. Do something different. Instead of offering information from your books, you can create a 10-20 page report on a topic that will help parents with their children. I don't know - perhaps talk about methods or research that could help parents understand why their kids are having a difficult time learning. Make it have a light bulb effect, something that makes them say, "I never knew that!" You get the idea.

    All of this requires a lot of upfront work. But if you do it and it's in place, then you can focus on marketing the site.

    Keep getting media exposure. When you have something scheduled, do a press release and also have a media page on your site with the press releases on it.

    Expand your reach by possibly getting media exposure in the US and other English speaking countries. You can do interviews with a radio station in the US, UK, Australia and other countries over the phone or even Skype.

    There's more, but I've merely given you a brief overview of what you can do.

    Also, I noticed an absence of targeting in your headlines and titles. What I mean is, who or what age group or grades each book is for. It's extremely important to help readers know specific information like that right away. Avoid making them work and dig just to find out if the book is appropriate for their child in terms of age and grade level.

    Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author theteach
      David,
      Thanks, that's something I had in mind.

      Bretbb,
      Yes, I know of some of my peers who have their own tv shows and making quite a bit of money endorsing products.

      Ken,
      Thanks for taking the time for that lengthy response. TONS of great, concrete advice. Exactly what I needed! I will have to read your response over several times to digest it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin_Hutto
    Hi Teach,

    Kids already have plenty of access to teaching about these subjects for free (you know this). So why do they need you? What makes you different? Not that you have been on tv... but what about your methods? What about your beliefs? What about your ideas make you different? You need to stand out in this crowded marketplace - and to do that means you need to be memorable.

    I will give you an example... If I were you, I would take a stand AGAINST the education system as it stands today. I would become a crusader for a NEW kind of learning. Kids are taught in a system that is 50 years behind the times by teachers who are often behind the kids themselves when it comes to new technology. If you think about it, our kids will be solving problems that don't even exist yet! How can learning how to conjugate a verb help them practically? Or deriving an equation. Teachers say that these things teach them how to think - that is BS. Most teachers are just running a playbook. When a kid tries to think outside the box, they aren't praised they are punished for not being the best rule follower. ETC>>>

    Those are just a few of my personal thoughts on the subject - which I know are very controversial. But there are a lot of people who think like me and would buy materials to get their kids out of the matrix.

    The general parent doesn't care too much. They are just wanting to get home from work watch a little tv and get the kid's homework done - they arent going to pay extra for a math tutorial - especially when they can get it free from khan academy.

    My longwinded point is that if you try to appeal to the masses then you will have a very hard time. You need to niche it out and find the crazies like me. Then you will have something.

    And you can make money while you sleep
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    • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
      Kevin, let me stress that I agree with 99% of what you said. "No Child Left Behind" has left the entire country behind. American adults score very poorly in basic reading, math, and problem solving skills. I agree with you that many parents don't care.

      But I did have to voice one brief concern with this:
      Originally Posted by Kevin_Hutto View Post

      How can learning how to conjugate a verb help them practically? Or deriving an equation.
      IMHO, kids do need to learn the basics before they can branch out and think creatively. The evidence is all around us. Very few people are able to write a coherent, grammatically correct paragraph, or work out the basic numbers needed to conduct a profitable business. When I read a WSO promotion riddled with English and math errors, I'm personally far less likely to take it seriously enough to buy it.

      I'm not going to go on a rant here; I don't want to derail the thread. But I just wanted to speak up in defense of conjugation.
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    • Profile picture of the author theteach
      Yes Kevin...'The road less travelled".

      I agree with everything you said. One must 'differentiate or die'. Definitely something to ponder.

      One must remember that 'the masses' are also concerned with their children getting good grades and are completely content staying in the matrix.

      Definitely something to think about.

      Thanks


      David,

      I also agree with you! Mastery of basic language and math skills are essential in the marketplace regardless if it is online or offline.

      I guess it comes down to marketing and differentiating oneself (i.e. branding).
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  • Profile picture of the author Ghoster
    Udemy is currently the video torturing platform of choice. I think you'll have better luck there rather than on your own. They'll look at your materials and give you an honest assessment of whether it's "good enough." At least you can rule that out.

    If you have a good social media presence (which you should), getting sales from that platform shouldn't be that hard for you.

    Also, if you mentioned whether you had a blog or not, I didn't catch it. If you can build up a following you should be able to sell advertising space easily.
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    On the whole, you get what you pay for.

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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      Originally Posted by Ghoster View Post

      Udemy is currently the video torturing platform of choice.
      Is it really that painful to watch their videos?
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      • Profile picture of the author Ghoster
        Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

        Is it really that painful to watch their videos?
        LOL Don't know what I was thinking with that one.
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        On the whole, you get what you pay for.

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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin_Hutto
    @David... maybe they does need to conjugate a verb and maybe they doesn't
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Teach,

      From what you've said, it seems your "celebrity" is pretty localized and small - not something like name or face recognition on a national scale that you could capitalize on. Internet business gives you global reach and your celeb is not an asset on the global front.

      If I were in your shoes, and because your "fame" is not widespread, I would not try to capitalize on that angle for your marketing.

      You do have skills and some things you've learned and created over the years you've been in media. That is what I would concentrate on. Look to your learning, your training in media, and your understanding of the field to give you an edge, not your celeb status.

      If you have 400+ lessons and worksheets and 14 books on Amazon, that is where I would begin.

      You might think about wrapping those in a paid membership site and teaching others the lessons you've made and the things you've learned in media.

      I think your worry about all the free stuff online is paralyzing your thinking about how to monetize your knowledge and skill set.

      So what if some of the same stuff is online? That could be said about most disciplines.

      Over and over it has been proven that people will pay for stuff available freely online if you find ways to add value, save them time or money, organize mega information so it's at the fingertips, or give them a great learning experience. You could do any or all of these things.

      Relying on tiny commissions from Adsense or products on Clickbank is not a great model for controlling your own destiny. Some have managed to make that work, but with the head start you already have in your media training, I see that as a better way to profit from what you already have and know.

      Good luck to you,

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author theteach
        Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

        Teach,

        From what you've said, it seems your "celebrity" is pretty localized and small - not something like name or face recognition on a national scale that you could capitalize on. Internet business gives you global reach and your celeb is not an asset on the global front.

        If I were in your shoes, and because your "fame" is not widespread, I would not try to capitalize on that angle for your marketing.

        You do have skills and some things you've learned and created over the years you've been in media. That is what I would concentrate on. Look to your learning, your training in media, and your understanding of the field to give you an edge, not your celeb status.

        If you have 400+ lessons and worksheets and 14 books on Amazon, that is where I would begin.

        You might think about wrapping those in a paid membership site and teaching others the lessons you've made and the things you've learned in media.

        I think your worry about all the free stuff online is paralyzing your thinking about how to monetize your knowledge and skill set.

        So what if some of the same stuff is online? That could be said about most disciplines.

        Over and over it has been proven that people will pay for stuff available freely online if you find ways to add value, save them time or money, organize mega information so it's at the fingertips, or give them a great learning experience. You could do any or all of these things.

        Relying on tiny commissions from Adsense or products on Clickbank is not a great model for controlling your own destiny. Some have managed to make that work, but with the head start you already have in your media training, I see that as a better way to profit from what you already have and know.

        Good luck to you,

        Steve

        Steve...how insightful! Your advice sits well with me. You seemed to have grasped exactly what I have done and what I should do.

        Thanks so much.

        Stuart
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  • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
    Stuart,

    You've gotten some very good input above (especially the posts from Ken and Steve), and I would only add a couple of additional thoughts.

    Steve said it outright, and Ken alluded to it.

    Re-purpose those things you've already done (videos, interviews, etc.) by publishing them on your own site (i.e. a paid membership site). There you can organize your material by topic / grade level / etc. You might even choose to separate basic material from advanced (premium) material, and charge different rates for access to those.

    A small number of your videos can be placed on Youtube (and any other video sharing site) for promotional purposes. It's a great advertising channel, and should direct viewers to
    • your paid site for more in-depth content, or
    • to an optin page for an brief (free) email learning series (with each email containing a link to your membership site).

    You don't want to post everything on Youtube, but you can use this short tutorial to easily create video trailers for posting there.

    How to create a book trailer for free | The Nitty Gritty for Non Geeks

    Create a blog, where each post provides one lesson (in text form), and includes a very tightly related video lesson right in the post, or a link(s) to related video lesson(s).

    Create a social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) where you will post links to
    • specific posts on your blog,
    • individual video lessons (which should have links back to your blog), or
    • to your sales page for the membership site.

    By re-purposing what you already have, initial product creation is virtually done already. By making it available in a paid membership, you can monetize that content almost immediately, and you will have a platform ready to add more content/value for your members. Timing new additions to the membership platform will help insure that you retain members, further increasing your revenues over time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rbtmarshall
    Offer exclusive one on one tutoring for children of the affluent, for whatever age level that you can benefit most. Price accordingly since you're a celebrity
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Awes
    I was reading this thread and thinking what I could contribute. Then it hit me.

    If you can add something to your Amazon books I would add a page (if this is within Amazon's/Kindle's terms and conditions) for people to register for a live event.

    Hire a hall in a hotel or somewhere, get on stage and deliver your content to say 50-100 people to start out with. Do the same thing for webinars and at the end offer them a high ticket / 1-1 coaching.

    I hope that was useful.
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  • Profile picture of the author theteach
    Sid,
    Thanks for the input. I started a video membership site back in 2008-2009. I was featured on MSN's home page three times. It was quite lucrative until about 2011 when there was an explosion of video lessons. At that time, my efforts greatly increased but my revenue sharply dropped.

    I will consider applying your suggestions. Thanks.


    Robert,
    The one to one tutoring is a great idea but it's trading time for money which I prefer not to do at this time. Thanks for the suggestion though.


    Alex,
    Great idea. I have already pursued renting space and conducting tutoring classes for large groups of students simultaneously. I have had quite a bit of response already but I'm not sure that's what I want to do.

    Again, this is trading time for money which is easy for me to do. My goal, as is the goal of most people here, is not to trade time for money but rather scale a business so it becomes somewhat passive.

    Thanks for your suggestion though. It does confirm my own ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author BambiFox
    In marketing, you absolutely need a USP.

    Do an expose on the cost/benefit values of education via different avenues.

    The actual financial results of subjects (dollar in vs. dollar out) receiving an online education vs.physical structure traditional education. (I know how this story would end- )

    Take the time and handle your prominence/reputation similar to Seth Godin. Tribes love standard bearers who hold a line....

    Bambi
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  • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
    Don't discount this out of hand, Steve...

    I have already pursued renting space and conducting tutoring classes for large groups of students simultaneously. I have had quite a bit of response already but I'm not sure that's what I want to do.
    You're thinking of that as the end product, and that's fine...
    but it can also be part of the creation of new product.

    Record your live classes and then re-purpose those, too. You can offer recorded videos of your live sessions as individual products, or as additional content for your membership (or both).
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  • Profile picture of the author theteach
    Good point Sid!

    Wow, I asked for some sharp minds in this thread and I got more than I expected.

    I'm not sure about the twerking though.

    Thanks everyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author svetod
    Hire someone to take care of online reputation! Forum posting, social media etc.

    PS: may I take a picture with you
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    • Profile picture of the author Dave Espino
      I would recommend that you check out Udemy.com as a platform for your videos / courses.

      They do a fair amount of promotion of instructor's courses (they are incentivized to do so, basically acting as an affiliate) and it is still early enough to get in and establish your authority there before the site explodes. (it's already gone from 800,000 students two months ago to 1M students today and it's just going to continue to grow)

      You can use your "social proof" (ie: Celebrity) there to encourage people to enroll in your courses.

      (I just uploaded my 5th course on Udemy and my plan is to have 25 courses on Udemy within 12 months)

      The other thing I'd recommend (if you're not doing so already) is to build an email list of parents who are interested in giving their kids every advantage. (there are a lot of them)

      The fact that there are free courses online should never deter us from creating high-value, systematically-organized courses for those who DO want to invest in quality.

      People are willing to pay for experienced, knowledgeable experts who can simplify learning and help people solve their problems.

      Hope this helps!

      Dave
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      • Profile picture of the author theteach
        Thanks Dave, it does help. The only issue I have with Udemy or any site like it, is that again, I am depending on payment from them and I am at their mercy.
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        • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
          Originally Posted by theteach View Post

          The only issue I have with Udemy or any site like it, is that again, I am depending on payment from them and I am at their mercy.
          Who says it has to be exclusive?
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        • Profile picture of the author Dave Espino
          Originally Posted by theteach View Post

          The only issue I have with Udemy or any site like it, is that again, I am depending on payment from them and I am at their mercy.
          Help me understand this statement... Do you mean that you don't trust Udemy to pay you or do you mean that you want to be in full control of any payments - ie: take payments yourself?

          Also, the part about being at their mercy - Udemy does not have an exclusive right to your courses - you can still market your courses / training elsewhere.

          They do have certain standards for course creation - but this is mostly to ensure that courses are presented in a professional manner.

          I've had 2 "live" courses on Udemy for less than a month and I've been receiving daily sales of my courses as a result of Udemy's marketing... It's not a lot of daily sales, (yet) but it's pretty cool.

          And when I have 25 courses up, (my goal in the next 12 months) it will be really cool.

          The key questions to ask are:

          * Are there already platforms that can market your courses for you?

          * How can you get the most traffic to your courses?

          * Who is already serving your desired customer base / audience - and how can you partner or JV with them?

          You can have the greatest courses in the world, but if they aren't marketed well (no one knows about them) then no one will benefit from them. (and just as importantly, you won't make money with them)

          If you're fairly new to Info-product marketing, I would like to send you a free coupon to my Udemy course called "Infopreneur Secrets". The course is not "live" yet, but definitely accessible to those I refer to it.

          I think it will really help to orient you to this exciting world.

          Just say the word and I will PM it over to you.

          Dave
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  • Profile picture of the author john12
    Start your own TV shows, and endorse related products and advertisements that appeals to your audience demographic
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