Even though we may deny it, we’ve all had at least a moment of wishing we were famous. While it may blow over for most, some people would do anything to become a celebrity.
Does this sound like you?
Well, the good news is, it’s easier than ever to have your name in lights and make a fortune while you’re at it.
We take a quick look at celebrity culture, fun ways to become famous and the things you should keep in mind before setting out on this glitzy path.
- Celebrity culture: a quick breakdown
- Fun ways to become a celebrity
- How soon can you start making money?
- A few things to keep in mind about fame
- Case study: Kavita Donkersley, Social Media Influencer
It’s tempting to think of ‘celebrity’ as a somewhat modern invention. However, human history clearly shows we’ve been infatuated by fabulous ‘otherness’ for a very long time.
In many ways our preoccupation with everything from Beyoncé’s booty to the Kardashians’ latest family drama, can be traced right back to the ancient reverence for brave heroes, beautiful princesses and powerful rulers.
Although it may no longer be an overt belief, to us, the rich and famous still carry some imprint of divinity the rest of us cannot attain. As much as we wish to see them shine, we revel in their tumbles – scrutinising cellulite-dented thighs and failed relationships on the pages of our favourite tabloids.
Perhaps Lewis Lapham said it best in The Wish For Kings: “The wish for kings is an old and familiar wish, as well-known in medieval Europe as in ancient Mesopotamia. The ancient Greeks assigned trace elements of the divine to trees and winds and stones. A river god sulks, and the child drowns; a sky god smiles, and the corn ripens. The modern Americans assign similar powers… to individuals blessed with the aura of celebrity.”
And hand-in-hand with this, of course, the wish to join their ranks and become a celebrity ourselves.
how obsessed with celebrity are we today
While not much has changed in our obsession with the rich and famous, there is one major difference in where we stand today – the playing field has been levelled dramatically.
With the rise of super fast internet communication, it’s much easier to catch the eye than it was even 10 years ago, let alone 100 or 1000.
So, basically, if you’ve always craved the limelight, there’s no better time to become a celebrity!
With that being said, let’s delve into some of the most attainable ways for an ‘ordinary’ person to gain ‘celebrity’ status.
Reality show contestant
If you have a talent (or at least think you do) for anything from dancing to baking, sewing to tree-felling, there’s a reality television show just waiting for your entry.
Or perhaps you’re in desperate need of a make-over, a date or a home clean-up – you to be on telly too!
Unlike film studios and casting agencies, reality television shows welcome hopefuls of all shapes, forms and level of talent. In fact, the more desperate you are, the better your rags-to-riches tale will be.
Take Susan Boyle, for instance. At first glance, the quaint contestant on the Britain’s Got Talent stage seemed devoid of any charm. But then she opened her mouth and a beloved songstress was born. This was back in 2009 and in the meantime, she’s released seven albums and won numerous awards. Not bad for a “Scottish cat lady in sensible shoes” as Stephen Colbert referred to her at the 2010 Grammy Awards.
So, if you fancy yourself as brave (and talented) as Ms. Boyle, why not audition for reality telly yourself? Here are a few popular shows you can check out:
- The Great British Bake Off
- Come Dine With Me
- So you think you can dance
- Escape to the Country
- Britain’s Got Talent
how much can you make as a reality tv star?
Whilst it all may seem extremely glamorous, participating in a reality television show doesn’t really pay very much (if at all) until you actually become a celebrity in your own right. According to The Sun, the families appearing on Gogglebox get £1,500 a month each, in return for 12 hours of filming. However, once you’ve made a name for yourself somehow and you start appearing on shows such as Strictly Come Dancing as a celebrity contestant you can expect to earn a minimum of £25,000 per episode, according to AOL.
Social media influencer
Even easier than getting a reality television gig, is to create your own hype through social media.
While many people scoff at social media influencers, it’s one of the most rewarding ways to become a celebrity. The reason for this is that you’re in charge on building your own little empire from start to finish.
What many people also may not see, is all the hard work and dedication that goes into building your brand.
If you enjoy interacting on a number of social media channels, have a specific field of interest and enjoy telling stories, this might just be the fame-fixer for you.
Here are a few tips for getting started:
- Choose a maximum of three social platforms to work on. If you take on too many, you’ll spread yourself too thin. So, choose the ones that really speak to you.
- Decide on a niche you’d like to cover. If you love baking and recipe development, stick to this and don’t try to incorporate beauty products.
- Have a content plan in place. Having a list of items to post on specific dates is essential, as this helps structure your time efficiently. Start with a weekly plan and expand to a three-monthly one as your platform/s grow/s.
- Add value. The only way people are going to follow you is if you add some measure of value to their lives. This could be in the form of anything from interesting recipes to beautiful travel photos.
- Don’t be shy to promote yourself. If you aren’t accustomed to ‘blowing your own bugle’, it’s time you got comfortable with self-promotion. Especially when starting out. The more you promote your work, the more people will know about you and the more followers you will gather.
- Keep evolving. The online world is constantly changing and growing. Be sure to stay relevant by keeping track of trends.
Check out Cosmopolitan’s list of the top 10 most powerful social media influencers in the UK.
how much can you make as a social media influencer?
A few years ago, the baseline for earning with posts on social media was 1k followers. However, as more and more people join populate these platforms, the margin has shifted to around 3k these days.
According to Independent, you can expect to earn between £55 – £115 per post when you have a following of between 3k and 10k. However, once you’ve hit the 100k+ follower mark, you can charge anything from £350 per post.
be a Socialite
Are you the ultimate extrovert? Love being the life of the party? Obsessed with always looking your best? Often considered glam?
If you’re all of this already, it’s time you started working your way onto the most sought-after guest lists in town to really become a celebrity.
There are several ways to go about this – some less savoury than others – but, as with everything else in life, it’s really all about who you know. Fortunately, if six degrees of separation is anything to go by, you definitely know someone who knows someone who knows the person you want to know.
It also helps to be seen in the right places – even if you have to start off by paying for your own (very expensive) drinks. This way you will get the chance to rub shoulders with the cream of the crop and maybe even appear in sought-after social pages/Instagram-famous photographer shots.
Check out Guest of a Guest’s list of 17 hottest socialites in England for inspiration.
how much can you make as a socialite?
Once again, you first need to make your mark as an asset to any social setting before you can start earning. However, once you’re in there, have a few society pages snaps with the right people, you could potentially start making money for club or party appearances.
While A-list celebs can make close to £200,000 for a 2-hour club appearance, up and coming socialites could about £3,500 for the same.
Being downright outrageous
This is basically taking the socialite tag up a few notches and leaning toward the infamous – and not merely famous – side of things.
In many ways, this is probably the quickest and easiest route to fame. Instead of carefully plotting your path, just barge in unannounced. Have an outrageous opinion, misbehave at a high-profile event or just don’t care what other people think. All of these will get you quite far indeed!
While you may have to take some flack to start off with (best start growing that thick skin), just sit tight and cling to that limelight. People are fickle and will soon forget what propelled you to fame in the first place, which means you’ll soon be able to branch out into other forms of fame – maybe a clothing line or even a self-help book.
how much can you make by being outrageous?
The same principles that apply to being a socialite apply to being outrageous. So, once you’ve made your mark, you can expect earnings of around £3,500 for party appearances and the like.
Being an expert in your field
Arguably the most dignified of all the options, being an expert in your field, could make you a celebrity.
Perhaps you’ve dedicated your life to the study of a specific kind of ant or maybe spend hours building popular computer games. Whatever the case may be, if you catch the eye, chances are good you’ll get invited to speak at conferences, present papers and get media interviews in no time.
If you aren’t as naturally accustomed to fame as a socialite might be, it could be a good idea to ask a more fabulous friend to help you pick a few go-to outfits and get used to a bout of good grooming every once in a while.
how much can you make by being an expert in your field?
Sadly, this is probably the lowest earner of all the celebrity professions mentioned above. In the UK, professors make an average of £75,548 and very seldom earn extra money for presenting papers at a conference and the like. It’s only when you start writing your best-selling memoirs that the pounds will really start rolling in.
No matter how you choose to become a celebrity, it will take time before you’ll see any financial gain.
While it may seem like one long fabulous party, getting to the top requires a lot of hard work. And even more to stay there.
However, if you take being a social media influencer, for instance, you could start earning between £55 – £115 per post when you have a following of between 3k and 10k. This grows exponentially as your number of followers expand.
Since pretty much everyone has access to social media platforms, it’s probably the most attainable way of making a name for yourself. Having said that, it’s not necessarily the quickest or easiest way.
London-based fashion influencer, Kavita Donkersley aka shewearsfashion, is a great example of what can be done when you put in the time, effort and, most importantly, passion.
Now, 24-years-old, she started her fashion blog when she was only 16 and, in an interview with BOE magazine, revealed that it was a way to keep busy in a particularly challenging time in her life. “I’d just moved school, had no friends and felt a little lonely! I just started to get into fashion and realised there was this whole world where you could connect to other people online who were also a little obsessed with how everyday girls wear their clothes, and so I decided to join in,” she says.
Eight years later and she has a whopping 60.4k followers on Instagram, works with some of the most sought-after fashion brands, travels the world and still posts regular fashion features on her blog.
By just sticking to her love for fashion and posting about it online, she has become a permanent fixture on top UK influencer lists across the web.
Check out her blog: http://www.shewearsfashion.com/ and follow her on Instagram:@shewearsfashion
Being famous has many perks. Once your name is known, you will be amazed at the amount of freebies and opportunities that come your way.
However, it has just as many downsides too. Here are a few to consider before committing your life to become a celebrity:
- For every person who loves you, there’s probably someone who dislikes you… without ever even having met you
- Your privacy goes out the door. This obviously depends on your level of fame, but if you’re a public figure, you can expect weird intrusions into your private life.
- Heartbreak echoes. Whether you’re going through a breakup or lose a loved one, the story will make its way to the tabloids, which could make everything feel so much worse.
- You might have a hard time knowing who your true friends are. Don’t be surprised if all sorts of strange, long-forgotten family members and pals start crawling out the woodwork. The best measure is to trust those who’ve supported you from the start.
- It costs money to make money. This is especially true for up and coming socialites, who may have to spent a disproportionate amount of their earnings on keeping their wardrobe, appearance and home in tip-top shape.