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.
Of course, the odds are still small, but there are a few different methods to try.
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.
Indeed, 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.
celebrity obsessions 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 social media and the internet in general, 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 could 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, sometimes the more ordinary 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
- Britain’s Got Talent
- 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 Planet Radio, 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 of building your own little empire from start to finish.
What many people don’t see is all the hard work and dedication that goes into building your brand.
If you enjoy interacting on social media channels, have a specific field of interest, and like telling stories, this might just be the fame-fixer for you.
How to start
- 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. It’s often even possible to become famous on just one (especially Instagram), so you could stick with your fave. Consider starting your own blog, too. Read more about how to make money blogging here.
- 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 grows.
- 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. The key is to think, “What’s something new I can bring to this niche?”
- Don’t be shy to promote yourself. Be 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?
Maybe you can work your way onto the most sought-after guest lists in town.
There are several ways to go about this, 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 may know someone who knows someone who knows the person you want to know.
It also helps to be seen in the right places. 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.
Have a cause
Some people become famous online and in the real world by promoting a particular cause. Think of Greta Thunberg. She’s now arguably the most famous climate activist in the world, and did it by not being afraid to speak out.
Of course, you’ll want to be genuine. No one likes a phony, and the public will soon see through you if you’re only promoting a cause to get famous.
But if you really care about something, start putting out online petitions and make text and video posts online, and perhaps you’ll get noticed. And if not, you’re still doing a bit of good in the world!
Being an expert in your field
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 public interest, chances are good you’ll get invited to speak at conferences, present papers, and get media interviews.
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?
So what’s the pay like? According to Indeed, professor salaries are above £60,000. So they’re not exactly rich per se, but it’s a respectable salary for a respectable job. Naturally, it’s a competitive field and you’ll need to be among the very best at what you do. But it’s possible for those with a lot of natural talent who are willing to put in the work.
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.
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.
A few years later and she has over 50k 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.
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 becoming 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. People will start coming out of 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 spend a disproportionate amount of their earnings on keeping their wardrobe, appearance and home in tip-top shape.
On that last point, only spend money on this venture that you can really afford to lose. The odds are low it will ever happen. But you only live once, so if you’re passionate about the idea then go for it. Just don’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t work out, and always have a backup plan!