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Maggie Jessup author of Fame 101 and the Fame Formula as strategy


Bestselling author of Fame 101, Maggie Jessup has created Alpha Celebrities in every field using her pioneering "Fame Formula" to catapult her clients into the top one percent of their professions. 

What is that formula ... quite simply "branding, packaging, and selling coupled with a large dose of persistence and passion are the ingredients required to propel your company, your product and even yourself beyond the next level of competition. ...

Following is my very captivating conversation with Maggie Jessup. 

Penny: Hi Maggie, thank you for spending time with me today.  I read your book Fame 101 and found it fascinating. What can you tell me and my readers about the one strategy in your book that catapults high-profile individuals to fame?

Maggie: What we found in studying 75 of America’s most successful people, from John Travolta to Donald Trump, was one common strategy: they all became experts in personal branding and publicity to achieve fame. Anyone can use this same strategy to get to the top of their profession by packaging their expertise into a personal brand, publicizing the brand to get the word out, and then marketing or selling their branded expertise.

Penny: Do you consider this strategy enduring?

Maggie: Absolutely yes. John Travolta was just one of ten students in his first television series Welcome Back Kotter but he invested his time and resources into building his brand and using publicity to stay in the spotlight. The others went the usual Hollywood celebrity route of limos, arm candy, and posses. John is the only one still around, he is one of Hollywood’s highest earners, and in his 50s John Travolta is one of America’s sexiest men. The Kennedy’s have done it in politics and the long term most-successful people in every field stay relevant and in-demand for a lifetime by constantly building personal brand equity. I believe Oprah Winfrey’s brand is as enduring and powerful as Nike, Coca Cola, or Google.

Penny: Can anyone employ this strategy or is it specific to a given personality type?

Maggie: Anyone can employ the same fame formula used by notables like the Dalai Lama, Sarah Palin, and Jodi Foster to get to the top of their field but, for maximum effect, they need to have very big goals and expectations. If a company manager wants to be a vice president, personal branding is a way to get there but it is just as easy to jump on the fast track to a CEO spot in their own or a competitive company; perhaps even launching an exciting startup. Fame 101 is a success blueprint for making that happen.

Penny: Let’s talk about “personal brand.” Personal branding is mentioned in your book, Fame 101, and is a buzz word floating around job boards. What can you tell us about personal branding and how it can change a person’s unemployed status to employed status?

Maggie: Think of the woman in your company who not only didn’t get fired during the mass layoffs last year but actually got a raise? She has a strong personal brand which can be the most valuable asset in any workplace. In a company setting, personal branding means packaging your expertise so that you can identify in one sentence the value you bring to the company and how you do it,and then publicizing your brand by making sure everyone up the ladder knows and appreciates that value. Strong personal brands, who are constantly building their skills and visibility both inside their company and also in their industry independent of their employer, are rarely unemployed for more than 24 hours. If you haven’t yet built your brand and find yourself unemployed, every free moment when you’re not looking for a position should be devoted to education of every sort, including building communication, image, and presence skills. Personal branding doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a lifetime process that starts paying dividends after about six months and then increasing every year.

Penny: Can the “Average Joe” work the publicity angle to achieve fame?

Maggie: I talk to many people who think they aren’t very remarkable and that very big very visible success is beyond their reach; it’s for someone smarter, better connected, or better looking. I ask them to consider the waitress at the Buttercup Bakery in Berkeley, California where Suze Orman got started and now she is a bestselling author and sought after speaker. Not long ago Rachel Ray was a pitch girl in grocery stores until she packaged and publicized her expertise into a very powerful personal brand. Paula Deen was a divorced bank teller with 2 teenaged sons, $200 and a talent for cooking; Martha Stewart was a caterer, Oprah was a weathergirl, and former Ebay head and candidate for California Governor Meg Whitman was the brand manager for Mr. Potato Head. Any Average Joe can become Remarkable Joe if they simply follow the Fame 101 rules for personal branding and publicity; it will work for a florist in Tucson or a teacher in Atlanta. Many of America’s most successful people were Average Joes who learned and applied the principles of personal branding and publicity. Every field has its leading voices and this is how they get there.

... my interview with Maggie continues with applying the "Fame Formula" to the small business owner.

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 ©2010 Penny M. Stein
Readers and media may contact Ms. Stein via e-mail.


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