By Becky Holladay, California Business Journal.
He calls himself “the most famous guy in the world that nobody’s ever heard of” — a.k.a “a celebrity entrepreneur.”
If you’ve never heard the term, you’re not alone, because it’s a category Clint Arthur invented himself. Arthur is a former taxi driver, NYC born and bred, who is now an author, motivational speaker, radio talk show host, coach, and mentor who helps other entrepreneurs (or “experts” as he prefers to call them) achieve more success. And the key to that success is becoming a celebrity, but not in the traditional sense.
Arthur (https://www.clintarthur.tv/) believes that no one is really ever buying just a product. What customers are purchasing is a piece of the person behind the product; someone they admire, and whose way of life is something they want a part of.
“Most entrepreneurs struggle because they think that people are buying their products and services,” he says. “When really, people are buying you. So who you are is actually more important than what you do or sell. When people spend a lot of money they want to feel excited about who they’re spending their money on.”
And by “celebrity” Arthur doesn’t necessarily mean someone who’s reached a Beyoncé or Kardashian-level of notoriety. He means a celebrity to the entrepreneur’s very specific customer base.
“People think I’m talking about being a celebrity. I’m not,” he says. “To the whole world, a celebrity entrepreneur is a nobody, but to that person’s customers and prospects, a celebrity entrepreneur is a celebrity.”
Achieving “celebrity entrepreneur” status involves marketing “that makes it seem like you are in the public eye” but in reality, “you do not exist in the public eye,” he says.
This can be achieved through being on local TV, and by getting targeted public speaking engagements that you can then use to promote your expertise and products, often for years to come.
According to Arthur, there are several steps in achieving entrepreneurial success, including owning your own story, getting a mentor, figuring out how to differentiate yourself from the competition, and finally, getting exposure.
Arthur’s own story on the path to becoming a celebrity entrepreneur started as a young man, with his subconscious desire to mend his parents’ marriage by becoming financially successful. That plan didn’t work. And things got worse when he learned that the man who he had thought was his father his entire life wasn’t.
So he quit his investment-banking job and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a screenwriter. He ended up scrapping his way through the Hollywood world by working as a taxi driver for six years. And it wasn’t until he owned his own story, and began telling it to other people that financially, things began to change for him.
Owning these stories can help entrepreneurs differentiate themselves from the competition.
“In the work that I do, I help experts create powerful stories about their lives that break through the clutter of crowded market places and position themselves as somebody special in the eyes of their customers and prospects,” Arthur says.
Finding a professional mentor is also vital to achieving financial success, Arthur says.
“People think that they are going to figure things out on their own. People think that they are going to be able to sit in their living room and invent the next big thing,” he adds. “It doesn’t work that way. You have to be in connection with great people who have experience and ideas that can inspire you and take you to the next level. You don’t get a mentor by writing a query email to some big executive. No one’s just going to – out of the goodness of their heart – mentor you into success. The best mentors are professional mentors who require an investment.”
Getting his clients exposure through public speaking engagements and local and national TV shows is one of the tenets of Arthur’s mentorship program.
“You have to commit to getting yourself out there and getting as famous and as much exposure as you possibly can,” he says.
When Arthur was just starting out, he decided to try and book himself on TV shows, rather than spending thousands of dollars on a PR person.
“It took me months to figure it out, but I am a very determined person, and I got up every day at 2:30 in the morning, and started cold calling TV stations all across this country, until I finally booked my first show, in Biloxi, Mississippi. And from there it’s just been off to the races. I’ve booked myself on 107 television appearances, and when the Today Show invited me on their show, they called me.”
With his mentorship program, Celebrity Launchpad, Arthur teaches his students the same methods he used to book himself on TV shows. The students have the opportunity to pitch to Arthur’s producer friends at CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX, and if by the end of the program they haven’t booked themselves on three television shows, he refunds their money.
Recently they just completed the 43rd Celebrity Launchpad, and so far every student has gotten three TV show bookings.
Despite his own successful career and his success in helping others navigate a crowded marketplace and increase sales, Arthur doesn’t feel that he is particularly gifted. He attributes his success to a simple analyzation of what works and what doesn’t — and a tenacious New York attitude.
“In order to compete in the hugely crowded marketplace of ideas in the United States, I have had to scrap and fight to develop these methods in order to be able to stand out and have impact and influence. And I don’t know that I have a gift. I know that I have invested in a lot of mentors and I have worked really hard. I have kept my eyes open.”
Arthur’s latest ventures include a one-hour radio talk show on WABC in New York City that focuses on personal, professional, and spiritual transformation, a three-day conference for entrepreneurs and business owners at Carnegie Hall featuring Martha Stewart, Ice-T, Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and Dylan Howard, the chief content officer of American Media Inc., and finally, his latest book, “Celebrity Entrepreneurship.”
Arthur’s radio talk show premiered in June and airs every Saturday at 7 pm EST on 77WABC Radio in New York City. The Living Legends conference at Carnegie Hall will be on September 26, 27, and 28. More information can be found at www.LivingLegends2019.com.
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