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How to Become Famous: 12 Surefire Ways

Updated on January 20, 2018
Robert P Sullivan profile image

Robert Sullivan is a self-published author, blogger, social media manager, and more.

So you want to be famous?

It’s pretty safe to assume you do since you’re reading this article, and if you’ve already weighed out the pros and cons of becoming one of the elite, then you’re ready to get started. And you’re in luck! Becoming famous is easier today than it has ever been, with the advent of the internet and social media you can make a name for yourself in just about any field. The only real question is where to get started.

1. Do Something Amazing!

Anyone can do something that impresses other people, it’s just a matter of finding out what that thing is for you, and here’s the part that a lot of people don’t realize, you get to decide.

Pretty much every single area of fame has a little wiggle room, There’s always some way to get what you want, it’s just a matter of effort and time. Think about it like this, would the NBA hire a player who was only four feet tall? You might not think so, but if that person shot three pointers all day and showed excellent teamwork, then you bet they’d turn a couple heads. Now you’re path might not be the same as anyone before you, but it’s a lot more fun to blaze a trail than it is to follow in other’s footsteps anyway.

2. Become a Musician

Becoming a quality music act is one of the best ways to become famous. Though that’s not to say it’s exactly easy. It takes quite a bit of time to learn your basic music skills, and even then you have to be good enough to record it well. On top of that the real money is in performing. Though the good news is if Skrillex can press play on a computer and make 50k a night, then surely you can too. But trust me when I say that people like that still put in a lot of work. It takes a long time really get a song sounding right.

Then once you get to the point where you can perform you work regularly with the highest quality, then you have to market yourself somehow. YouTube, booking gigs, getting an agent, getting radio spots, you’re going to want to do them all. The biggest hurdle in the music industry (as with most of these ideas) is exposure. But don’t fret, there are tons of artists out there who made it big in their spare time. Just keep at it.

3. Invent Something

Eli Whitney would never have been in the history books if it weren’t for the cotton gin, and that’s an invention that most people wouldn’t recognize if they saw one today! Think of electricity, cell phones, the internet, inventions change our lives, and people get huge amounts of recognition for doing that. If you can invent something that truly makes an impact on the world, then you are on the fast track to fame.

You don’t even have to actually invent something either. Sometimes the best inventions are ones where technology is simply brought together. The iPhone wasn’t really anything new. Phones had already adopted computer like processing power, touch screens existed for decades, and mobile internet had been steadily growing, but putting them all together in one sleek package made Steve Jobs even more famous than he already was. And guess what? He didn’t even do any of the engineering, he just came up with the high concept and worked to make it happen.

4. Sports

Football, basket ball, baseball, golf, soccer, Olympic sprinting, UFC, tennis, hockey, driving, and even esports, the list is huge and there’s always room for another contender. If you think you’ve got the chops to take your skill to the big leagues then by all means, get out there and show them what you’ve got!

Even if you’re not the best right now, put in the extra mile, go the distance, give it all you’ve got, because the truth is the best athletes are often the ones who want it the most. The best part about this method for gaining fame is that you usually don’t have to promote yourself as much as you would in other fields. This is mostly about performance, if you can show that you are the best, then people are already looking for you. So practice, play, practice, and play some more, because that’s how you get on the talent scout’s radar.

4. Acting

Ever since the creation of T.V. and movies, acting has exploded into one of the fastest and surest tracks to fame. Although, it goes without saying that the competition is fierce. But don’t be discouraged by that. There are tons of roles out there which can only be filled by specific people. Even if you’re not the most attractive person out there, remember Steve Buscemi has had quite an incredible career as an actor, and that guy certainly doesn’t fit the traditional molds of beauty. The point is, if you’ve got the skills, you can find a part that suits you. There are plenty of options out there.

If you are going to be taking this seriously, then it might be wise to invest in some acting classes, or even audition for some local plays. The more experience you have the easier it is, so don’t forget to put in the legwork.

5. Directing

If you’re camera shy but still have big visions for the cinema, then get out there and try your hand at directing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pretty hard field to break into as well, but here’s a fun little fact, you don’t have to do something huge with a ridiculous budget to get your name out there. Napoleon Dynamite was created and edited by a very small number of people, and we all remember how that turned out. Or how about this one, Kevin Smith dropped out of college, and used the remainder of his tuition to make the move Clerks, which was what started his whole career. So keep in mind with enough drive, anyone can do it.

6. Comedy

Making people laugh is a valuable skill in and of itself. So it’s no wonder that there are tons of successful comedians out there. Granted doing it right still takes time, effort, and practice. One of the most important things about doing this is to make sure you get out there. Building fame this way is not just about doing one killer show, you have to be out there night after night, until people get the message that you aren’t going anywhere.

A good place to start is open mic night at your local establishment.

As an added bonus, this is a good way to break into other fields, many comedians have turned their careers in stand-up into amazing acting careers.

7. Reality Shows

Reality shows have become a very fast track to fame, and even ones that don’t paint people in the most positive light still often get big. Though, because of the unique nature of reality shows you are going to want to crank up your personality to the max. People tend to watch these things to see the extremes of society, so if you want to give this route a try, then make sure to tackle your audition with full gusto.

8. Talent Shows

Talent shows have become increasingly popular in a very short period of time, and for good reason, they show us the best and the worst. If you have talent, then this can be a very quick way to blast yourself right up into the limelight. Even those who don’t win the competition, but still find themselves in the top ranks often get deals. So don’t think everything is on the line just because someone there is better than you.

And even if you don’t have talent, who can forget William Hung…

The point is, this guy was terrible, there’s no way around it. But still he managed to become an internet sensation. So just keep that in mind.

9. YouTube

YouTube has made a huge impact in how we see celebrities, and where they come from. There are tons and tons of new stars who have gotten everything because of their work on YouTube. And there are new ones getting their start every day, so it’s a great place to begin.

Though you should keep this in mind if you are serious about doing this.

You have to add value to your viewers’ lives.

In other words, don’t upload garbage! Seriously though, there are an incredible number of people out there who are so focused on getting fame through YouTube that they forget the reason why people get famous there in the first place. Without adding value to the viewer’s life, your video is just a waste of their time. So be charming, be funny, be unique, be informative, it doesn’t matter what, but you have to remember that your videos have to be something worth watching.

10. Become a Model

Modeling is certainly a way to garner fame, and it's worked for a great deal of people. Although this is one of the hardest areas to break into. This is due in part to the fact that those who arrange fashion shows and catalogs are often looking for a very specific image.

The good news however, is there is a huge variety in the images they are looking for, which means there are a lot more positions open than you might think.

11.Marry or Date Your Way Into Fame

If you can make this one work, then hats off to you, but it’s certainly tricky. Wooing a celebrity is an odd concept to begin with, but you also have to find one in the first place. I can’t say there is anything wrong with this approach (so long as it’s not your only reason for getting romantically involved with the celebrity in question) but it can potentially be the hardest method on this list. Although, it can also be the easiest… You never know.

12. Just About Anything

Cooking, gardening, home repair, DIY, arts, crafts, drawing comics, etc… The list goes on and on. If you are passionate about a subject, then get out there! Start a blog, or a web series about it, so long as you can talk about it for hours you can get a following.

Tips To Get Famous:


It doesn’t matter what path you are choosing to get famous, the fact of the matter is people want to see the best, and being the best comes with practice. You want to get as much experience as possible, whether it’s acting in every two bit play, playing your instrument, singing more songs, learning to dance, it doesn’t matter, just make sure you are good at what you do. It will pay off with time.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Michael Buble was embarrassed about his singing before someone encouraged him, and now he’s in the big leagues. The point is, if you aren’t sure what skill you have, don’t be afraid to try something. Getting yourself out there is the only true way to do this, so give it a shot, even if you aren’t sure.

Talent Alone Does Not Equal Fame

There are tons of excellent guitarist out there who are unknown simply because they don’t have the personality or industry know how. Don’t just be a dreamer, get a game plan together. You need to know marketing, how to brand yourself, and how to gain exposure. It takes a bit of time to learn, but if you do it right, you can sidestep a lot of hardships that come with getting started.

Be Helpful

Helpful individuals are always at the top of other people’s list when they are looking for talent. Go the extra mile, because a club owner is way more likely to contact the band which helped clean up after the show, than the one that left a huge mess. This little tip can take you a long way.

Be Charismatic

Have a personality. Try not to be mild or timid. Awkward people don’t get many callbacks, unless of course awkward is what they are looking for. If you really want to make a good impression on people, then you can’t be afraid to make an impression. Be unique, be you, like this guy.

Unique? Check. Charismatic? Check? Being himself? Big check! Hard to look away? Check.
Unique? Check. Charismatic? Check? Being himself? Big check! Hard to look away? Check.

Have Self-Confidence

There are boat loads of people out there who are no better than you, who climbed their way to the top. You can do it too.

Have Thick Skin

You will encounter people who just don’t like you. It’s inevitable, but don’t let that get you down. Steven King gets hate-mail delivered to him every week. Does that stop him from being a best-selling author? No way! Chances are you’ll never get famous without ruffling some feathers, so don’t let it bother you.

Be a Nice Person

Being friendly will get you farther than being a stuck-up jerk ever will. If you want to make a name for yourself, then make sure it’s a good one. There are far too many famous actors out there who simply can’t get a gig anymore because they are completely unreasonable to work with. Don’t become like one of them.

Elvis Presley served in the armed forces, but what you may not know was that he refused to be treated different because of his celebrity status. Which earned him huge amounts of respect from the public.
Elvis Presley served in the armed forces, but what you may not know was that he refused to be treated different because of his celebrity status. Which earned him huge amounts of respect from the public.

Be Persistent

Don’t expect things to work out overnight, although it has happened, most celebrities had to work for years to get where they wanted to be. And as it turns out a lot of the overnight successes had to work at it hard too. Think about this, a musician may suddenly get success and be everywhere, but they still had to write and practice their music like crazy to get good enough to be worth listening to.

In the end, it’s all about effort. If you just keep trying eventually you will get there.


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