Why You Must Attain Rising Star Status (And How To Do It)

Mike Kim is a specialist in personal branding, a marketing expert, and an extraordinarily talented copywriter. He's also a member of my private Regency Mastermind – a remarkable, small group of people doing Big Things. ~ Ray Edwards

You’ve bought the online courses. You’ve attended conferences. You’ve read the right books, tuned into the top podcasts, and even modeled your blog after your favorite online expert.

But no matter how religiously you follow the “right” advice, you just can’t seem to get more traction.

What gives?

Chances are, you’re missing what I consider the “Rosetta Stone” of personal brand building. 

The real Rosetta Stone (not the language learning course) is a stone tablet discovered in 1799 in the Nile Delta. Widely regarded as one of the great archaeological finds in history, the Rosetta Stone helped linguists “break the code” to understanding Egyptian hieroglyphs. 

The Rosetta Stone contained a decree written by King Ptolemy V in three different scripts: Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic script, and Ancient Greek. Once discovered, linguists used their knowledge of known terms to unlock the meaning of the unknown hieroglyphs. 

In the same way, there is a “Rosetta Stone” in the personal brand space that very few people know about or even understand.

It’s no wonder.

There’s no course that teaches it. There are no books that talk about it. There are no conferences dedicated to it. And those successful bloggers and brands you follow? They don’t talk about it because most of them don’t even realize they’ve done it!

But I guarantee you — every successful personal brand has possessed this “Rosetta Stone” in one varying degree or another.

So what is this “Rosetta Stone” I’m talking about?

It is called …

Rising Star Status.

Consider: every big-name expert you follow today started out a beginner. No one “inherited” a blog with 100,000 readers from their late rich uncle. You can’t purchase a personal brand following on eBay, complete with thousands of social media followers, huge email lists, and jealousy-inducing amounts of web traffic.

No, every expert you follow was, at some point, a beginner when it comes to a personal brand. 

Slowly but surely, each of these folks started to get their name out there, find their niche, and gain traction. They stepped into and embodied the role of a “rising star.”

Eventually you saw their names on other blogs, or on your favorite podcasts. They became associated with other bigger-than-life personal brands, and eventually became one.

Please don’t think this happened by dumb luck. While each person’s path to success is different, the tenets are the same: building a successful personal brand requires you be smart, strategic, and savvy.

Here are a few strategies you can implement to break the code and position yourself as a “rising star,” all without being sketchy or spammy.

1. Become the best testimonial you can possibly be.

You may wonder, “How do I get noticed by or connect with an influencer?” The best way: enroll in a program and become their best case study. If you’ve already purchased someone’s course, all that remains is for you to use it to it’s fullest potential, get results, and make a big deal about it. 

If you have a blog or podcast, talk about it!

Becoming someone’s best testimonial will get their attention like nothing else can. That person is paying careful attention to what people are saying about his or her product. You’ve already set yourself apart from the multitudes by being one of their customers. Now take it a step further by being one of their best case testimonials. They may mention you or even Re-Tweet you. 

Looking for an example? I did this with the very owner of this platform, Ray Edwards. Check out: Why I Spent $4,102 To Spend A Few Days with Copywriter Ray Edwards.

2. Devote a blog post or podcast episode to another “rising star” (not a guru).

While you can use your platform to rave about a big name, you can also use it to build rapport with other people that are going places.

These fellow rising stars will appreciate the exposure more than the A-list personality; it will be easier for them to notice you. You don’t have to interview them — in fact, it’s probably better if you don’t. Just rave about them. They may share your content with their audience, and even reach out to you personally. 

If you connect with or even befriend them on their ascent, their success will contribute to yours in more ways than one.

I did this with a “rising star” several years ago, Jared Easley. Jared has since gone on to co-found Podcast Movement, and has become a household name in the podcast space. I wrote a simple blog post about him, and we became friends: Why I Love Jared Easley’s Starve The Doubts Podcast. 

3. Make yourself recommendable.

All these actions will be for naught if you don’t have a platform or presence that reflects the standards of the person you are writing about.

Friend, there is a difference between being appreciated and being recommended.

Writing a great review for a guru or fellow rising star may earn their appreciation — but it doesn’t mean he or she will repost or share your content. No, you must be recommendable.

Consider what the word “recommend” means. The root word is “commend,” which means to praise. When someone re-commends you, it essentially means he or she is “re-praising” you to others.

So, is your platform worthy of someone’s praise? Is your blog or podcast of such quality that the person you raved about would heartily re-commend you to their audience? Do you present yourself as a “rising star” whose success they would love to be associated with?

These are touchy questions, but deserve serious consideration.

Remember, you don’t need eye-popping design, or years of blog content, or a huge podcast. You simply need to be recommendable. Have your site in order. Focus your content. Use good pictures. Make a great first impression. 

Chances are that you are already this person — you just have to make sure your platform reflects that.

Implement these strategies and you will unlock the key to elevating people’s perception of you. This is the “Rosetta Stone” of personal brand building. Do it, and you’ll gain access to people, places, and platforms quicker than you imagined.

The only question is … will you do it?

Mike Kim ditched his comfy C-suite marketing job in pursuit of career freedom. His goal is to help leaders like you parlay your past into a profitable personal brand. Start today by getting his free 34-page eBook, The Do-It-Yourself Blog Guide at mikekim.com.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Mike – great tips. Yeah everyone wants to start out at the top. In August of 2000 I sent out my first electronic newsletter – to the 67 people whose email addresses I had. That was it. They shared, I did some of the things you recommend and have had over 140,000 people sign up for that newsletter. But it’s now been 15 years.

    • Dan, you had an unfair advantage! You had SIXTY-SEVEN PEOPLE on your list! I only had SEVEN (and three of those were other email addresses of mine…) It’s not fair!

      (NOTE: Tongue planted firmly in cheek…)

      • Oh my gosh, so true haha. I padded my list with every conceivable “mike kim” email address I could think of in the name of “testing” … and of course with every conceivable email service. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, even (gulp) AOL.

        • I did this…but I was just *checking to see how it looks when the email sends*….


    • Thanks, Dan! My email list when I started was my mom, my sister, and three friends. My wife didn’t even opt-in — but somehow she’s in charge of the money … no idea how that happened!

    • Thank you for sharing, Dan. Time and persistence are elements many people want to leave out of the recipe for overnight success.

  • This is a great article Mike – thanks for the contribution!

    • Ray, the honor is mine. It’s always a ‘sacred trust’ to be able to share with another person’s audience!

  • Jevonnah Ellison

    Mike, thank you for this excellent article! I originally heard of you through Platform University and your contributions there were just as excellent.

    • Thanks, Lady Jevonnah … your work is epic! Thanks for the grace and passion with which you carry your message. I’ve heard so much about you and hope our paths cross soon … your (great) reputation precedes you!

  • Lucy Parsons

    I love these tips and plan to start putting them into place asap. Thank you!

    • You’re welcome, Lucy — you’ll do great, I’m sure!

  • Mike! This is a GOLD article right here! Thank you!

    • You are a rising star, Jamal — can’t wait to see what you do in the months to come. You’ve already made a huge impact, and so many people need the message you and Natasha carry!

  • Wonderful insight, Mike. I am going to use your tips as my blueprint for the remainder of the year. Your comment about the difference between being appreciated and recommended has me considering changes I need to make to my own work. Thank you for sharing.

    • I am humbled you would do such … and while I appreciate you, I also highly recommend you to others. =)

  • Absolutely out of the park excellent – Mike, this is super solid and very actionable. Thank you and thanks to Ray for making this available! I’ve got my work cut out for me!

  • Mia Sherwood Landau

    Mike, don’t you think the absolute, rock-bottom foundation underlying your precise 3-step process (which are spot-on, IMO) is belief? Meaning, I have to believe I’m worth it, I deserve it and and I can do it. Without those preliminary 3 things, all other efforts will fall short. That’s my personal experience anyway.

    • You are absolutely right, Mia. I have always told my clients (especially when they struggle in the very area you described) … “The first sale is always to yourself!”

  • John Dolan

    Great post Mike. I am SLOWLY building my health & wellness platform one subscriber at a time. It’s a lot slower than I like, and although I’m not worried, it is rather frustrating. I’ve thought about throwing in the towel, but I know that I am helping people. So instead, I’m focusing on providing high quality, relevant content to my target audience with the hope that it will continue to grow. Thanks to you and Ray for all that you do! Continued success…

    • Thanks, John. Healthy things grow, that’s the bottom line. Sometimes it’s slow, sometimes it’s fast. Are there any other folks that are in your niche that might help you accelerate the process, i.e. get you in front of more people to serve?

      • I appreciate your words of encouragement and additional advice Mike. I will seek the help of others to try to gain more visibility.

      • Mike, I loved your interview on Ray Edwards’ podcast. Continued success…

  • Pingback: 7 Things That Inspire, Educate, and Encourage Me | Ray Edwards()

  • PaulVandermill

    Thanks for sharing your insights into this particular type of relationship building. Love how you framed this using the historical reference to rosetta stone.

  • Great post, Mike! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately myself. You hit the nail on the head about featuring rising stars. Many times people focus exclusively on people who have already “made it,” and I know from experience that at least some of those people don’t even read or respond to comments themselves. Or they get so many that it’s easy for them to overlook much of what is written about or to them.

    I think a key is looking for ways to truly serve, rather than interacting with people just for the purpose of what you can get.

    Thank you for writing a post that gave me food for thought and confirmed what God is already speaking to me about.

    • Thanks, Rebecca! I agree — when we position ourselves to serve others, it really makes all the difference. By the way, if you are still available for work there are a number of folks I can pass your way. No pressure though, I just rave about you to everyone. =)

  • Great stuff, Mike. It’s the reality of the game of influencers, and you provide a good framework for engaging with that world.

  • Wow, what great tips Mike! You’ve definitely given me something to shoot for. I LOVE strategies, and the ones you suggest here make a ton of sense. Thank you!

  • Question: How can I make a platform that makes a great first impression, at this stage doing this myself?