“I'm not famous; I am simply very well-known to certain people. Famous is something different.” – Anton Corbijn, Born May 20, 1955.
Many seek fame when they get into this game. Some because they truly desire fame for its own sake. But many do only because they think it's somehow required to succeed.
But really, where you should start is in becoming well known to the RIGHT people. Widespread fame isn't spontaneous. You have to build it.
First – Go straight for the taste-makers in your field. Find the people who already have that niche-specific micro-celebrity and get them to be aware, then even friendly with you.
Be ubiquitous. Be where they are and be visible and engaging in those places. They'll notice and eventually consider you a peer/colleague – you must be, because they keep encountering you.
The goal is to have that recognition already in place when you do start making moves for wider “fame” and you shouldn't be amazed when those seeds you planted begin to bear fruit.
Howard Bloom is a guy who launched the careers of a lot of famous musicians out of the 80s. Madonna, Joan Jett and the like. He used to “seed” these acts from city to city, at the hot clubs, and then go on to the next. He would play them in rotation until they started to get requested, then the acts would never play there again until AFTER the album dropped.
He was essentially making these bands well known to the taste-makers. The hipsters. The people who love knowing what is cool before it hits the mainstream.
When I started out as a copywriter, I became well known to the people who were product creation experts. All of their students were in a position to need copy, and I was well-placed to be recommended by their chosen guru, because I had made friends with them at events and in social media groups and forums and such.
And when I launched my own community here, those connections and their referrals all showed up to participate and promote it – not out of a business interest, but out of a genuine friendly camaraderie.
It was of real value of course, but the reason I was on anyone's radar at all is not because I wrote good copy.
It was because I deliberately pursued becoming very well known to certain people. The right people. Not all of them, mind you. Some turned out to be dicks. But the ones that were cool actually become good friends of mine over time.
When you do that for a good long while, you can suddenly become an overnight success.
Them's the breaks.
No one just spontaneously finds you and puts you on stage in front of your audience. You need to know the people who have their own stages, cajole them put you out to their audiences, and then build your own stage when you have enough people paying attention to fill your room.
That's way easier than trying to appeal to the masses all by your lonesome.