James Franco has an obvious observation about the power of the celebrity selfie: “[S]tars know the power of their image, and how it is enhanced when garnished with privileged material — anything that says, ‘Here is a bit of my private life.’”

Translated: when you give your audience a look behind the curtain – something that (1) gives them content they can’t get anywhere else, but also (2) makes them feel like they have access to a part of your private existence – you can provoke a powerful emotional reaction.

Because, at some level, every public figure interacts with their audience, most celebrities understand this.  I’m surprised at how few businesses – and businesspeople – do.

More than once, I’ve sat with executives from entertainment venues – if you’re reading this and think I’m talking to you, you’re probably right – and advised them to go beyond simply posting pictures of past events and advertisements for upcoming ones on their social media pages.  Rather, look for an opportunity to give your audience a look not only at what happens when the curtain rises, but also at what happens behind the curtain.

Draft your talent agreements so that you can post a few pictures – perhaps with the entertainer’s approval (to be granted within a brief period of time) – from backstage.  Require bands to let you film one song from their soundcheck, maybe a song they won’t play on stage that night.  Ask a comedian to give you a couple minutes of unique material shot backstage, perhaps in front of a handful of selected loyal customers.

If you’re talent – and, really, we’re all talent in one way or another – find your own ways to do the same.  One final piece of Franco wisdom: “We all have different reasons for posting them, but, in the end, selfies are avatars: Mini-Me’s that we send out to give others a sense of who we are.”

What’s behind your curtain?

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