A common trait of superstar celebrities is having a cult following, a fan base of ready to die fans.
At the height of their fame, The Beatles created a sensation known as Beatlemania which had millions of young people worshipping them. Decades after his death, thousands of Elvis Presley's die-hard fans visit their Mecca- Graceland, the home of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Every year people all over the world pay respect to Fela Kuti by visiting the Afrikan Shrine in October for Felabration.
Even after their deaths, these legends live on because their army of fans are still carrying on their legacy.
Today, in these modern times we have superstars who have an army of ardent supporters ready to do anything for them. Beyonce has the very vocal Beyhive, Rihanna has the Rihanna Navy and Justin Bieber of course has the Bielebers. Oh and in case you didn’t notice these contemporary acts mentioned above are today’s pop idols.
A cult following is an exclusive perk that belongs to artistes who are more than just artistes. These artistes are regarded as music idols. A lot of popular artistes and actors even struggle to reach that elevated platform of pop culture adulation because they have failed to cultivate a dedicated fan base.
Now for those who don’t see the benefits of a cult following here are some reasons. First of all a dedicated fan following helps elevate the brand value of a celebrity. Look at the celebs with cult following Johnny Depp and Leonardo Di Caprio, they are not regarded as just actors. They are respected as the very best of movie stars. Any celeb who wants to be on this level needs to have this type of following.
Also having a cult following separates one from the pack. One of the biggest statements a superstar can make is having hundreds of people tattoo their face or name on their bodies. This separates you from the pack of other celebs who will be long gone after their fifteen minutes of fame.
So how does an upcoming celebrity create his or her own cult following? Firstly a celeb must have an intimate knowledge of his or her fans and know their needs. What do they want? What do they want to see? After identifying these needs, the celeb’s job is to deliver.
Secondly, a celebrity must develop a strong persona to attract people to his or her brand. Look at all the celebrities with a cult followers, they were able to create a strong and attractive persona. If you have a weak persona no one will gravitate towards you.
Also the celebrity must carve his own lane and not follow the crowd. Society loves the outcast. Play the role of a social deviant and people will worship you. Lastly the celebrity must be able to create a strong user engagement, which means he or she must make his fan feel welcomed and loved at all times.