11 Kinds of Popularity

Without further ado, here they are in no particular order. Some types lend themselves to be popular within closed circles and others more broadly.

1. The Fun Type:

You are always fun to be around. You transform any party with your humor, wit and just by being jovial. You are popular and people will miss you in a party. It is never the same. However, if that is the only reason you are popular, they will not miss you outside the party halls.

2. The Crying Shoulder Type:

You are always there to lend your shoulder when someone is crying. You are sympathetic and empathetic to others situations and needs. You will be missed when someone is crying and you are not around. If that is the only reason you are popular, then you won’t be missed during times when they are not crying. That is a bit harsh to say but you got to grow and be more than being a crutch for someone.

3. The Intellectual Friend Type:

You are great to debate and discuss all sorts of things from personal interests to world hunger. You are engaging, thoughtful and intelligent – and one can be assured that they will be mentally stimulated in a conversation with you. Hats off to you if you are popular being an “intellectual friend” in these times when A.D.D ( attention deficit disorder ) is sweeping the world.

The trap for Intellectual friends is two-fold – may not have the bandwidth or intent to act and inability to scale if you don’t plan well enough.

4. The Helping Type:

You lend a helping hand whenever someone is in a need. You can always be trusted to be there to help if someone is in trouble, someone needs some extra capacity or simply to provide moral support. Congratulations on being such a giving person but the big thing here is to ensure that people don’t take advantage of your niceness and use you as their default backup plan. A better way to help is to teach others to help themselves so that you are no longer required to be the helper. That way you leave them being better than before. Of course, this is not easy to do.

5. The Content Marketing Type:

You know what people are looking for. You know the concerns of people, problems they are facing and you create and/or curate quality content that addresses these needs. You establish yourself as an authority in one or more niches. You give away most of the content and make money either from selling premium content, associated services ( speaking for example ) and or via advertisements and sponsorships. The trick here is to choose the right type of content to establish your expertise. If you choose the wrong type ( for example reviewing latest gizmos), you will be on a treadmill – meaning you stop working and people stop caring for your concerns. Choose content that has longer shelf-life.

6. The Guru Type:

You are insightful as well as a great marketing brain. Your teaching will not only inspire but also shift the thinking of people that are following you. You are in this for the long haul and you know that your popularity is just like wine – it gets better with age. The underlying responsibility for a guru like you is an unwritten obligation to stay true to what you are teaching or admit when you change the course. If you don’t walk the talk, followers get confused.

Within the Guru type, there is one more sub-type which is religious or spiritual guru type. Here the responsibility is higher as there will be a subset of people who will follow you blindly. If a half-baked something is dished out, many people will suffer.

7. The Connector Type:

You are at the hub and you genuinely want to make more meaningful connections – from matchmaking to coordinating or even hosting events that will bring the right people together. The trap here is that you will end up dealing with a ton of freeriders – people who consume a lot and contribute a little. Rather than helping you with your case, they will suck up your time and diminish your capacity to do more of what you do very well.

8. The Game Changer Type:

You are just that – you amaze and wow people with your innovations. People are spell-bound with your creations. Not only are they fascinated, they are looking for your next innovation or creation. Everyone wants your time but the problem is that you want time for yourself – thinking about your next innovation or creation. Balancing the two is a dance that you have to get good at.

9. The Celebrity Type

Sports, Cinema, Music or whatever field you choose, it takes years to become that celebrity and command that attention. The challenge here is to have personal time and doing what you want to do without being on the limelight or scanner 24 hours a day.  The second challenge is to transform yourself into something else as your time on the stage fades off ( for eg: after your retirement from a sport )

10. The Super Achiever Type

You are one of those genius characters that have achieved the impossible. You cracked the code on something big and a large number of people recognize and respect you for that. The challenge is simply what next – how do you go one step further after the last blockbuster hit. The second challenge is to be comfortable with one or two failures after the big success.

11. The Super Caring Type

No, not wanting to be super caring but actually be super caring. This requires having a structure to care – doing something so that you have the resources to care. Doing that requires more than “wishing or wanting” to care. You have to have develop the art of telling a great story to convince a LOT of people around you to share the love for your cause.

I am not suggesting the above list is comprehensive. In fact, I am reserving one more type which is part of my “mini-research.” Hopefully I will be able to share with you in the next few weeks.

If you can think of any other type, please share in the comments.

Photo Courtesy: Clara Hinton on Flickr