You’ve managed to build a business and have a service or product that is ready to be introduced to your target market, but how do you stand out from all the competition in your field? An effective way to market your brand is the use celebrity endorsements through advertising. Having a celebrity tell the public that your product is worth using allows consumers to believe in something they otherwise know little about.
In Western Culture we hold celebrities to that of royalty, and having a beautiful actress endorse your beauty product, an athlete endorse your sportswear, or a musician endorse your new app or service will speak louder volumes to your potential consumers than testimonials by unknown, everyday people. Along with their celebrity will come a certain level of trust and credibility that your product is worth their time and money.
We’ll never know whether or not, for example, would have been so wildly successful had they not had William Shatner sign on for advertising as their voice and name.  Proactive skincare products continue to reach out to new costumers each year by cycling the celebrities who are featured on their infomercials. Stars like Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and Jessica Simpson were featured during the heights of their careers and brought in millions of dollars in revenue for the corporation.
In 2002 when U2 agreed to endorse Apple’s iPod, the company’s stocks and sales immediately soared and the product has since been a staple in our daily lives. It may be easy for already established businesses like Nike, Coca Cola, and Apple to get celebrity endorsements, because for the celebrity it results in immediate financial earnings as well as ensured exposure. You may be asking yourself, what about a start up business? Chances are you are not yet well established with a dozen celebrities knocking at your door.
This means you’ll have to start from step one of reaching out, proving you and your products are worth the celebrity’s time, and getting them to sign a deal that will be beneficial for your both. If you’re having trouble receiving responses to inquiries, or if you’re at square one of looking for celebrity endorsements, we are here to tell you that the secret to success is polite persistence. In order to lock in a celeb who will do wonders for your service or product, you need to be professional, yet firm in the way you sell your ideas to them. Using polite persistence will set you apart from your competitors because it will show the confidence you have in your product while maintaining respect for the celebrity you hope to partner with.

Choosing the Right Celebrity


You’ve been hoping to get exposure for your business and have considered seeking out celebrities to endorse your goods and/or services. Do you find it serendipitous when you happen to be eating at the same restaurant as Tom Hanks or when you are in a random NYC park and hear that Sarah Jessica Parker is at the playground with her kids? Is your instinct to approach them and pitch your product and ask them to help you with endorsements? The simple answer would be: Never, unless you want to seem disingenuous, unprofessional, and be met with immediate rejection. The concept of polite persistence is not demonstrated in this example, as it’s anything but polite. You should never reach out to a completely random celebrity contender to attach their name to your product. Passing Pharrell on the street does not make you a credible businessperson, nor does it make him the right man for your job.
You must be calculated and careful about whom you choose to reach out to and that the celebrity’s image and overall persona fall in line with your business, service, and product. Any celebrity you plan to approach should be pitched your idea through their management team (agent, manager, publicist), so please leave Mr. Hanks alone as he enjoys his glass of wine at dinner. Rather, if he suits your needs, the right way to go about it would be to contact his management team, explain that you saw him out and believe he’d be the perfect person for the job, and exhibit the polite and persistent demeanor we will continue to address throughout this article. Using the fact that you and he (or whatever celebrity it may be) were at the same place at the same time is okay, as long as you’re not putting anyone on the spot and as long as you truly believe this individual is the best person for the job.
When choosing celebrity endorsers, it’s important to consider their work history, their public image, what other endorsements they may already have. To be clear, you aren’t going to steal someone from a competitor as they are already contractually obligated to carry out advertising for someone else, and it is an unethical behavior to exhibit, particularly as you’re trying to get your feet off the ground. Start by making a list of the celebrities who interest you and who would have some interest or something of value to say about your services and then, using, seek out the management contacts for the celebrities on your list.

Appropiate Ways to Approach A Celebrity for an Endorsement


This is where your actions will elicit either positive or negative responses, and in order not to turn potential celebrity endorsers away, it’s time to turn up the politeness and turn up your persistence while exercising patience and professionalism. Using the information you acquired on, call or email each celebrity’s management team and introduce yourself and your product. Keep your initial contact brief by clearly and concisely introducing your product and why this particular celebrity is the perfect face for your brand. Maintain your confidence that this partnership will be beneficial to both you and the celebrity whose assistance you need; do not come across as overly needy as though without this person your business is going to fail. Make it sound like you’re reaching out to each celebrity as a first choice offer before moving on to other potential contenders for the job. This level of confidence will set you apart from competitors who beg for endorsements to help them find success.
In your initial communication include your credentials and your contact information and that you will be sending samples of your product or links to your service so that the management team and celebrity can experience what you are asking them to endorse. At this time it is important to remind yourself that even the most minor of celebrities aren’t sitting around waiting for an unknown businessperson to call for product endorsements. Both celebrities and their management teams are busy and often inundated with offers, calls, and inquiries, most of which may prove to be a waste of their time. They are not going to go out of their way for you, particularly when they do not yet know what you offer and your level of seriousness; therefore, you must be persistent and continue to reach out in polite and meaningful ways. If a couple of weeks have gone by with no response, check in and make sure they received the products you sent, inquire as to whether or not they had the chance to see your website that further explains your services and business, send them a copy or portion of your business model with a script that includes a sample testimonial you would be looking for from the celebrity.
Anything you can do that will show the celebrity that you are working to alleviate their time commitment, make the job doable, and remain a level-headed business partner will allow them to trust in your product and that you may be a good match for their endeavors in endorsements. Be careful that every correspondence you share exhibits a professional tone; it is okay to beg a little and let the celebrity know how badly you want them to pair with you for the endorsement, but do not appear to be desperate or pathetic, or it may seem as though you don’t believe in your service’s potential without the celebrity’s help, or that you are only looking to spend time with the celebrity and that your professional demeanor is second nature.

Handling Rejection and Moving on to Another Celebrity Choice


Be prepared for rejection. Just because you can see the vision in your head that a particular celebrity is the perfect man or woman for the job does not mean that all the cards are going to properly fall into place. You may be met with rejection for a number of reasons; perhaps you can’t be fit into their schedule, maybe they aren’t looking to endorse any products at this time, they might already have signed on to endorse another product, or perhaps they downright don’t like your service or believe in your product. Whatever the reason, make sure you haven’t put all your eggs into one celebrity basket so to say, so that you can easily move on to other options.
During your initial correspondence you should be sure to be politely persistent to a handful (or two) of celebrity choices. This way, when you’re met with a few “no’s” right away, you aren’t left desperate and disappointed. You can gracefully accept rejections by moving on to your other choices. When turned down on a deal, protect your and your business’ reputation by thanking the celebrity and their team for your time and telling them to contact you when they decide it’s the right time for endorsement jobs. Inquire if you can perhaps add the management contact to a newsletter about your products so that they can see your business grow and that you would hope to work with them in the future. This way, you are politely accepting their decision while still showing you have the confidence, drive, and motivation that go along with persistence needed in working with celebrities.