Those two words were once synonymous with Donald Trump, as he took on the role of being the host of The Apprentice. This billionaire real estate mogul had done everything with his life from marrying, divorcing and remarrying new supermodels, having multiple book deals, endorsing multi level marketing companies, creating a real estate empire and having a few of his companies hit .
He dipped his hand into every pocket he could, whether it was by sticking his name on clothing that was sold by Macy’s, owning a beauty pageant, or speaking at events, which paid him heavily to endorse their products and services. At the end of the day, he acquired billions andof dollars. So maybe it wasn’t that bad of a thing for him to diversify so much.
He could have just went off and bought an island off in the middle of nowhere to live the rest of his dayswhile staring out into the ocean, but instead, he had .
Those aspirations were to one day become The President of the United States of America.
But he knew that people would not take him seriously if he ran. He knew that people may even consider him to be a. In fact, that is what happened for most of the first two months of his campaign. But the Donald had much more in store for the world to see.
Donald Trump had this devious plan on how to go from joke to front runner of the Republican party.
But how did he do it?
Let’s break that down into 10 steps:
1. Position yourself properly.
The Donald knew that Hillary Clinton would own the democratic seat. He knew competing against such a remarkable person in the same party would be, especially since she has the full support of the Democratic National Committee.
But when you look at the other end of the spectrum, there wasfor a front runner in the Republican seat. There were many candidates who could have taken the front runner seat for the Republican party. One of the biggest problems though was that Americans feared having another Bush in office. Donald felt that there was enough disarray where he could step in and have the potential to .
2. Know your audience.
Republicans vary across the United States. There are fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, then the radical conservatives. Which ones are the loudest and will stand behind everything a front runner does?
Fiscal conservatives tend to be private people. Social conservatives will voice their opinion here and there, but tend to not say much, especially if they live on the coasts surrounded by their liberal counterparts. But radical conservatives are vocal. They beat the drum and they beat it loud. They make sure that anyone and everyone hears what they have to say.
So the Donald knew he had to cater to one specific type of audience to create the most noise.
To create the noise Donald Trump wanted to make, he knew he had to do something and do something big.
3. Define your brand.
Donald Trump has always been seen as a real estate mogul, a guy with funny looking hair, the host of The Apprentice or a cut throat business man. No one in the world ever saw him as a potential candidate for Presidency.
Donald recognized this, so he knew he had to.
4. Announce your position.
In order to change that perception, Donald had to make an announcement. On June 16, 2015, he spent 51 entire minutes announcing he was stepping foot in the Presidential ring, then he uploaded it onand his website.
5. Have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
Donald stuck his head into the Republican seat. He knew what republicans wanted.
Immigration reform. Lower taxes. Smaller government.
He knew how to get it. Or at least he knew how to get people excited about immigration reform.
Instead of just making a modest claim on how immigration is a problem, he blew the problem out of proportion. He blew it up so big thatwith The Apprentice, Macy’s, his Latino TV networks like Telemundo and many other parties. But he didn’t care. He had money stacked in his bank account and he was going for the presidency.
I mean, I hate to say it, but I live on the west coast. People on both sides of the coasts think a certain way. But there are many states in between the coasts that are living in the past. Or many people who feel a certain way privately, but don’t tend to share how they feel in person, due to social norms. Especially nowadays, since our society is moving into a more socially conscious and aware place. Regardless, I’ve had a lot of people tell me in 1on1 conversations how much they hated a certain race, but publicly, they would never comment on such matters.
Me personally, I love everyone, especially Mexico. It’s an amazing vacation spot and I feel their country is beautiful and full of genuine and sincere people. I think everyone else should love everyone. But some others, deep inside, they hold to their older set of beliefs.
The Donald ignited and put light to those beliefs within citizens all across America.
6. Get the media to talk about you
Most media outlets are ran by sensible people. In fact, some of the brightest minds run them. Any sensible person would recognize that the words Donald Trump had stated, when he categorized a whole country as… A certain type of people… That he could have been insane.
What person in their right mind would say something like this and sacrifice losing contracts left and right? Let alone push away a whole demographic of voters that make up the biggest minority of our country.
Because of that, the media called him a joke. Article after article for a whole month released on how crazy Donald Trump was. They said he had no chance to become president. They said that he was a joke. They said that he should lose everything. The reason these articles probably continued to be published was so that he could inevitably lose everything. Or bring me some joy and laughter on a nice Sunday afternoon.
But each time the media mentioned his name, his name became more and more synonymous with the title of President. Each article that showcased his outrageous claims started to touch the inner souls of the people of America. Each time a new article was written, more and more people started to believe.
7. Double down
But that didn’t happen until after Donald Trumpon what he said. He made a statement he knew would cause controversy, but he stuck behind his guns. He was not going to back down. If he did, he would lose followers, because the radical republicans wouldn’t see him as the man that would fulfill their goal. They would not think of him as their . He knew that in order to keep building his audience, he had to own his claims.
But he didn’t just own his claims. He doubled down on them and said them again and again. As he further owned his claims and the media kept broadcasting his message, his ranks in the polls continually increased.
8. Embrace your fans
Donald worked hard at building up histhese last few years. He says he did it because he never had a way to fight back before when others would make snarky comments about him. He says he did it because he wanted to keep others accountable. But regardless of why he built his social media following, he uses it to recognize that he pays attention to his fans.
He does this by retweeting the campaign endorsements made to him by others. He does this over and over and over again, so people recognize he not only listens, but he holds values in and endorses their statements.
What other politicians are showing that they are listening to their audience?
9. Make sure people remember who you are
By doing all these things, all of a sudden, Donald Trump became the front runner of the Republican party. What may have seemed like a complete joke at first actually ignited the fuel Donald needed to provide the jump start to get ahead in the polls.
But it wasn’t just his statement about illegal immigration that got him to where he is today. It was a combination of things.
Every politician who took up a stand on the podium had a set of script writers who would feed them with how to answer questions. Donald, on the other hand… Spoke his mind. He didn’t use teleprompters. He didn’t use scripts. He just said whatever was the first thing that came to his mind.
This created a sense of authenticity with what he said. It made him stick out compared to his competitors. Why? Because politics has been the same for decade after decade after decade. Donald just brought a fresh voice to the scene.
On top of that, Donald regularly held others accountable. He showcased how one politician would come to him one year asking for money, then show their disloyalty when they went to attack him in the debates. This made him look like he was a victim. He did the same with the media when they attacked him as well, along with his vendors who cut ties with him, and everyone else who talked poorly about him. He did this by talking about how much he has done for them over the past years and makes the audience feel sympathy for cutting him off due to what he had said.
On top of that, many people feel that politicians make back room deals all the time in order to get campaign donations. Because of that perception, Donald keeps reiterating that because he is so rich, he can’t be bought. By restating that he is a billionaire who self funds his campaign, it makes him seem like he really can’t be bought.
What more could the American people want aside from a president who can’t be controlled by special interest groups?
10. Stack your successes
At the end of the day, the American people want someone who can lead America to greatness. I don’t really know why America needs to be great again, because I thought it was already great. But some people don’t feel that way. So to meet these demands, what Donald did is he stacked up all his career successes into becoming a viable front runner.
- Donald leveraged his real estate success into saying he’s a solid business man.
- He leveraged how he can control spending by refocusing that he is a billionaire.
- He leveraged his ratings on The Apprentice as stating that the public believes he knows how to turn things that aren’t going too well around.
- He leveraged the success of his family.
- He leveraged his campaign donations in the past and showed how disloyal others can be.
- He leveraged what he said to show that the media can’t hold him down.
- He leveraged his controversy into the ability to portray him as a victim.
- He leveraged his relationships to get the support of other successful people.
- He leveraged his willingness to listen to the ground floor to show that he recognizes their voices.
- He leveraged his prime supporters into showing he cares.
- He leveraged his ability to say whatever he wants to anyone to show he truly cares, like how he did with CNN raising their advertising rates.
All through Donald’s career, he leveraged everything that came his way and double downed on it. This gave him the ability to move up in the polls and become a front runner in the presidential candidacy.
Personally, I’m not voting for anyone this term, but watching as a spectator as the elections go by. I’ve opted out of politics a long time ago and have zero interest in them. But from a branding perspective, what the Donald did was absolutely amazing.
Just a few months ago, I was laughing at the stories that would pop up about him, but now everything turned so serious, he has an actual shot at becoming the most important person in The United States. Plus, I have been sitting here in disbelief that his brilliant plot actually worked.
What ways have you been able to leverage yourself out of controversy and get ahead of your particular industry? I’d love to hear more!
Originally posted on Quora.