Hate him or hate him; you can't deny that Donald Trump playing the game of attention at the moment, and is coming out on top.
But what can we learn from him?
What is he doing that is has taken him from mega-rich bigot with a reality TV show to disturbingly-likely Presidential candidate?
I've discovered 5 things that Donald excels at that have contributed to his personal brand stock-value rising to unprecedented levels. Here is the secret formula:
Donald Trump = Platform + Echo + Noise + Intrigue + Status
Donald Trump IS a media empire... He has platforms where his messages are broadcast to a waiting audience. It's ok having a voice, but if nobody is there to hear it, then what's the point?!
The lesson: Build a platform (blog, podcast, vlog etc) BEFORE you actually need to sell anything. Creating content and giving value to people is essential... Doing this before you want anything from your audience builds trust and integrity.
Trump is very clever in how he talks about ideas and issues that are in the popular consciousness. He isn't discussing complicated economic theory. He goes straight for an emotion... Nearly always fear.
The lesson: Write content that your audience is looking for. If they're interested in personal development, then find an angle and write about that. Ask questions on twitter and facebook, search hashtags... See what is being discussed, and join the conversation.
Donald Trump makes noise. His message is simple but is repeated over and over again. If you missed it the first time, it will hit you next time. If you miss that one, then someone else will tell you about it. He's there, loud and proud... Always.
The lesson: You need to be there, often and consistently. You need to be talking, engaging and putting out content. It won't work overnight... It takes time, effort, patience and energy. Put in the work, make some noise... Then repeat.
What the Hell is he going to say next!?! Trump is a loose cannon - He could go off at any bloody moment. So, even if you vehemently disagree with him, you are compelled to hear what he has to say for fear of missing something amazing/awful.
The lesson: Take a different slant on things. Be true to your own voice and ideas - You may divide an audience, but those who agree with you will feel a super-strong bond to your message.
Although many would disagree with the metrics used to define it, Trump reeks of success. He's got gold, diamonds, private jets and skyscrapers with his name on the side. He's always on the red carpet alongside the most famous faces and he loves boasting about how successful he is. He shamelessly displays what many in our culture consider to be the signs of a well-lived life.
The lesson: Exposure by association is very powerful. Position yourself alongside people / brands who you aspire to be like. Obvserving their behaviour and actions will help you to raise YOUR game. Helping them to spread THEIR message gives value, and over time they may even reciprocate... But it doesn't matter if they don't. To outsiders, you are positioned with them. Their status rubs off on you by sheer proximity.
So, political views aside, you have to admit Donald Trump is a master of gaining attention.
He says what he thinks and doesn't give a damn if you hate him for it.
By strategically polarising his audience, he has people either fighting for or against him... But either way, people are talking about him and his ideas are getting air-time.
To a British chap like myself, his level of ego is truly unfathomable.
But being shy and humble doesn't feel like a great solution either, sometimes.
So maybe more of us should be willing to embrace our inner-Donald from time-to-time?
Now isn't that a sobering thought?