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Becoming a Hype Artist with Michael F. Schein
Episode 7227th September 2023 • Welcome To Eloma • Kiley Peters
00:00:00 00:45:42

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Hype. The definition can vary wildly depending on who you’re talking to. Today’s guest Michael F. Schein, founder and president of MicroFame Media and author of “The Hype Handbook,” defines it as “any set of activities that get a large number of people highly emotional, so that they'll take the action that you want them to take.” From Virgil to the Punks and the Beatles–and of course the South Bronx where hip-hop and the term as we know it today was born–artists throughout history have used human behavior, particularly group behavior, to create propaganda and what we now know as personal branding.

The most successful people, he explains, use hype not as a separate marketing strategy but as part of the art itself, creating whole worlds (like Warhol’s factory) and personas consistent across all media (Steve Jobs’ wearing the same black turtleneck and jeans, for example). This creates more organic interest and brand integrity. Most people are pretty similar and have been and will always be driven by the same desires. If you can learn these, Michael says, you will know how to get and keep their attention no matter which trends or technology platforms move in and out of vogue. 

The Hype Handbook is the culmination of ten years of research and life experience. Starting out in a punk band–where he and his bandmates proved to be natural marketers–before moving into marketing and writing, Michael realized there were about 12 key principles that make for good promotion. Join the conversation to learn why he believes happiness and a fulfilling life are found through side doors and why having a Plan B is, well, over-hyped. 


  • “I guess that's what hype means. It's not just having a marketing budget. It's conducting experiments to figure out how you can embody your values in a very public way, how you can tap into human psychology to get people excited about that. And then how you can embody that in everything you do.” (9:53 | Michael)
  • “If you're seeing all of these articles telling you that AI, or the metaverse, or social media, or whatever the latest thing is, if you don't have a strategy on that, you're going to fall behind…they use these tools as accelerators, but it's not the route.” (17:33 | Michael)
  • “One of the strategies in my book is packaging is the essence of propaganda.” (18:57 | Michael)
  • “I don't think things are linear at all. I think history is cyclical. I think trends are cyclical.” (24:44 | Michael)
  • “Human beings are more alike than they are different…these are things that you can reverse engineer and figure out. We all like to think we're individuals, but we're about half a percent individual.” (25:34 | Michael)
  • “You're never going to know exactly what the recipe is. You're always going to have to conduct experiments. But if you have a firm understanding of the way that humans behave in groups and the way human minds work, you can conduct experiments quickly and strategically, in a way that you won't waste time on stuff that will never work.” (37:43 | Michael)


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