Religion is heavily dependent on agreements to control space. Get yourself a raised platform, a throne, an altar, an inner sanctum and some acolytes to open doors for you, or stand around you in formation. The sight of some people being obeisant to a particular person is remarkably contagious. If you can begin by controlling the movement of your audiences you will find the extension of that control to every aspect of their lives follows quite miraculously.
Absurd beliefs attract far greater investments of emotional commitment than reasonable ones, primarily as a defense against the negations of such beliefs which are naturally contained within the believer as a consequence of their absurdity. People who get mad at the affirmation or denial of god, whatever that might be, do so because part of their own mind severely doubts their professed belief.
It is essential that the chosen beliefs fall into the scientific category of "Meaningless", which means that they must not be subject to objective falsification or confirmation. (Consider what a total disaster the objective manifestation of god would be for the church, for example.) The beliefs of any spiritual enterprise are basically a series of imaginary sticks and carrots, whose power ultimately derives from their believer's emotional investments against their basic ridiculous unbelievability.
You will need something other than good stage management and unreasonable beliefs to persuade potential followers to accept you as the personal avatar of your unreasonable beliefs.
Select one of the following:
A) A HOTLINE TO HIGHER POWERS. The ability to get into an altered state of consciousness, or the appearance thereof, and to utter weird or authoritative statements can be useful here. Alternatively, you could channel a book or a couple of graven tablets, or merely claim to have met some real or imaginary great master; in the Bois de Boulogne of Paris, for example.
B) PSYCHIC POWERS. These can be very persuasive, even though many hysterical adolescents have them. If developing them looks like too much hard work, then a little myth building and some further careful stage management, if you take my meaning, will do just as well. Alternatively, you can repeatedly deny that you have psychic powers or make speeches against the spiritual value of psychic powers. This will usually make most spiritual promoters assume that your powers are in fact awesome.
C) SEXUAL CHARISMA. If you lack this, its very easy to acquire it by simply hinting that you suffer from an embarrassing excess of it.
D) WEALTH. It is always a good idea to present either your wealth or your lack of wealth as a mark of your spiritual prosperity.
E) PERSUASIVENESS. Good Stage management should basically stifle debate or argument. Always make sure you have the last word, for it is this which counts. Debates over beliefs which are not subject to objective falsification or confirmation are invariably won by those who simply keep reiterating their beliefs longest, without appearing to repeat themselves.
One must be mindful that the profession of messiah has become more competitive than it used to be. The volatility of esoteric tastes in our brave new metaphysically eclectic world brings the additional hazard of anything from crucifixion by self-doubt to the penalties traditionally exacted by the romans, the IRS and disgruntled former followers.