When it comes to business and people, there really isn't much of a difference between them. The only difference is that personal brands, on average, tend to last longer than companies do. Both parties embrace branding, marketing, and sales. They just do them in a slightly different way. But if you were to embrace what the Kardashians did, it would propel your personal brand to success.
The Kardashians are brilliant when it comes to the art of the personal brand. They know how to get themselves straight into the spotlight and leverage their personal brands into money-making machines.
What they do best is they stack their success.
I've leveraged my personal brand a bit to help leverage me into doubling my income, being featured in a few publications, and building out a social-media following. What I did doesn’t nearly compare to the level of success of the Kardashians, though.
From my personal experience in building my brand, there are a lot of similarities between what I did compared to what they have done. But then again, they've also done it a lot better than I could ever do.
It's easiest to track the success of the Kardashian brand by following these 10 steps Kim Kardashian paved the way for:
1. Have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
Originally, Kim wanted the attention of the media. To get it, she needed to differentiate herself. She needed a USP (Unique Selling Proposition). And while I’m not advocating a sex tape as a springboard to success, it’s undeniable that her sex tape with B-list celebrity Ray J put her in the spotlight.
That USP garnered the attention of the regular people, like us.
Regardless, using a sex tape certainly isn’t advisable for anyone, since it is an absurd thing to do. Plus, in today’s age, it's no longer a USP--it would never generate the same type of buzz that Kim K. initially created.
There are many other, more straightforward ideas for generating a unique selling proposition. For me, my original USP was failure. For James Altucher, it was his sense of authenticity. For Michael Simmons, it was his ability to gather multiple perspectives and back his claims with research. Find your USP and separate yourself from the crowd.
2. Leverage your network.
Since Kim launched her career with Ray J, a B-list celebrity, people felt she might be as important, if not more important, than Ray J. People associated who she was with her surroundings, bringing her status up from regular person to potential celebrity.
If you plan to move up in the world, start to surround yourself with people who are in higher positions than you. By associating yourself with high-level people, others will think of you as a high-level person as well.
3. Define your brand.
Once Kim started to gather our attention, her social-media profiles started to inflate. She knew that a lot of people would follow her just because of her sex tape, but she didn't want that to be all she was known for. She defined herself as a trendsetter, then laid out the foundation of who she was through her social-media accounts.
I pivoted from failure to self-help and personal branding. What you start out with doesn’t need to be what you end up with. You just need to stay true to yourself and figure that your USP is just what separates you from the crowd, not something that defines who you are.
4. Embrace your fans.
Kim knew that the only way she would continue to grow her audience was if she showed some love to her fans. She engaged and connected with her audience. This kept up the steady growth of her social-media accounts until they hit the millions they are at today.
I replied to the people who commented on my writing. I showed them appreciation. They then showed their appreciation in return.
5. Turn to the media.
Once Kim started to gain fame and popularity online, she turned to the media. They picked up her stories and ran with them. That media coverage turned her from an average girl straight into a celebrity.
Each publication I have written for has added a tiny bit of credibility to who I am. When all of that compounds, though, it becomes much more powerful. This will allow you to stand out from the crowd.
6. Bring up your team.
Once the media had granted Kim celebrity status, she was given her own show. She took this opportunity to spread her success to her whole family. Now, she wasn't the only celebrity, her entire family became celebrities.
I work closely with a core team of people who have helped me move ahead in life. We all work together on raising each other up and encouraging each other every step of the way.
7. Make bold and risky moves.
Kim wanted to redefine beauty. She went off and got naked on the cover of a few magazines. Caitlin wanted to be true to who she was. She went onto the cover of Vogue.
These types of moves both empower and anger the general population. It makes the believers feel that they, too, can live the dream of being true to who they are, while it angers the traditionalists.
This controversy keeps the Kardashian names in the media and keeps the focus on their brands, so they are continually talked about.
I divulged details of my personal life for the world to see. As scared as I was, people were receptive and encouraging. This helped me be more well-rounded and likable to my audience.
8. Own what you do.
Controversy is hard to deal with. When haters hate, most people break down. I've been hated on before, and I rolled over. The Kardashians, on the other hand, have thick skin. They don't care what anyone else thinks, they own what they do. Being confident and owning what you do, no matter the opinion of others, turns you into a bold leader.
9. Partner with successful people.
Kim partnered with Brian Lee of Legalzoom to make Shoedazzle. She partnered with billionaire jeweler Pascal Mouawad to make Belle Noel jewelry. Her partnerships with successful people are her way of creating a long-term business legacy through the utilization of her name.
I partnered with many successful entrepreneurs. Because of this, I was able to take big strides forward instead of small baby steps. But since I laid out all the baby steps ahead of time, the strides became much easier to make.
10. Stack your successes.
The basis to the foundation of the whole Kardashian family brand is how they stack their successes.
All through Kim's career, she leveraged every success that came her way and doubled down on it. This gave her family the ability to double down on their successes as well. Then the whole family grew together.
My brand is going through the same transition, but at a much smaller level. Regardless, by building out a personal brand and stacking my successes, I have been able to secure contracts and work with people whom I would never have been able to work with a decade ago.
Being in branding and having experience in building my own brand, I've seen firsthand that this is the recipe for success. Now, the Kardashian brand holds far more value than many other companies out there today. They understand the importance of building and maintaining a life-long business, plus they always keep themselves ahead of the curve.
How are you stacking your successes to propel you forward?