I realize that the chic and hip thing to do these days is hate on Kim Kardashian and the reason are not really that specific. The hate doesn’t tend to come with a lot of variety. Some hate her because she’s a “bad example to women and girls.” That’s a moral judgment and this forum should remain about business. Some say she’s an attention whore who makes money by feeding off that attention. Funny, doesn’t that describe pretty much anyone getting into business, especially if you have an online business? You want people to read your blog, like your Facebook page, follow you and retweet your stuff on Twitter, subscribe to your YouTube channel or click on your email or solo ad? Other say she has not talent and did not get famous from hard work or ability, that she’s a vapid woman who makes bad decisions and does not deserve the celebrity she now enjoys. Let’s take a closer look at that one even though in many ways it’s full of morality rather than business sense.
Let’s get this out the way first. Kim Kardashian made a private sex tape in 2003 when she was 23 years old. She was an adult woman who had sex with an adult man. The sex tape was leaked in 2007 and distributed by Vivid Videos. Kim Kardashian filed a suit and the matter was settled out of court with Vivid paying Kim five million dollars. This is the point of contention with many people’s dislike of Kim Kardashian. However let’s be a little more logical about this. She was an adult, Vivid Videos makes and distributes adult video to adults. The sex tape was not released on Disney or Pre-School.com, and most feelings about pornography stems from people imposing their values, their moral code, on others. I do not believe any woman intends to have her private moments released to the public. Kim Kardashian gets accused of this but this does not make sense when you think about it. If she did, why wait five years? Was 2007 a more perfect moment than 2003? Was she a “rising star” trying to get back her “fame?” No one even heard of Kim Kardashian, other than being the daughter of one of the lawyers who defended OJ Simpson, and that’s not exactly the best thing to be known for. So if you gave up your moral BS for just a second and thought about it, especially if you are trying to start a business or make money online, you could learn three important things from Kim Kardashian which too many of us completely ignore.
Currently Kim Kardashian is worth $85 million dollars because of products she sells, endorsements, her social media influence and television and movie appearances. This is completely separate from what her husband is worth. She wasn’t born poor, Robert Kardashian was a known high-price lawyer and worked in very rich circles, she certainly worth more than her father ever was – even with the whole OJ thing. A “vapid” or “stupid” person does not take a $5 million dollar settlement and amass it into and $85 million dollar empire. It just does not happen. Also, there’s this guy who used sex to make himself a millionaire by using sex and while he does get some criticism, he’s mostly praised for doing this. His name is Hugh Hefner. Like I said about Kim Kardashian, he’s an adult male who gets adult females to pose nude in a magazine. (Interestingly enough, he’s only worth $43 million.) One of the things people forget when they are putting her down is that she uses a great deal of the money she make to fund charities, give to philanthropic endeavors and has used her fame to help others become famous.
All that aside here are five things anyone trying to make it online could learn from Kim Kardashian:
1. Branding – If you started a business, especially one online, you’ve come across this business tool. Every seminar, book, video or meet-up tells you that you have to brand in order to compete. If you take the emotion out of it and look at what Kim Kardashian only from a business sense, the woman brands herself like nobody’s business. She makes sure her name and face (and other body parts) are everywhere you look. Think about everything you’ve learned about branding, than compare that to what Kim Kardashian does, and you’ll see that she is a lesson in how it’s done that any business can use. No, I’m not saying make a sex-tape with Ray-J, but I am saying that the way she keep her name out there is something every business would love to do.
2. Merchandising – Complain all your want about what seems like silly things Kim Kardashian sells, but the fact is they do sell. Her name is on tee-shirts, shoes, lip gloss, cups, posters, various clothing lines and perfume. Because merchandising has power when you do it right. I can’t believe how man artists, writers, bloggers, video content creators, online business pros and models go online, get huge social media following and merchandise like they are afraid of the word. Especially when we live in a time when places like Cafe Press and Vista print exists to make setting up this part of the business without actually having to own or store the products. This is why movies and TV shows merchandise. Because a man name George Lucas one day wanted to make a science fiction movie so he took a small percentage of the possible profits but 100% of the merchandising and became a billionaire because of that. (Hence the reason movie studios never make that kind of deal again.) Here’s two things you should just understand about merchandising: 1. People love to buy stuff for those they are fans of. 2. It could make you a comfortable living if you did it right. Want to know how to do it right? One of the ways is to take a hard look at what Ms. Kardashian does. She isn’t getting a $28 a year salary just from showing off her butt.
3. Social Media Marketing – Social Media Marketing is both easier than you think and not as easy. It’s a double edge sword, because you have to do one of the toughest things on Earth; build an audience. An audience can be built, but you have to work at it. And when you build that audience, you have to use it correctly. Too many people do not use their audience. Kim Kardashian does, and you should have a look at how she does. She did not have this audience over night, she built it up and it’s not so powerful that tweets and posts from Kim Kardashian are worth a lot of money. Currently it’s estimated that a single tweet from Kim Kardashian is worth $20,000. She cultivates her social media and that translates to sales, endorsements and making money.
4. Niche Marketing – there is no better lesson on niche marketing than Kim Kardashian. There are a lot of people who do not completely understand how niche marketing works and why so many business experts claim it’s a great way to make money. If everything is already on the Internet how does one sell it again? This is usually the crux of the confusion. Kim Kardashian is the answer to that very question. Okay, let’s go back to the sex tape. Before Vivid Videos distributed it they had already produced thousands upon thousands of sex videos. Yet you cannot name one porn star, male or female, who has the business power of Kim Kardashian, because far as I know she has not made another one. Sure she posed for Playboy, but these days that’s not even a thing anymore like it used to be. What Kim Kardashian did that even porn stars should learn from, is she made herself her own niche market. She took the name every news report refused to stop repeating and turned it into a brand that everyone from Nigeria to North Korea knows, can identify and will purchase because of. That, my friends, is niche marketing 101.
5. Hard Work – This is the place where I find that constant hate for her to make no sense. Especially the notion that she “famous without talent.” She cultivated the news of a sex tape into an empire. Make no mistake, right now the Kardashian brand is, in fact, an empire. Doing all these appearances, TV, movies, keeping up with her social networks (which does regularly), creating products, merchandising those products, keep a firm check on her finances and maintaining a family is hard bloody work. That is the key to success and failure. There are not short cuts. There is not “laying on the beach while my website collect millions.” Calling her an “attention whore” is dismissive, sexist and hypocritical. If you are a blogger, actor, media creator, model, business coach, or even a store owner, you are an attention whore. Without “attention” you would not have any success to speak of. It is impossible to maintain the schedule that Kim Kardashian maintains without working your butt off. If you are going to succeed in business of any kind, you better recognize and take a hard look at what this woman does. Because the one thing she is not doing is laying on the beach smoking weed while her website is making millions. She up everyday getting her brand out there, keeping her merchandising alive and making money.
If you just took the time to examine this without using emotion of moral value, you’d see these things are, in fact, very important business strategies you can employ in your own business and all you have to do is watch what she does and take some notes from it.