Love her or leave her, there is no argument that Kim Kardashian is a powerhouse marketer. With 165 million Instagram followers and 64.5 million Twitter followers (the highest in the world), Kim’s international social prowess makes her one of the largest brand influencers out there.
Whether or not you follow or tune in for the latest in Kardashian/Jenner/West drama, there are definitely lessons to be learned from her marketing expertise. As Kanye told GQ magazine, “In order to win at life, you need some Kim K. skills, period.” So… here you go:
Turning the Negative Into Opportunity
It all started with a certain (cough) “leaked” video, but instead of retreating from the media attention, Kim embraced it, leveraged it and ultimately won a $5-million-dollar lawsuit that she used to invest in herself and her business opportunities.
Lesson learned: Things happen. Deals go bad. People write negative reviews. Don’t let it affect your focus. Pick yourself up, dust off, learn from the experience and find a way to make the best out of it.
Be (Overly) Confident
Saying that Kim (and her wacky clan) project confidence is an understatement. They are over the top, regardless of whether it’s deserved or not. But you know what? A study at the University of Berkeley in California determined that people who project themselves in an overly confident way tend to be recognized and promoted more professionally because bosses tend to mistake confidence for talent. Hmm…
Lesson learned: You know that statement, “Fake it ’til you make it”? Do that.
Know Your Audience
Kim has recognized two very important factors in a successful business. First, she is very aware of her assets and strengths. Second, she completely understands who her audience is and uses her assets and strengths to connect with her audience. That makes her “real,” relatable and authentic.
Lesson learned: Start by defining your business strengths, knowledge, interest, expertise. Now, take that knowledge and apply it to your target audience. Do the stars align? If not, you need to adjust until they do. Feel better now? Yes, we all do.
Real life example: I’m a fan of the relatable, blended brand presence of Geoff Brewer, a broker/owner in Nashville (a.k.a. Music City). Geoff not only runs a successful office in the area, but he’s also a professional musician who’s built his entire brand (and office) around his love of music and real estate. His office literally has a performance stage where you can find Geoff, friends, clients and his agents performing on a random weeknight—which is often documented on social media. Geoff has capitalized on his interests and strengths, and provides a snapshot of who he is both personally and professionally for his audience. Check out this video testimonial I shot of Geoff where he discusses the culture of his company, and you’ll see his enthusiasm for his passions and profession shine through. And you can check out his band here!
The Power of the Selfie
If you believe that Al Gore created the Internet, then you can believe that Kim Kardashian invented the selfie. Setting self-glorification aside, Kim has mastered the art of the perfect selfie. Here’s the deal: She’s gorgeous, she’s the product (that touts other products), and you want to be/look/feel/live just like her. Her social presence is focused on building brand loyalty and helping her followers feel connected to her. She gives them a beautiful mix of carefully curated, high-level photos, along with a “taste'” of the personal life that supports her brand.
Lesson learned: Be real, be authentic, but also be aware of the types of content that resonate with your audience. Listings are great, but a listing that is accompanied by a taste of the lifestyle that can be achieved by purchasing that listing? Well… that’s cha-ching.
Real life example: Take a look at the Instagram feed of TJ Paradise, a luxury agent in Los Angeles. TJ’s good at teasing the stunning properties he represents along with a mix of his “blessed” life filled with worldly travels, celebrity friends, love, family and success. He connects well with his clients because he lives like his clients.
Engage Your Audience
Kim does not need your fashion advice, but does that stop her from asking you for it? No! Why does she tweet out asking you what clothes she should wear for date night with Kanye? Because it creates conversation. Because it makes you feel like you matter. Because YOU are now part of that story. Wow… cool.
Lesson learned: Be inclusive. Create a story, and then invite people to join the story. Tease out content before you release it (like Kim asking for your advice and then later releasing photos of what she actually wore on that date with Kanye). Tease a story for that hot new listing that’s coming on the market.
It’s Not ALL About You
Even though Kim is very overly confident, she also realizes that it’s not all about her. She’s thoughtful of her audience and she’s inclusive of her family (who also provide little snapshots and insights into her world). Yes, there’s a bigger, strategic marketing plan in play, but there’s still great takeaways.
Lesson learned: Focus on the needs/wants/interests of your audience (who you’ve specifically targeted above under “Know Your Audience”) and then be inclusive. Connect the dots between your audience and your sphere. Ask yourself, “How can I be of service?” and then make introductions to lenders, moving companies, along with local pizza joints and coffee shops. The real estate process may be the “norm” for you, but for your audience, it’s one of the biggest decisions of their entire life. Exceed expectations—and share a selfie while you do it.
Real life example: I love the sense of inclusiveness in Dale Chumbley’s “365 Things” blog where he focused on a different local business in his community every single day for an entire year. He used this to build SEO-friendly content for his website/blog, increase his online followers and position himself as the go-to real estate guy within each of the businesses he showcased. Genius! So genius that I enlisted this approach at 3sixtyfive.agency with our “Daily Dose of Marketing Awesomeness” direct to your inbox. You can register on our home page.
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Bondilyn Jolly is a tech entrepreneur, investor and business leader. She currently serves as the VP of marketing at Elevate and the managing partner of 3sixtyfive.agency, a new full-service digital and creative ad agency servicing the real estate sector. She swears she has never once watched an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.