This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com. The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: Kim Kardashian And The Power Of A Celebrity Brand
Kim Kardashian, according to CelebNetWorth.com, gets paid about $20,000 to tweet out a product endorsement on her Twitter account. She earns from $50,000 to $100,000 for one appearance at clubs, parties, and other events. For some international events, she’s been paid a cool million. It’s a lot cheaper if you come just to see her–she supposedly charged guests from $1,000 to $2,500 to attend her 30th birthday party in 2010.
In 2012, according to Forbes Magazine, she earned a total of $18 million from product lines, personal appearances, her TV series, and everything else the Kardashian empire has its hands in.
As everyone knows, celebrities like Kardashian, Justine Timberlake, Heidi Klum, andeven the Olsen twins from the old Full House sitcom can generate income from all sorts of side ventures–just by attaching the power of their celebrity brands to them. Because they’ve created names that their audiences know and respond to, they can use that name to generate consistent and meaningful revenue–even when they seem to be famous just for being famous! In other words, the celebrity brand is what drives their success, not their talent.
You might think that in the business world, the rules are different. But are they? Maybe you’re not a reality TV star, a supermodel, or a hot musical act that might show up onSaturday Night Live, but you can still establish a name for yourself that can create some very profitable results.
Let’s go deeper into this idea.
What do the celebrities we named a couple paragraphs ago have in common? One thing–they had a very visible presence in the public eye. Timberlake and the Olsen twins started as child stars on TV shows. Heidi Klum has been a top model for over 20 years. And Kim Kardashian . . . well, most of us know how she first attracted so much attention.
Now, we’re not claiming a lawyer, a dentist, or a financial planner, to name a few of the types of clients we handle, will ever reach Kardashian-istic (yes, we know that’s not a real word) heights. What can happen, however, is that through the same kind of concentrated exposure, any entrepreneur, professional, or business owner can develop their own powerful personal brands that pay off in a multiplicity of ways, such as:
- Increased fees for services: Obviously, the more you’re recognized in your field and known in your community, the more people will pay for access to your expertise.
- More clients and customers: Your celebrity brand will draw more people to your door for your products and/or services, simply because they know your name and that gives you more credibility.
- Paid media appearances: As an established expert, you’ll be in demand as a speaker and possibly even on for-pay panels. You can also hold webinars and in-person seminars and charge top dollar.
- Recognition in your field: The more of a leadership position you assume in your industry, the more others who are in the same business will look to you for your advice and guidance. Many of our clients generate a lot of extra revenue by coaching others who do what they do.
- Entree to exclusive circles: Successful people love to get together with other successful people and compare notes–or even create a formal mastermind group, as defined by Napoleon Hill in his groundbreaking book, Think and Grow Rich, to assist with each other’s entrepreneurial efforts. The more powerful your celebrity brand is, the more access you’ll have to these high-level summits.
While the celebrity brand concept remains the same whether you’re an Olsen twin or a tax attorney, the game does have to be played a little differently in the business world. While living crazy lives does nothing but awesome things for the Kardashians, negative attention in the business world isn’t really what you’re after. So before you decide to set fire to a hotel room or take an Anthony Weiner-style selfie, remember that you need to associate three important elements–trust, credibility, and expertise–with your celebrity brand.
At our agency, we make that happen for our clients by placing them in best-selling books; high-production branded films; interview shows that are broadcast on CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX affiliates as well as other cable news outlets; and in prestigious print outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, and USA Today. In all those venues, they not only gain the right kind of exposure, but they’re also able to prove their expertise in a way that’s benefit-oriented for the reader or viewer.
The bottom line is that when you make yourself as visible as possible and, at the same time, build a powerful brand story, you create a celebrity brand that packs a punch that would leave Rocky Balboa reeling. So, yes, in some ways, we’re recommending that you should actually emulate Kim Kardashian–but you still might want to think twice about getting into a relationship with Kanye West.
JW Dicks (@jwdicks) and Nick Nanton (@nicknanton) are best-selling authors who consult for small- and medium-size businesses on how to build their business through personality-driven marketing, personal-brand positioning, guaranteed media, and mining hidden business assets. They offer free articles, white papers, and case studies at celebritybrandingagency.com.