Engage, sustain and monetize your Career, Business or Brand by learning from Beyonce's and Kim Kardashian's 5 lesson playbook
Entertainment Tonight and producer Daniel Klimitz recently produced a series on Celebrity Transformations. They asked me for my reactions on how Beyonce and Kim Kardashian continue to grow and monetize their brands.
The vignettes are entertaining and each tells a story on transformation, sustaining and success. If you are interested here are the links.
For the record, I am a fan of Beyonce's talents and astonished by Kim Kardashian's continued success. I give a standing ovation to both on how they continue to manage their respective careers.
Here is What I Learned
They aren't lucky or privileged. They, like we, compete for attention in a world of abundance. A 'survival of the fittest' marketplace populated by too much talent and content, too many media channels, and where the audience has too little discretionary time and money.
How have they found a way to attract, build, monetize and sustain their brand? What can we learn as we try to guide our careers, brands and businesses?
Lesson One: Engagement must be earned, not bought
In the world of 'my' media - my Snapchat, my Instagram, my Facebook, my Feeds, my Linked In, you surrender your offering. You lose control of how it is perceived and manipulated. The journey to your audience becomes unplanned as it amplifies through social media, and at every step, engagement must be earned.
Lesson Two: You can only control your output
Beyonce and Kim Kardashian both know their brands. Where it is today and where they want to take it. They set their moral compass. Naughty or nice, Introverted or extraverted, Voyeur or exhibitionist, Profound or profanity.
Lesson Three: Know your audience
Beyonce and Kim Kardashian know their audience. Their 'Head, heart and hands. How they think, feel and behave. For inspiration, they tap into their human emotions and insights. Safety and security, love and belonging, purpose and self-actualization.
Lesson Four: Master the Media of the Day
Both of these celebrities have mastered the media of the day. The nuances of each platform, the filters, selfies, and leashing and unleashing their community of followers. They continuously feed their audience's appetite for content that teases, excites, inspires and challenges. They create scarcity, surprise and delight, frighten, make them laugh. They make themselves accessible and then unavailable.
Lesson Five: Take Risks and Reinvent and Reimagine
They don't set up a booth that trades in the present. No matter how content the audience is with the art and image, they move them, even if some fall away. They have the courage to reinvent and reimagine and hit refresh even if they are winning the day, the shelf or their marketplace.
Let's Look at How the Rules Apply to Beyonce and Kim Kardashian
Beyonce is a genius in zigging while the world is zagging. She releases a new album matched by extraordinary video content with a tweet, versus trading on her celebrity with an extensive and exhaustive media tour.
Her BeyHive is a community of passionate fans who celebrate her every move, and defend her when she is attacked. Beyonce also never trades on the present. Her artistry is always taking her audience to new places. From the Pop of Destiny's Child to R&B, from her raw sexuality to Lemonade an album more raw and at times pulpit than populist, that advances the values of Black Lives Matter and the sacrament of marriage.
She doesn't just have a wall of Platinum Records and Grammy's, or the ability to fill any stadium; she now has a voice to change how people think, feel and behave. Beyonce for Politics. You heard it here first.
Kim Kardashian turns a sex tape and what should have been her 15 megs of fame into becoming this decade's iconic sex starlet. Not like Ann Margaret, Marilyn Monroe, or Charlize Theron who combined immense talent with extraordinary beauty, but the ones like Farah Fawcett, Racquel Welch, Jane Russell, and Anita Ekberg whose beauty could launch a thousand posters to entertain hormonally deprived males and girls chasing false beauty stereotypes.
The difference with Kim Kardashian is she has mastered the media of the day. The self-proclaimed selfie queen. She isn't dependent on mass media's fickleness, or her audience growing out of puberty. She shines her and her husband Kayne's brand and business empire directly on her fan base of almost 200,000,000 million followers to stay in the spotlight, and in doing so monetizes her image across television, mobile, branded content and merchandise.
Her mobile game, Kim Kardashian Hollywood and her virtual life are connected to her real life. Why? She has reportedly earned over $45 million dollars on that venture alone.
A Final Thought
Yes, we live and compete in a world of abundance, without boundaries or control. Too many products are chasing consumers, too many individuals chasing jobs, and too many reasons why you can't succeed.
In spite of all the reasons why not, there are individuals, brands and businesses that are achieving greatness. Some put a dent in the universe, some are radically altering consumer behaviour, and some are simply getting immensely rich.
They control their output, understand their audience, focus on the future versus trade in the present or past, and master the media of the day.
They know how to turn 'Lemons into Lemonade'.
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