You’ve started a business, and your fingers are crossed. You’re hoping that you make money, and probably hoping to prove your family and friends wrong.
They ask questions like, "So are you still in business?" "What do you do all day?" and my personal favorite, "Can I get a discount?"
PSA: Friends and family of entrepreneurs, please don't ask for a discount. If one is offered, do accept! But, if your friend or family member is just starting out and you have a steady income, you're probably eating better than they are right now.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
The thing is: You’re already off to a shaky start. Business has been slow as of late, and you’re this close to pulling your hair out.
Luckily there’s hope, and her name is Kim Kardashian. Hear me out: Kim Kardashian is a business woman, and her success did not occur by chance. She has a strategy in place that could work for you too.
If you want to make money online, keep reading.
There are countless millennials starting online businesses and killing it! You deserve to be among them. Making money is easier than in generations past because of social media.
So, if you're a newbie entrepreneur or aspiring to be, this article was written with you in mind. Here are 15 things Kim Kardashian can teach us about making money.
15 Invest In Yourself
Kim Kardashian doesn’t have a rags-to-riches story. Her father is the late Robert Kardashian, one of O.J. Simpson’s attorneys in the infamous Simpson murder case. However, unbeknownst to many, she’s no stranger to hard work. At the age of 16, she started her own eBay store with money her father loaned her, selling shoes and accessories she designed herself. She invested money and time into projects she believed in because she knew there’d be a return.
Kim also invests in her looks. Truth be told, her image is a part of her brand. She’s seen as a sex symbol. The reality TV star does several beauty treatments to make sure her skin remains in great condition. She undergoes laser treatments on her neck to prevent sagging, and on her reality TV show, we witnessed her get the vampire facial - her face was stabbed with nine tiny needles containing her own blood in order to stimulate collagen production. She’s even admitted to lasering off her baby hairs! Talk about attention to detail!
Your actionable step: Some of your business ideas will require an upfront monetary investment. If you have a solid plan, putting in that money will be easier. Think of the desired return on investment and plan accordingly.
And no, you don’t have to get a bunch of beauty procedures done. But, do invest in your money-maker. Take online classes to hone your skills. You’ll want to position yourself as an expert; learning every day is therefore a must.
Kim Kardashian was a socialite before she built the empire that she has today. She had a closet organization business, where she’d organize celebrity clients’ closets and sell their unwanted goods on eBay. Okay, this business idea was pretty brilliant. In order for her to get those clients, she had to network. Since she does come from money, she was around people who came from money/had money too. But, she had to put in the effort to build those relationships in order to profit from them (as opportunistic as that sounds). She was Brandy’s personal assistant and even best friends with Paris Hilton at one point.
When Paris got into the public eye, Kim started accompanying her to events to be seen and reported on. The people you associate yourself with can lift you up. You never know who you’ll meet and who’ll take you to the next level. Although Paris and Kim aren’t as close as they once were, I'm sure Kim is grateful to Paris for giving her the first taste of fame.
Your actionable step: Make mutually beneficial, valuable relationships on and offline. Be open to meeting new people. Let people know what you do. Join Facebook groups like Being Boss and Blog & Biz BFFs, and introduce yourself. Share what you do and what type of entrepreneurs you’d like to meet. Provide value. It’s a give-and-take.
13 Shamelessly Promote Yourself
Kim Kardashian has never shied away from promoting herself. She is always in the public eye. Always. Remember that naked selfie she took in front of a mirror? That selfie made loads of people talk about her in both good and bad ways. Did the mean comments affect her? Nope! Actually, she later posted a topless pic alongside her little sister Kendall Jenner. To Kim, all press is good press. Kim K is a business. The more she’s in the public eye, the more her products gain exposure, too. Her name draws people in. Even people who dislike her read articles about her just to comment about how much they hate her. She provokes a reaction. Better that than being lukewarm, yeah?
Your actionable step: Don’t be too shy to promote yourself. Be persistent like a mosquito. In order for people to choose to patronize you, they have to know who you are, how you can help them, and how your value will change their life. You need to communicate that through content. Come up with four article ideas that will both promote your brand and service your target audience. Having trouble? Hire a content marketing strategist, like me! (I just had to.) This point is about shameless promotion, right? In the words of Donald Trump, “What do you have to lose?”
12 Form A Power Couple
KimYe is an entity, whether we like it or not. They signed on that dotted line, binding them together until death do them part. The person/people you decide to spend your life with shape your life. Let’s look at Kanye’s profile: He is a successful musical artist, says a lot of peculiar things (that make people talk about him), has a clothing line, and is present on social media. Together, they have a net worth of $230 million dollars. Look, I’m not saying be a gold digger, but it’s beneficial to choose partners who add to your life and inspire you.
Your actionable step: Look at your partner(s). Do they inspire you? Do they encourage you? Are they financially responsible? (Yes, Kanye was $53 million dollars in the red, but KimYe fixed that situation real quick - if that situation was even real in the first place.)
Pro Tip: Never rely on anyone to build you up or make you look good. Build yourself up. Smash your own personal goals, and couple up with someone who is just as ambitious and supportive as you are.
11 Be Seen
Kim K is a celebrity, right? So, more often than not, she’s present at celebrity events. Met Gala. She’s there. Grammy’s. There. She’s. Always. There. Going to those events keeps her in the news, which makes her reality series all the more appealing, which increases the chances of it getting renewed. It’s been on the air for 9 years now.
Being present at industry events tells people that you belong among them; it positions you as an expert. Where do people in your industry hang out? What types of events do they go to? YouTubers, for example, go to events like Beautycon to solidify their position as influences - not to mention get a bunch of free stuff. You’ll be able to collaborate with people and find partners at those events, as well.
Your actionable step: Find industry events in your city and attend them. Don’t see people in your field as competition. Rather, leverage each other’s audience, and grow. Remember: the bigger the audience, the greater the opportunity for sales.
10 Have Multiple Streams Of Income
Don’t let her Instagram fool you, Kim Kardashian does more than just attend events and take selfies (which, for her, are both profitable activities, anyway). She has all kinds of income coming in. In 2015, the Kardashian family signed a $100 million dollar deal with E! to renew Keeping Up With The Kardashians for four more years. Kim is said to have earned $15 million of that, plus the promise of an extra $5 million every time Kanye West shows up.
In 2006, Kourtney, Khloé, and Kim launched their clothing store DASH. In addition to those profits, she gets paid for making public appearances (events, parties, openings). She also has an app and a game, among other money-making vehicles.
As an entrepreneur, you don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket. Of course, have a main source of income, but have other passive or active sources in the works. For example, you could create an online course, or join affiliate programs and introduce your audience to products that would benefit them.
We spoke about investing early on. If handling the tasks associated with having more than one source of income is overwhelming, you could always hire a virtual assistant.
Your actionable step: Brainstorm ways to meet your audience's needs in at least one extra way. Introduce your audience to a professional who can help them, and earn a cut of sales made.
9 Stick With Your Tribe
Kim Kardashian was catapulted into the spotlight after the release of her sex tape. That’s when the media really started paying attention to her. Since the media was interested in her, they were also interested in her family. For momager Kris, they’re a package deal. In 2007, she pitched a reality show about her family to Ryan Seacrest, and the rest is history.
Collaborate with people in your tribe. Lift each other up. Work on projects that benefit you mutually. Succeeding alone is boring. If you have a large following on Instagram, why not give someone you know a shout-out, even if the payoff isn’t obvious yet? A month can change everything. Who knows? You may need their help in the future.
Your actionable step: Be social on social media. Join meetup groups and meetup with them. Connect with someone in your field, someone who shares your audience, or who offers complimentary products. Get to work.
8 Kill It On Social Media
Kim has 86.1 million followers on Instagram and 48.6 million followers on Twitter. She is killing it. She gets paid up to $1 million dollars to endorse brands on social media.
You too can use social media to make money. Let’s explore two options: You can grow your following to the point where brands will pay you to promote their products on your page. To grow your page, you have to provide value, engage with your target audience, follow your target audience (don’t be annoying and unfollow people left and right), use the right hashtags to be seen, etc. You should always create content with your target audience in mind.
Your second option is to create a product or service to sell through Instagram. You’ll still need to grow your account using the tips above. Create a freebie your target audience will love. Put a link to it in your bio. Develop a solid relationship with your audience so they’ll want to click the link in your bio. In order to get the freebie, they’ll need to input their name and e-mail address on your landing page. Prime your audience for the sale with value-packed emails. Launch a product. Make money. Alex Tooby has made $100K to date simply by marketing her courses through Instagram. So, yes, regular folks can make loads of money through Instagram, too.
In an interview with 60 Minutes, Kim actually attributed a large part of her success to social media.
Your actionable step: Craft a content marketing strategy. Each social media post should have a purpose, to give your audience what it wants and enable you to make money.
7 She Shares Her Business
Kim Kardashian doesn’t leave much to the imagination. You know the saying, “People buy from people they know”? Well, this definitely applies to her. Kim Kardashian's fans feel like they know her. Can you blame them? She’s highly active on Snapchat. She has her own reality TV show. She lets her viewers into her world, so when she drops a product, a good percentage of them will buy it. She shares naked selfies, throwback pics, etc. That is what her brand is built off of.
Show off your personality online. Make your audience feel like you’re best friends, and they will patronize you forever. Think of big YouTubers like Patricia Bright and Samantha Maria. They’ve both started brands that are quite successful. In Kim Kardashian’s case, she’s entertainment, a distraction from everyday life. What is the value that you provide?
Your actionable step: Introduce or re-introduce yourself on Instagram. Tell your readers your story. Show your audience that you’re human. Release a product or service. Make money.
6 Get A Mentor
Kim Kardashian has had businesses since the age of 16, and we can safely guess that it’s because entrepreneurship was encouraged at home. Let’s talk about Paris Hilton for a moment: Remember her sex tape? It shot her into the spotlight, too, shortly before the first episode of her reality TV series aired. Was Kim trying to follow in Paris’ footsteps? Well, if she was, she certainly took it up a notch. Paris isn’t so much in the spotlight now, but Kim’s career is thriving.
Your actionable step: Reach out to people you admire on and offline. Don’t ask them to be your mentor. That sounds like a huge responsibility, and most people would feel like they’re too busy to commit to teaching you (for free). Start by asking one specific question by e-mail or in whatever public forum they’re present in. Are they the owner of a Facebook group? Do they own a blog? Visit them often and leave comments. At some point they’ll recognize your name. Thus will begin a beautiful relationship.
5 Dress The Part
Kim Kardashian is seen as a fashionista, especially since she entered into a relationship with Kanye. Her fashion sense is a part of her brand. That’s why she’s featured in fashion magazines. Presentation is everything. Maybe in your case, donning expensive designer apparel won’t do anything for your brand. But, when you go to business meetings, how do you want to come across? Is your online appearance consistent with your in-person appearance?
Your actionable step: Build your entrepreneur wardrobe. You just need a few key items for business shoots and meetings. Your clothes should reflect your brand. Keep in mind your brand style and colors. If you’re worried about cost, shop online. There are typically sales at various stores. Unless you’re a fashion blogger, you really don’t need to be switching up your wardrobe that often. Buy basic pieces. You can mix and match, and create different looks.
4 Collaborate With Brands
Kim has had innumerable brand collaborations. Recently, she had a collaboration with Lumee, which is a phone case that features LED lighting for the perfect selfie. She designed two marbles cases for the brand. See what she did there? She is the selfie queen! So, the collaboration makes sense. If you’re a vegan blogger, a collaboration with McDonald’s, for example, wouldn’t make much sense. It would actually turn off your audience.
Brand collaborations need to make sense for all parties involved.
Besides phone cases, she added Karl Lagerfeld as a character in her Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game. His character had his own boutique with bags and shoes for the users to buy in-game. It was added right at the time he launched his e-commerce site. Let’s all say it together: Exposure! 2.5 million players went on to visit his actual online store Karl.com in the span of 30 days. It was a mutually beneficial partnership, as Kim fans spent even more time playing the game.
Brand partnerships have to be mutually beneficial. When approaching brands to collaborate with, you need to spell out clearly how they will benefit from the partnership.
Your actionable step: Pinpoint 5 brands you’d love to work with. List the benefits of a partnership with them for all parties involved.
3 Have A Great Team
The Kim Kardashian brand isn’t a one-woman show. She has a momager. She has assistants. She has a bodyguard. She has the support of her siblings.
Don’t try to do everything by yourself. If you’re just starting out in your business, it’s tempting to do it all to cut costs. Ideally, before launching, set up a business start-up fund. Just like some people have a travel fund, you should have a business fund so you can hire professionals to take some of the load off.
There are some things you can learn to do on your own. However, I would invest in brand design, website design, and copy. You could find freelancers on Fiverr or Upwork who are quite talented and who would be willing to help you out on the cheap. Look at their portfolio and reviews. Join Facebook business groups and ask for group members’ feedback on what was created. They will offer you valuable advice.
Your actionable step: If you’re flirting with the idea of starting your own business, start saving to do so. Make a list of necessary expenses, such as a web site, copy, hosting, etc. Save accordingly.
2 Offer Free + Paid Content
Kim Kardashian likes to share everything. She and her team came up with the strategy to have subscription services. She uses her Instagram account to give viewers a taste of her life, and then, she directs them to her app. For $2.99 a month, you get access to even more selfies! Well, okay, you get a little more than that. You get beauty tutorials, live streams, looks, and behind-the-scenes photos.
Why would anyone pay for that when we already get so much of her via social media?
Because she’s done a great job at making people obsess over her. Besides, people always want to be the first to know something. You want to be the first to discover an amazing artist before they go mainstream. Have you ever noticed the YouTube comments that say, “First”?
By the way, it always cracks me up when the commenter isn’t actually first.
That’s the appeal.
If you’re a blogger, once you’ve established yourself as an expert, you could offer a special paid section on your site.
Your actionable step: Think of different content subscription ideas that your target audience would love.
1 Create A Product Inspired By Your Free Content
Kim Kardashian dropped her book Selfish, which basically contains her selfies. Her Instagram page is already full of selfies. Yet, she still managed to sell 32,000 copies. Sales were disappointing, but still, 32,000 people decided that her Instagram page just wasn’t enough.
You can get loads of information for free these days - if you have the time to search the web. But, more and more people are willing to pay for content curation. Many online entrepreneurs are making bank by selling online courses in their areas of expertise. Of course, if you do decide to sell a course, you have to personalize the content. You have to teach something that has worked for you or your clients.
Your actionable step: Think of complimentary products you could offer your target audience. Really think about what your target audience’s problems are. What could you create as a solution to that problem? Brainstorm. Brainstorm. Brainstorm. Create polls in Facebook groups. Ask the people what they want.
People have varying opinions on whether or not Kim Kardashian has talent. One thing we can all say: She is great at making money. We could all learn a thing or two from her.
Let us know, which lesson resonated with you the most? How will you apply it to your business?