Marketing Lessons We Can All Learn From Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian is arguably one of the most popular and polarizing figures in celebrity today. Those who don't count themselves among Kardashian's millions of fans have often criticized her for her path to fame. To these people, Kardashian's fame is simply the result of famous connections, a raunchy sex tape, and a long-running reality TV series. The truth, however, is that Kardashian has done a lot more than that to make herself the media powerhouse she is today.

Today, Kardashian is considered the 10th most influential person across all of social media, with over 300 million followers across her various platforms (per Visual Capitalist). She's built an empire beyond the wildest dreams of many. 

"If I'm so not talented, if I do nothing, then how is my career my reality? And I poke fun at it, like when I was on the cover of Forbes I posted the hashtag #NotBadForAGirlWithNoTalent. I don't mind being underestimated because it does fuel me. But after a while, I do feel like, 'C'mon, you can recognize a little bit,'" Kardashian said in an August 2017 chat with Janet Mock for Interview Magazine. "You can say a lot of things about me, but you cannot say I don't work hard. I don't sing. I don't dance. I don't act. But I am not lazy."

The key to Kardashian's greatness is understanding the art of marketing oneself. Her brand is strong as ever, and there are a few things it can teach us all.

There's an upside to every awful moment

If there's someone who tries to find the positivity in every negative situation, it's certainly Kim Kardashian. Kardashian has lived a considerable amount of trauma and tragedy in the public eye. Her public life was kickstarted by the release of a private sex tape, allegedly without Kardashian's consent. While the lore around the release has been questioned over the years, what is certain is that Kardashian got the last laugh.

Though many dismissed her as a joke after the tape's release, Kardashian took her embarrassment and weighed her options. Kardashian sued Vivid Entertainment over the release for the tape and settled for nearly $5 million (per TMZ). Kardashian then used that money, coupled with her newfound fame, to start the empire she sits atop of today. 

For some or even many other celebrities, having a sex tape leaked could have been a career-ending move. Though she's been greatly criticized for it, Kardashian parlayed one of the most embarrassing moments of her life into a career, for better or worse.

Confidence gets you everywhere

Kim Kardashian exudes confidence. Sure, she's shown the vulnerable sides to herself more than many other famous figures ever will. Part of what's gotten Kardashian to where she is, however, is her talent at getting a foot in the door and believing in herself and her capabilities.

Kardashian has credited estranged husband Kanye West for helping bolster that confidence. "I got to a point — and maybe [it was] being in a relationship with Kanye for a decade, someone that absolutely didn't care about likability factor or what any of perception of him was as long as he was true to himself — that taught me so much in the best way of just being me and living in the moment," she shared on the "We Are Supported By..." podcast

Then, she explained how West helped her shed her "people pleaser" ways. "You don't have to please everyone. As long as I'm myself and as long as I'm doing it the way that I want to, like, you have one life and you're living it for you. That taught me to just be more confident in myself and truly not care as much of what other people thought."

Staying connected with your audience is everything

Kim Kardashian is not afraid to establish relationships with her fans, which made her stand out from other celebrities as she first rose to fame. Kardashian has always prided herself in being approachable, even in the worst moments of the press hounding her. She's known to stop for selfies with fans, but that's not all. She'll tweet at her fans too (per Entertainment Tonight). Some longtime super-fans even get occasional gifts from Kardashian.

Kardashian also asks her fans for advice, showing she values their input and isn't interested in just talking at them. Kardashian shows that the interests she pursues in her downtime aren't all that different from anyone else's (per Business Insider).

It may not seem like much, but by keeping in constant communication with her audience, Kardashian has built relationships that make her appear more relatable. It's hard to consider someone with such an extravagant lifestyle to be like you, but when you recognize there's still the same feelings and emotions behind a person, it can shift perspective and in a business sense, create loyalty.