Last week, my 18-year old brother told me that he ordered a new pair of headphones because Kylie Jenner promoted them on Instagram. I was quite surprised as I didn’t expect him to follow her (not to talk about being influenced by her), so we started a little conversation about Mrs. Jenner.
Admittedly, I’m awful with celebrities. I don’t watch TV for more than three years, I don’t follow any of them on social media, and I’d probably not even recognize most famous people if I’d meet them on the street.
I just don’t care about movie stars, models, or singers. It’s not my world.
However, the conversation with my brother was fun, and I started doing a bit of research about Kylie Jenner and what she did to become the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.
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According to Forbes, as of June 2020, Kylies’ net worth is only $900 million.
However, the lack of $100 million doesn’t change the fact that she’s a remarkable entrepreneur. No matter what you think of the Kardashians or Kylie Jenner in particular, there’s a lot we all can learn from these people that might also make our lives and businesses better.
In 2017, Jenner was placed on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, which made her the youngest person to ever be on the list. And when she initially launched her famous Lip Kit back in 2015, the products were sold out within minutes. So, she (or her mom, aka her manager) obviously made some right moves during the past years.
Here are some key lessons we all can learn from her:
1. Do what you love
Pretty cliché, I know. But this is probably the #1 reason why Kylie Jenner managed to build more wealth than her sisters and a considerable business instead of relying on other sources of income.
Some might say she was lucky, the truth, however, is that she is passionate about what she’s doing and made the right moves for many years.
In an interview, Kylie explains how she struggled with insecurities as a young girl and that she hated her lips. Thus, she was always looking for products and ways to put on makeup so that she’d be more confident. Yet, she struggled to find lip products that fit her needs. She describes how she didn’t even know what to look for.
That’s why founding a cosmetics brand and producing lipsticks was pretty straightforward — she did what she was passionate about.
Instead of producing and marketing stuff that nobody needs, Kylie, designed products she wished existed when she was younger. And as the majority of her followers are young women who admire her style, the products were a great success right from the beginning.
She states that she’s 100% convinced of her products and how she loves innovating her brand and products so that she can serve the needs of her community even better.
Kylie obviously had an easier time launching her business than someone who’d start from scratch with zero followings, but her passion and dedication were what led to her massive success.
Her Lip Kit was sold millions of times globally, and Jenner emphasizes that she designs her products so that she would love using them.
She also mentions that she feels best when her community loves the products as much as she does.
While “Do what you love” is a lesson we hear from many successful people, it’s probably the #1 reason for Kylie Jenner’s success. Without the passion for the products (or the money behind the business) she probably wouldn’t have worked that hard to found her own cosmetics label.
She was born into a wealthy family, and she could’ve chosen any other path instead of building a business. Yet, her desire to create products that the (cosmetic) world needed was so big that she took massive action.
Plus, Kylie played to her strengths. She initially focused her business on one single product that people already deeply associated with her: Lipsticks.
Once she succeeded with that idea, she kept adding new products to the portfolio.
2. Be different
In a video, Kylie mentioned that she still has insecurities from time to time but that she learned how to deal with them: She decided that being ordinary was not what she wanted. Instead, she tried to stand out and be different.
Without being different than her sisters, she probably wouldn’t have managed to grow her influence and business at that speed anyway.
Instead of adapting what worked for her sisters, she chose to stand out. For instance, she’s known for changing her hair color quite often. However, her most crucial characteristic has always been her lips.
Kylie always communicated that you could and should express yourself in various ways. And if you feel like changing your hair color or your fashion style, so what? Just do it.
“It’s about being who you are. If people can’t accept it, too bad.”
— Kylie Jenner
3. Own your mistakes
Kylie is not only the founder but also the face of her company. Right from the beginning, she had to fully stand behind her mistakes and be able to embrace those.
As a young founder with immense responsibility, it’s no surprise Kylie made mistakes. Yet, contrary to most founders, she managed to own her mistakes, further improve herself, and, most importantly, to outsource all areas that she couldn’t manage on her own.
Currently, Kylie Cosmetics employs less than 15 people despite a yearly revenue of more than $300 million.
Through keeping the team small right from the beginning, Kylie managed to keep the costs at a minimum and to only work with people whom she could fully trust.
In an interview, Kylie and her “Momager” Kris Jenner shared that they’re handpicking vendors and partners who can distribute their products in order to ensure trusted, best-class service to all partners and clients.
Once you trust your team and partners, letting go of managing the small stuff and instead focusing on the bigger picture of the company becomes easier.
Plus, this type of outsourcing allows Kylie to focus on what she’s really good at: Strengthening her social media audience, developing new products, and growing her business.
4. Focus on platforms that work in your favor
As a cosmetics brand, Jenner’s primary target audience is young women, and she mainly stays in touch with her audience through Instagram.
Across various platforms, Kylie is one of the most-followed personalities on the web, accounting for more than 130 million followers across the globe.
Yes, she had advantages by being born into a celebrity family, but she also made smart use of the power in her hands and turned her fame into a gigantic empire instead of just enjoying her life in the spotlight.
Instead of paying for advertising options, she markets herself and her business right where the audience is: On Instagram.
Kylie is an expert in meeting her customers where they are. She heavily invested in building a loyal followership of fans who immediately bought her products when she launched.
To keep her audience engaged, she even hand-delivered her new products to some of her most loyal fans regularly.
One of Kylie’s core strengths in terms of social media is that she’s deeply authentic and openly shares various areas of her life on Instagram. She doesn’t shy back from posting no-makeup photos, always delivers high-quality content, and thus encourages her audience to keep coming back to her page.
Despite her massive following, she managed to stay genuine and real to herself across various channels. And that’s probably the #1 reason why young women are not only following her on Instagram but lovingly buy her products over and over again.
5. Kill them with success
Kylie grew up in the spotlight of the reality show Keeping up with the Kardashians and was always aware of the massive exposure she had.
When people suddenly noticed changes in her lips, she was just 17 years old and received tons of negative comments and hate.
Yet, she managed to turn the game around and used that exposure as a way to create her famous Lip Kit. While some people hated her for her new lips, her fans were eager to learn how she did it.
We’re all exposed to challenges and negativity, yet, what matters is how we use them. You can always choose to feel sorry for yourself, but you can also decide to turn the game around make use of the negative comments you receive.
Instead of dealing with her haters, she silenced them by developing one of the most prominent products of today’s cosmetic world.
“It’s always the people that know the least about you that want to judge you the most.”
— Kylie Jenner
Kylie was only 17 years old when she started her business, and even though a big part of the work was obviously done by her mum and several business and branding experts, she was exposed to vast amounts of pressure and big expectations.
In a recent interview, Kylie got asked what advice she’d give her 10-year-old self, and she responded that she’d tell her to relax and trust that everything she’ll go through will turn out to be okay.
“Since I was 9 years old, I’ve been in the entertainment business, and everyone is always telling me what, and what not, to do, you just get a tough skin and have to not care about what people think, or you will not end up in a good place.”
— Kylie Jenner
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