By Meredith Coburn
Say what you want about Kim Kardashian, but girlfriend knows what she
wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. From TV shows, clothing lines,
perfume, jewelry, tanning products, and other paid endorsements and
appearances, there aren’t many places you can go without seeing her.
You might think she’s all fluff, but what if I told you that reality TV
queen Kim Kardashian could actually teach you a thing or two about the
best ways to market yourself for your next job?
Here are four things I’ve learned by keeping up with Kim:
Branding is complicated, but when executed correctly, it’s one of the
most powerful marketing strategies. One of my professors at DePaul
University told me that branding is simply how people perceive you.
They’re not objects you can pick up; rather, they’re intangibles
(perceptions, reputations, personalities). The best branding strategies
are so seamlessly executed that most of us don’t even realize they
Kim Kardashian has turned herself into one of the most successful and
profitable brands in the country. The women who buy Sketchers Shape-Ups
or clothes from the Kardashian Kollection at Sears this fall aren’t
buying the product—they’re buying the chance to look and feel like Kim.
So, start thinking of yourself as a brand. How do you want people to
perceive you? What makes you stand out? When you’re up against a lot of
candidates for a job or internship, your answers to these questions will
set you apart from the rest.
Message, not medium
Whether she’s on TV or Twitter (she earned $25,000 from Armani for a
single tweet), Kardashian is always a part of the conversation. While
most brands struggle with this aspect of their image, KK has got it
down. And because she’s put her stamp on everything from Carl’s Jr. to a
really terrible pop song (sorry Kimmy), her brand is ubiquitous. She’s
always part of the media’s cultural conversation. It’s no wonder that
the products she endorses enjoy frequent success and almost instant
You need to be actively involved in today’s competitive job market. The
company you’re dying to work for? Follow them on Twitter, “like” them on
Facebook, and join the conversation (but remember, privacy settings are
your best friend: that picture of your perfect keg stand is not an
ideal way to set yourself apart).
Expand your social network
Today, networking means many different things, and to set yourself apart
from other millenials, you’ve gotta put yourself out there—in person
and online. Attend networking events in the city. If you’re a college
student, your university is probably flooding your Inbox with internship
and career fair opportunities every week. Also, look for updates on
Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Our girl Kim K is queen of social
media, and whether she’s chatting about her latest workout or asking her
followers for their advice or feedback (all 10 million of them) she
makes sure she’s a part of the conversation.
Kreativity is key
Brands need to market themselves in many different formats. Just because
your TV ads were once wildly successful, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t
explore other options. Marketing goals are often structured around a
single question: “Are we bringing in the desired amount of sales?” If
the answer is “no,” changes need to be made. Kim was certainly creative
in marketing her summer 2011 nuptials: People Magazine reportedly
paid $1.5 million for exclusive rights to Kim’s wedding photos, while
E! received an undisclosed amount for the video footage (which will air
in October as part of a four hour, two-part series).
While you should definitely network through the “assumed” channels
(LinkedIn, career fairs, networking events) think of new and different
ways to get yourself out there. Start a blog about your internship this
summer. Go to networking events in the city. Take your favorite
professor out for coffee. At the very least, you’ll learn more about
yourself and be that much more prepared to enter the workforce.
Meredith Coburn is an intern at Ragan Communications. This story first
appeared on the Millennial