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I’m glad you came back for more on what I learned from Kylie Jenner about building a successful business. If you missed the first part of this article, you can catch up here. Now, let’s jump in, the fourth lesson I learned from Kylie is about leveraging resources.

Lesson 4: Leverage the Key resources at your disposal

In my opinion the foremost resource (advantage) Kylie had as she set out to build her business is her family. The Kardashians have dominated Reality TV for over a decade, with each of them maxing the opportunities presented by social media platforms. Kylie is quoted in Forbes as saying,
Social media is an amazing platform, I have such easy access to my fans and my customers.”
Kylie has over 110 million followers on Instagram and Snapchat. Before their eyes she is her company, she is her brand, she is her product. They trust her, because she has connected with them emotionally (many have followed her since she was in high school and not fully engaged in the family business). When we start our businesses, many of us aren’t savvy enough to identify our key resources. As such, we do not know how to leverage these resources to any exponential degree. Another key resource that has edged Kylie to the top is her ‘Momager’ – her mom Kris Jenner. Can I say that Kris is the foremost brand builder around today? Now Kris is in charge of all the legal and financial aspects of Kylie’s business (Kris gets 10%). What are your key resources? How can you leverage them?

Lesson 5: Don’t keep up with the Jones’

I chuckled when I read this paragraph in the Forbes article:
“Hewlett and Packard immortalized the garage–Jenner has her (or her mom’s) kitchen table. Her near-billion-dollar empire consists of just seven full-time and five part-time employees. Manufacturing and packaging? Outsourced to Seed Beauty, a private-label producer in nearby Oxnard, California. Sales and fulfillment? Outsourced to the online outlet Shopify. “Finance and PR? Her shrewd mother, Kris, handles the actual business stuff, in exchange for the 10% management cut she takes from all her children. As ultralight startups go, Jenner’s operation is essentially air. And because of those minuscule overhead and marketing costs, the profits are outsize and go right into Jenner’s pocket.”
This $900m business started in Kris Jenner’s kitchen. And even with their outstanding success, they still maintain only 7 full time employees. Talk about Business Lite, right? When I started my business, everyone wanted to know where my office was. Everyone wanted to know how many people I had hired. But I could not afford the type office space I wanted; so I opted for ‘SOHO’ – ‘Small Office – Home Office’. I couldn’t afford to pay the kind of employees I wanted; so I evolved my own unique model. This saved me a mountain of bills in overhead costs and allowed me turn a profit in my first year of operations. I still have not seen the need to tweak what for me is a winning and flexible combination. When you are building your business you do not NOT have to keep up with the Jones’. You owe no one anything, so resist the pressure to hire 25 people, rent 2,000m² office space, put up a 40 feet billboard. Be cork sure of your business, your industry and your business model that you resist the pressure and go it your way.

 Lesson 6: Go Social

I follow ‘Your Marketing Lady’ on Instagram and belong to the Facebook group she runs. She shared something very poignant last week that made me sit up and connect the dots. She said:
“Ignoring social media marketing is like operating a business but not telling anyone’.”
Back to Kylie, Forbes said:
Basically, all Jenner does to make all that money is leverage her social media following. Almost hourly, she takes to Instagram and Snapchat, pouting for selfies with captions about which Kylie Cosmetics shades she’s wearing, takes videos of forthcoming products and announces new launches. “It sounds inane until you realize that she has over 110 million followers on Instagram and millions more on Snapchat, and many of them are young women and girls–an audience at once massive and targeted, at least if you’re selling lip products. And that’s before the 16.4 million who follow her company directly, or the 25.6 million who follow her on Twitter, or the occasional social media assists from her siblings and friends’.
Need I continue? The only thing I will add here is that before you start spending money on social media adverts or signing contracts with content managers, you need to understand the platforms yourself. Understand the platforms and the algorithms behind them. Understand which platform fits your business model as well as your service or product. Understand where your customers hang out. If you don’t, you will waste money and not reap the rich benefits of social media engagement. Invest in a couple of sessions with a coach (like me) and get a firm handle on these things. As with anything done well, you need a strategy for you. You cannot copy and paste and gain rich rewards.

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This article was first published on 8th November 2018


Liz is a trainer, life strategist, conference speaker and customer service consultant. She is the face behind the LizSpire brand and Chief Executive of Eva Wright. Liz finds mediocrity abhorrent and is driven to bring a full measure of Godly excellence in everything she does no matter how small. One of her consuming passions is helping people identify and develop their latent potential, and giving back to her community. She runs a pet project called “Save Nigeria’s Voice” that collects and routes used books to orphanages and rural schools. A prolific writer, she is the author of ’45 Reasons Not to be Ordinary’ and ‘Contemplations: Echoes of the Deep Vol 1’.

Comments (2)

2 thoughts on “SME 101: How To Build A Business: What I learned From Kylie Jenner – Part II”

  • This is enriching and eye opening, I have learnt the dos and donts in business

    which I will apply in the coming year to have a fruitful start.

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