Two decades ago, the name “Kardashian” was famous for only one reason, and it had nothing to do with fashion and lifestyle branding. Twenty-one years later, things have drastically changed for the Kardashian clan, and as much as it may pain us to admit it—they have quite the enviable marketing strategy. “What are they famous for, exactly?” you may ask, and the truth seems to be that the Kardashian family is famous for being famous, and for selling themselves really well. As an author, self-published or otherwise, you’ll have to do the same thing—grow a platform to catch the attention of an agent or publisher, craft witty, shareable tweets, or helm your entire marketing strategy yourself as an indie author. Here are three tips from Midnight Publishing’s award-winning editorial and ghostwriting team on how you can “steal” the Kardashians’ best marketing strategies for your own career in publishing:
1. Identify Your Market
This is number one, folks. Identify. Your. Audience. Who are you writing for? Who would want to read your books, your Facebook ads, your tweets, your Google+ posts? Are you writing fiction? Non-fiction? Paranormal romance (or another niche market)? Erotica? A memoir about growing up in another country? First and foremost, you need to identify and plan for who your ideal market is. The Kardashians did it: Kim caters to those interested in beauty, singlehood and dating, Khloe’s a favorite for those women who are interested in exercise and health, and Kourtney found a market immediately with young mothers after giving birth to her own kids. The three Kardashians play to their marketing strengths and tailor their social media outreach and products to their designated markets. You should do the same when it comes to your author brand, platform, and book(s).
2. Be Transparent
Another reason why the Kardashians are both beloved and reviled is their transparency—what some might’ve considered TMI just a few years ago is now normal fodder for millennials following the Kardashians on social media. (Apparently one of Kim Kardashian’s more recent Snapchat photos showed the results of a pregnancy test she’d just taken. One wonders—did her Snapchat followers know the outcome of whether she was pregnant or not before Kanye West did?) Now, we’re not saying to do this, exactly, but what we are saying is that the reason the Kardashians’ brand has grown so strong over the past decade is their relatability. So in turn, you should translate that in a way that’s appropriate to you. Talk about your favorite things on social media, be witty, funny, honest and even share some of your personal struggles. Your readers and fans will identify with and appreciate you much more if you feel like a real, approachable writer, and not some haughty “author” who never shares their personal life. Unfortunately in this day and age, not sharing at least some facets of your everyday life can cause you to come across as cold and disinteresting.
3. Get Creative with Partnerships
This is another really great facet of the Kardashian marketing strategy—because as we said before, what are they famous for? They don’t own anything, they didn’t create anything, nor did they invent something…the Kardashians’ main source of income, their main business asset, is their name. But a name can be very valuable—especially when paired with the right product. So if Kim Kardashian is known for her fashion sense, she may join with a major retailer to create a line of affordable clothing. If Khloe is always talking about ways to lose weight, she may join with some diet pill companies to market particular products. The same concept can be applied to your book career. If you’ve written a steampunk novel, then get plugged in with local steampunk group gatherings, jewelry sellers, cosplayers and others who would be interested in the genre. Combine products, market for one another, create new initiatives for purchasing (“if you buy one of our steampunk-themed necklaces, you get a discounted paperback copy