By Cheryl Isaac Celebrity: A known brand. A popular face. The embodiment of the phrase personal branding.
So it comes as no surprise to see women like: Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé Knowles, Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga in the top five place on the Forbes 2012 Celebrity 100 list.
Combine beauty and business, and you could get a powerful brand. But look closely. It is not just business for these powerful celebrity women. It's also about the personal. Personal branding. Their personal brand helped these women maneuver the business world, and their business brand continued the work that their personal brand started. Whether you are a celebrity, business mogul, or aspiring business leader, we all could learn five personal branding lessons from the celebrity women on this list: 1. Master your craft first. Gisele Bündchen didn't start off as "the most beautiful girl in the world;" according to Rolling Stone in 2000. Before Vanity Fair published an article with this bold headline: And God Created Gisele, before Time Magazine called her, "one of the few runway models whom straight men can name" (by the way, I tested this theory with my husbandâ¿¿who never remembers the names of actresses or modelsâ¿¿and she was one of the models he did name), she was a teenager taking a modeling course, and an average girl discovered by Elite modeling agency. Bundchen auditioned for roughly 42 shows before she was even given a breakâ¿¿once she showed that she could wear super high heels on a slippery runway. 2. Be known for something. For Gisele, it was the "horse walk" and her Brazilian ethnicity. For Khloe Kardashian however, it was her no-nonsense style. When the reality show that made her a known brandâ¿¿Keeping Up with the Kardashiansâ¿¿first aired, it was clear to the fans that Khloe was the renegade of the group: the sister who spoke her mind, the hesitant dater , the sister who wasn't afraid to challenge the media about her weight.
The result? A spinoff show that showcases her marriage to basketball star Lamar Odom, and a contract to be a spokesperson for the weight loss product, Quick Trim. Of course since then, Mrs. Odom has done quite a bit more.This leads to this next point: 3. Leverage what you have. Like supermodel and mogul Kathy Ireland who came before her, Gisele has made millions from leveraging her personal brand with licensing deals. Gisele started as a model, so naturally, her next move was to represent products. Yet once she started representing products such as: Proctor & Gamble, HOPE, Espirit, Volkswagen, businesses took heed. They noticed that products moved quickly with Gisele as "the face." For instance, Proctor & Gamble's Latin America sales rose an estimated 40% after Bundchen represented their products. Soon, even economist Fred Fuld created the Gisele Bundchen stock index, to measure the performance of the companies she represented. Surprisingly, she outperformed the Dow. Gisele soon used her momentum as leverage. Soon after, she was signing deals to not just represent products, but to license her name for products. Her collaboration with shoe company Grendene: the Gisele Bundchen iPANEMA flip flops, was a huge success; leaving some to predict that she could very well be the world's first billionaire supermodel. 3. Transform the personal into the business From the reality TV, Keeping up with the Kardashians, the Celebrity 100 Kardashian sisters were able to celebrate the launch of their popular clothing boutique D-A-S-Hâ¿¿now found in Calabasas, Miami and SoHo. Then K-Dashâ¿¿a recent clothing line the sisters released on QVC. With Kloe and Lamar sharing almost everything with their viewers on their reality show, it came as no surprise when the personal was turned into a business where they shared their new unisex scent, Unbreakable, at Perfumania stores across the country.
Model Gisele on the other hand, took her beauty, branded it personal, and then turned it into business. Bundchen, known for showing skin in her photos, turned that brand into the business of Sejaa Pure Skincareâ¿¿a skincare line.And singer and business woman Beyoncé Knowles wasn't joking around when she sang this in her hit song, Girls Who Run The World: strong enough to bear the childrenâ¿¦then get back to businessâ¿¦ The woman whom People recently named, "world's most beautiful woman," may be taking time off for her new baby, but she took no time off the list: with $40 million at #16; in part because of her business venture: House of Dereon clothing line. 4. If it doesn't match your personal brand, don't do it Singer, songwriter, and savvy business woman Taylor Swift, is known for turning down movie scripts. Swift, known for having the humble, girl-next-door brand that she, also a CEO, built from scratch just like any other startup, will only take on a movie role if she is obsessed with it. Khloe Kardashian has also admitted to turning down numerous endorsement deals if they don't mesh well with her personal brand. 5.Use social networks to keep your business brand personal Talk to people when they talk to you. Interact with people who care about the same things you doâ¿¿the same rules of face-to-face etiquette applies to social networks. Yet most business peopleâ¿¿celebrities includedâ¿¿struggle with this. For some, it's either all business, or all personal. However, superstars like Khloe Kardashian, know how to intertwine the two. She has been called the "queen of social networking," with stats showing her to be the most active tweeter on Forbes' Social Networking Superstar list; touting a list of followers that include the ardent fans of pop star Justin Bieber. Similar posts: Don't Disqualify Fashion As A Startup: A Look at Forbes 2012 Billionaires
Forbes 400: The Self-Made Billionaire Entrepreneurs Who Said No To CollegeCheryl is a writer and start-up junkie interested in international business, startup otaku, and issues that affect women and girls worldwide. She also tweets and makes business personal.