Wednesday 20 November 2019

How to win at life (and social media) the Kim Kardashian way

By Kate Whiting

Celeb branding expert Jeetendr Sehdev says being selfie-obsessed is THE way to go. Here’s his step-by-step S.E.L.F.I.E guide.

Twitter followers: 50.6 million. Instagram followers: 95.6 million. Love her or hate her, you’ve got to admire Kim Kardashian West for totally dominating on social media. Still trying to figure out how she’s done it? Well, one man thinks he knows.

Brit-born Jeetendr Sehdev, professor of marketing at the University of Southern California (and who has a cool 598k of Twitter followers himself) is a bit of an authority on celebrity branding. To help us boost our followers Kim-style, he’s penned a book called The Kim Kardashian Principle: Why Shameless Sells (And How To Do It Right).

So what is the Kim Kardashian Principle?

“It’s breaking through by becoming your own champion,” says Jeetendr. “It won’t be easy, but once you’ve taken the plunge it’s worth it. It’s effective as well as empowering to say, and mean, ‘This is who I am, this is what I believe, and this is what I’m about. Love it or leave it!’”

Jeetendr’s six Principles of S.E.L.F.I.E, inspired by Kim herself, are the perfect guide to getting ahead in today’s social media savvy world.


“Admit it: you thought Kim Kardashian was a joke at first. After all, she didn’t exactly look or act the part. California sex symbols are blonde and blue-eyed. These old-school glamazons fit a mould, one that would shatter into a million pieces if our girl KK tried to squeeze into it. Yet shattering the mould turned out to be her greatest accomplishment.

“If you want to break through in today’s crowded and disengaged marketplace, you have to follow Kim’s lead, find your distinguishing characteristic and amp it up—even if it seems to go against what others are doing around you. Be unique and innovative—and make no apologies.”


“People are instantly suspicious of caveats, half-heartedness, and pivots. The Kardashians have stayed relentlessly true to who they are, and this has allowed them to weather all kinds of should-be scandals, including a transgender father, questionable product endorsements, and multiple failed marriages.

“Kim rarely holds anything back, for any reason. And this is a crucial lesson as it’s better to be overexposed than edited. Have the courage of your convictions. Don’t pull punches.”


“Kim Kardashian is an entirely self-made creature; she didn’t succeed in the Paris Hilton era, but instead remade the modern celebutante in her own image. Remaking culture is a risky business, an all-or-nothing game. You may be mocked or – worse – ignored, but if you have conviction, your audience will eventually align with your vision.

“Don’t tap into the existing culture – create it. Establish new norms and rally people to your vision. Show the world your version of the future.”


“Let’s be perfectly clear: Kim Kardashian is an utterly flawed individual, and so are you. She built her fortune on one (literally) massive flaw – her well-endowed derriere – turning it into a multi million-dollar asset. She took her suburban sensibilities and lack of education and reframed them as modern sophistication and glamour. And, most notoriously, she used her sex tape (which she strongly denies she leaked) as a spring-board to overnight fame and lasting success. 

“Anyone who wants to get ahead today has to proudly and boldly showcase their flaws. People are bored with perfection. Flaws are revolutionary, intoxicating, and compelling, so embrace yours.”


“Kim is so much more than just a pretty face on Instagram. She’s an entrepreneur with her own beauty products; a fashionista and walking billboard for designer labels; she has a game app and emojis. She’s also a wife, mother, and sister, as well as a cybermate to millions. Being many things in one bodacious package endears her to many different people and has helped her create intimate relationships with a legion of fans around the world, across old and new media.

“If you want to generate a similar level of intimacy, you will need to redefine old-school notions of exclusivity. One size no longer fits all, so make sure your messages are tailored and focus on providing practical value and additional benefits.”


“Kim doesn’t sit around waiting for things to happen to her; she goes out and makes them happen. Today, execution needs to be an integral part of any framework.

“People that follow the Kim Kardashian Principle are the ones that will break through against all odds, at all costs, and come out on top, just like Kim. These people don’t traffic in shame and have little regard for the judgment of others.

“They exude authenticity, and, ultimately, they define the culture. The KKP isn’t just about breaking the rules; it’s about creating your own rules. It’s not about living up to other people’s standards, but living up to your own standards. The principle demands that you be so true to who you are and what you believe – at all times – that you can’t help but convey your DNA to everyone you touch.”

Are you ready?

PA Media

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