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Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The business lessons to be learnt from Katie Price

She provokes more scorn and derision than a career criminal and appears to lurch from one PR disaster to the next but the plain fact is Katie Price (the model formerly known as Jordan) is one of the hardest working women in glamour.

The press pour venom and vitriol on her attacking her endless cosmetic surgery enhancements and car-crash lifestyle. She even insisted her current cage-fighter boyfriend succumb to cosmetic surgery before the lucrative glossy mag photoshoot of her nuptials.

Her relationships occupy miles of column inches throughout the press but are there some business tips we can take from her? Bear in mind, she started life as a topless page 3 Sun model which traditionally is a very short career. They often say once you take your top off in modelling, this limits your options instantly and rules out a whole arena of lucrative avenues such as TV ads and television. But Katie Price is constantly reinventing herself and finding ways to leverage her fame. Her auto-biography has been published in 3 books and she has had 2 novels ghostwritten but boy do they sell staying at the top of the bestsellers lists for weeks on both sides of the pond. She has launched clothing lines, lingerie and perfumes. You name it, she has done it.

However, there is behind all of the thousands of television appearances, a strong motivation to succeed and it is clear that she must graft from dawn until dusk to keep up the phenomonal work output.

So distilling her achievements into take home lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs, here is my attempt to condense this into instant wisdom:

1. Be focused in your goals and have a clear long term vision. This clearly underlies Katie's master plan.

2. Be aware that the public is fickle and needs constant stimulation. This includes courting publicity with controversy if this fits in with what you are trying to achieve.

3. Getting to be worth multiple millions, comes not from focusing on money but focusing on tirelessly battling against all adversity and external criticism and working to achieve written goals with single-minded focus. Remember you have to fight your internal demons constantly telling you to give up as well as the external demons in her case being the continual ridicule of the press.

4. Once you have achieved fame try to leverage this in as many ways as possible and then when you hit upon a winning formula really focus on producing regular dependable and saleable output which is what we have seen with her published works including a range of children's novels, one of which has been nominated for a children's book award. This takes serious effort. There may be some ghost writing involved but there is still a brand to be protected and the books have got to be readable.

5. All wealth eminates from writing. Read Scott Ginsberg's blog posts on this. Just Google that quote.

6. Identify your core strengths and then make sure that asset is protected for the future. Katie's is her looks and so the cosmetic surgery is ensuring that the phenomenon that is Katie Price continues well into her sixties and beyond just like celebrities like Joan Collins has done.

7. There is no doubt she has built up an enormous fan base and there are millions of girls who would love her life. This fan base is her instant income in whatever avenue she chooses whether it be food, equestrian products, perfumes or childrens books. Once you have a brand, it is important to keep the brand alive using creativity and innovation.

8. You have to be able to laugh at yourself. During her latest stint in the jungle, you could see that all of the other celebrities were fascinated but almost repulsed by her but she exhibited a solid feet on the ground sensibility which was surprising. She proudly introduced herself as a businesswoman and that is the reality. By some estimates she is worth in excess of £40m which is pretty good going for any business or company let alone an individual. There are undoubtedly an army of loyal staff and advisers who make this possible but there is no shame in delegation.

Look at your organisation / firm and see what lessons you can draw from her success. I would predict she will still be going strong 30 years from now with her shrewd business sense and marketing acumen. It is hard work being Katie Price though. Don't think for a minute, you achieve that without sheer grind and gritty determination.