Known unofficially as the ‘royal family’ of America, the Kardashians are the family people love to hate. You either get them or you don’t. There’s one thing you can’t deny though, they are incredibly successful, and despite what you might think, they do know how to market themselves and build a brand.

If you’ve never really watched their TV show, you might think they just sit around looking good. But that’s not true. They have spent the past 10 years building up a media and fashion empire that has boomed. You can also argue that they helped shape the new influencer marketing model that brands are now adopting worldwide.

So, if you feel guilty about being obsessed with this seemingly self-involved and materialistic family, don’t. There is actually a lot we can learn from them. The question is, can you keep up with the Kardashians?

Use your connections

Sure the Kardashian sisters (and the oft-forgotten Rob) had a pretty famous father but they didn’t rest on their laurels. They instead utilized those connections and started to build their own separate empire from the ground up.

In 2003, Kourtney Kardashian opened a small clothing boutique in Calabasas, California with the family matriarch, Kris. During this time Kim Kardashian worked her connections to become Paris Hilton’s stylist and closet organizer. In 2006 the three sisters opened up their own clothing boutique using the knowledge both Kourtney and Kim had learned. When an unfortunate video of Kim surfaced in the media, Kris capitalized on the infamy and publicity, reaching out to her connections and signing a TV show deal with E! network.

This was one of many instances in which the Kardashians knew how to use their connections to their advantage. The takeaway? Don’t be afraid to use your network to get ahead. Knowing what to ask for, from whom, and when is an important life lesson. The earlier you learn it; the better chance you have for success.

Be open to opportunities and hard work

The Kardashian family is no stranger to hard work. Kim Kardashian has done everything from cheesy celebrity fashion shows to cutting the ribbon for a public toilet. You may laugh but that kind of dedication and willingness got her to where she is now. In the beginning of her success she was willing to do whatever it took to build her brand awareness. Kris used to wake the kids up early in the morning even in the summer to teach them discipline, dedication, and focus. It worked. While other members of the Kardashian family may have ridden Kim’s coattails, they also have done their fair share of grunt work.

Even in the later seasons of the show, Kim is often told she’s a workaholic and needs to slow down. Watching an episode of KUWTK can even make your head spin with all of the commitments they have on a regular basis. At any given time, they are moving from photoshoot to product launch to endorsement deals to event hosting. The family has done everything from creating apps to launching a fragrance to creating a line of lip gloss.

See a trend? Hard work, discipline, and dedication will pay off eventually. Whatever project you can undertake to build your personal brand is an opportunity worth taking, even if that means waking up at 7 a.m. on the weekends. You never know how project x will affect you in the future; it could very well give you skills or more importantly the connections you’ll need for future jobs.

Created a personal brand

The Kardashian sisters are queens of personal branding. In the first several seasons of KUWTK, Kim is clearly focused on her ‘brand’ and how she comes across to the general public. Even when hit with unfortunate experiences (like the aforementioned video) she used it and spun it to her advantage. She owned it. She started posing for magazines and tabloids, making a name for herself as a sex symbol. While that may not be the style of branding you’re going for, there’s no denying she did it well. Kim, and subsequently her sisters, chose projects that would exemplify this personal brand, like: endorsing weight loss drinks, clothing and makeup lines, apps, and more.

What can you learn from them? When choosing projects or work commitments, make sure they make sense for your personal brand. Always have your brand messaging in the back of your mind. Take advantage of opportunities to get your brand name out there, no matter how small they may seem.

West Coast tune into E! keeping Up With The Kardashians starts soon!!!

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

Partner with successful and like-minded people

When Kim was catapulting into stardom, she brought along a group of people she could easily partner with: her family. They all support each other and cross-promote each other’s business initiatives, helping to grow the family’s brand. If one family member is launching a new product or embarking on a new initiative, odds are you’ll hear about it five times over.

How can you do this? Obviously not everyone is blessed with a family as close-knit or dedicated as the Kardashians, but building your own network of like-minded individuals is important. Look for people who will celebrate your successes and give you advice when you have setbacks. Just don’t forget that you in turn have to give back as well. Finding a network and keeping that network together is hard work, but in the end it can be worth it.

Whatever side of the fence you’re on when it comes to the Kardashians, there’s no denying their success. If you get nothing else from this reality TV royalty, it’s that hard work and dedication pays off. No matter how that looks for you.

*Feature image sourced from Instagram