Brand Lessons From Pop Culture: Necole "Bitchie" Kane Is The Femalepreneur We Need To See More Of
Entrepreneurship is not easy.
I'm going to repeat that just in case you missed it, ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS NOT EASY.
Sorry for screaming but I wanted to make sure you were following along.
A few days ago I was scrolling on Instagram and I saw a video post from xoNecole. I made a mental note to check it out and like a lot of other things, it may or may not have slipped my mind. Later that evening, I started receiving pings from mentions and tags in posts for my response. Right there in that moment, I knew I had to stop what I was doing and see what the buzz was all about.
In a video that has left some shocked, Necole gave the world an inside view of what her life has really been like over the last year and dished on what nobody tells you about leaving a successful brand. She describes how the decision to shut down her famously known Necole Bitchie webspace to start xoNecole has impacted her life.
“Over the past year, I've seen many people comment to me that my life is #goals,” she says. “That my rebrand was flawless and I've been looked at as though I have the golden touch. That is far from the truth. It was a complete struggle to get to the happy place I'm currently in.”
It hasn't been all peaches, cream, and fairy wands.
But honestly, entrepreneurship never is. Femalepreneurs need more Necole Kane's in their newsfeeds. Keep reading and I'm going to share with you why Necole Kane is today's Brand Lesson From Pop Culture.
»» Necole Kane, famously known as Necole Bitchie, was a high-level celebrity gossip and pop culture analyst that served her market from 2008 - 2015. She was known not just for gossip, but for her investigative reporting and in-depth interviews.
»» As Necole rose to fame as Necole B, she was mentioned by celebrities, fellow bloggers, included in lyrics - some in her favor, some not.
»» On July 2, 2015, Necole posted a farewell message on her blog stating she was ending her career as an entertainment blogger.
»» In August 2015, Necole launched xoNecole, a digital lifestyle destination for your women.
A few days ago, Necole posted a heartfelt message that took us behind-the-scenes of her rebrand. She gave insight on her struggles, her successes (or lack thereof) and her reality.
So you may be wondering, where is the lesson in all of this. Honestly, there are quite a few. I have been following the reactions and I can relate to the various points of view.
First things first, we need more Necole Kane's in the world of entrepreneurship. Far too often, aspiring entrepreneurs are under the impression that they are going to create a business and the everything will be right in the world. Lies. Entrepreneurship is hard work. It is harder than any 9-5 you can compare it to. When you are an employee, your role is given to you. Along with your responsibilities, your boss's expectations of you and your bi-weekly direct deposit. When you are an entrepreneur, you are the boss. And, unless you have an experienced business manager and coach - you are probably winging it while studying over at Google and/or YouTube universities. Necole's video message reminded us that even when people are in the season of stardom, they can still be stuck, struggling and broken.
Lesson 1: Know Your Game Plan.
Necole revealed she is broke... and not just broke, but broke three times over... in a year... she hit $0 three times. Quite a few spectators are arguing that there should have been a better game plan. NB was her primary source of income and she made a difficult decision not to sell the site although she received from very lucrative offers. I wholeheartedly agree that she made the right decision in not selling her website, that is a very personal choice - and if that was her decision, I respect that and in full transparency, I would not have either.
There should have been a better game plan, and honestly, there could have been the best game and it probably just did not work the way she planned. And this is the most important lesson of all... you can have the best advice, the best systems,and the best ideas but that doesn't mean any of it will work if you are not growing your visibility for your new target audience.
I have no clue on how the backend of NB looked (the money it was making, page views, affiliate, and sponsors, etc.) but I can say that I may have operated the websites concurrently even if that meant having Necole step down from the day-to-day operations of NB while she built up the following and revenue streams on xoNecole. This is a method I walk my clients through when their livelihood is dependent on a particular revenue stream, whether that revenue stream is a 9-5 or another business venture.
Lesson 2: Consider Your Rebrand A Start Over.
When Necole made the decision to close off NB completely, she made the decision to sever the relationship with that fan base. There was never a guarantee that the page views, followers, and celebrity acquittances were going to follow. Read me when I tell you, if you are preparing yourself of a rebrand, prepare yourself for a new start. This is an important lesson in branding. We have to take the time to nurture our audiences and gain their trust.
When spectators blame the slow start on the idealism that people enjoy celebrity gossip The self-improvement industry is HUGE. In the US alone, we spend close to $10 billion per year on self-improvement related products and services. There is a market for growth and xoNecole can apply itself in that market to grow and flourish.
Lesson 3: To Thy Own Self Be True.
Comparison syndrome is real. And it does not only strike when you are comparing yourselves to others, it can also happen when comparing yourself to yourself. If you are coming off the high of success and start out on a new venture - you begin to compare the path that your new venture is on to your previous success(s). This is a really dangerous move. It's one thing to say, "how is her business growing so quickly?" but it is completely different when the "her" in your scenario is your own past. Success does not happen overnight and I was totally giddy when Necole said she realized she was comparing the profitability and success of xoNecole to her 8-year run at NecoleBitchie. By doing this you are placing some heavy burdens and unrealistic goals on yourself.
I can relate to this.
Over the last years, I have plenty of conversations with my biz buddies on all the reasons I did not want to get back into blogging. And with every conversation, they would say "I don't know why? You always have the best advice." Earlier this year, I decided to make an entry back into blogging but my heart just was not into it. I could not find the balance I needed to run my coaching business plus my new blog. It was sad, especially when my new blog was averaging thousands of views per month.
Then like Necole, I realized I was placing unrealistic expectations on myself. I made the decision to refresh my coaching website so that it focused more on the content and less on Kim McCarter... and the results have been amazing. I took the strategies I learned as a fashion & beauty blogger and applied them to my business inspiration channel.
I love it. I am excited and happy at my progress.
This is what every Necole needs to do. Sometimes, your rebrand is just waiting on you to apply your expertise to the market in a way that it hasn't been applied before.
When there is no lane in your industry, don't be afraid to get out there and create one!