Business mogul Bethenny Frankel sat down with CNN recently to discuss her best strategy tips for entrepreneurs and how she has gotten to where she is today. It is hard to believe that the woman who just sold her Skinnygirl alcohol brand for $120 million to Beam Global only had $8,000 in her bank account when she decided to join the cast of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York back in 2008.
She said she really looked at the show as a means to promote her brand and build a platform. At that point she had a column for Health Magazine and she was a spokesperson for Pepperidge Farm but “I wanted to build a large national audience for my Skinnygirl brand.” And Real Housewives was the perfect vehicle to do that if she didn’t mind cameras following her every move and some Upper East Side crazies.
Here are some other business tips from Frankel, in case you can’t get on a hit reality show.
- Remain true to your brand: “Any product that I add to the Skinnygirl line has to be innovative, solve a problem for women, and help them to live healthier, better lives. My line is straightforward, honest, and doesn’t make false promises. I’ve turned down a multitude of product ideas from headbands to diet pills.” Frankel said if she doesn’t think she could use a product herself, then she won’t make it a part of her brand.
- Don’t let setbacks derail you. Frankel got a whole lot more no’s then yes’s when she first pitched her Skinnygirl idea. Rather than admit defeat, she decided to make and distribute the drink herself. “I’m not a liquor expert. I’m just a woman who enjoyed margaritas and was bothered by the drink’s 700-calorie count. I firmly believed there was a market for a ready-made low-calorie margarita that offered women flavor without the guilt.”
- Have a personal mission statement. “As an entrepreneur, it’s important to identify your priorities and what you hope to accomplish with your business. Try to frame your statement in terms of action, and you’ll find it helps to focus you in a very powerful way. For me, my business evolved from my own personal beliefs about eating well, promoting natural health, being fit, and solving problems,” said Frankel.
- Make your social media presence a priority. This one is a bit of a no brainer. Social media does rule the world now and it can be very helpful for businesses. “I give daily updates on new product launches, personal appearances, and what’s new in my life, and see social media as a wonderful way to obtain feedback from my fans. I currently have over 582,000 Twitter followers, and 690,350 Facebook followers. My newsletter, website, Twitter and Facebook followers are engaged audiences who know me intimately.”
In addition to continuing to promote and direct Skinnygirl under Beam Global, Bethenny is also a best-selling author, and she will be launching the Skinnygirl Shapewear line and Skinnygirl Sangria this month.