Kevin Hart is regarded as a pretty funny guy. While it’s no laughing matter to joke about his height, his business acumen is pretty impressive.
As an entertainer he’s made serious strides. Hard to do with such short legs… Okay it’s hard to resist the short jokes.
In all seriousness, this guy is on his way to becoming a comedy legend and people are beginning to take notice.
He began his career like most comedians–fighting for gigs and trying to win over comedy club crowds. Today, his slieu of mixed emotions and over-the-top facial expressions have graced the silver screen for more than a dozen films.
Growing up in Philadelphia, Hart was raised by a struggling single mom, who tried to keep his ex-con and former addict father away from him.
Today, he’s selling out huge venues and is poised to be a mainstay in the comedy and entertainment worlds.
Can you imagine being in that position–going from living in the roughest part of Philadelphia, to being given private entrances to the hottest clubs in town? It’s as if you gain all this magical power of influence overnight.
Today, he’s one of the biggest stars in the world.
His most recent project, a family friendly comedy, Jumanji, features Kevin, alongside comedy heavy weights, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Jack Black.
Kevin was pretty adamant about being an entertainer. He got his start by winning several local comedy competitions and being proactive about his career. Taking a proactive stance on his performances has been a hallmark of Hart’s energetic, and serious strides towards stardom.
He has had a few top contenders for biggest break but 2017’s launch of his first book “I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons” is probably the biggest step towards global domination.
As a comedian, it takes a certain level of comedic command before people care enough about you to read your book. Most top comedians have a special on Netflix, youtube, or Comedy Central floating around out there, but having a popular book is a major step up on its own.
The question becomes, what is Kevin Hart doing differently?
Kevin Hart is an ENTREPRENEUR
“Kevin Hart was knocked on his ass. He would go to cities where he didn’t have fans to build up his platform and email list. This was before he was famous.
People want to have a platform, but they don’t want to build a platform.”
When Sony Pictures got hacked in 2014 a string of emails was released showing how Hart was using his platform to negotiate a better deal with the studios. If they expected him to promote their movie, they needed to pay him a marketing fee.
Aside from his comedic prowess, he also has business acumen.
One of the smartest things that he did to promote his career was to turn his vastly nameless followers into actual people.
I don’t mean by using sleight of hand, or parlor magic tricks. Rather, Kevin was able to capture his audience’s attention on social media and online platforms that allowed him to expand his reach and stay in touch with his most valuable asset: his devoted fans.
If you haven’t already, now would be a great time to dive headfirst into Kevin Kelley’s masterpiece of a blogpost called 1000 True Fans, on how a simple number of devoted followers is more than enough to catapult your brand into the stratosphere.
So what gave Kevin this idea to begin capturing email addresses and thinking about the bigger picture and playing the long game?
We don’t really need to look any further than the large scale success of most popular online brands. By snagging emails in exchange for flash discounts, special offers, and items of interest–brands of all sizes are cashing in on clicks.
Kevin’s scenario is a little different, however, because he isn’t necessarily selling physical products. While his movies, and comedy shows are attached to purchasable tickets, they also require something of his fans: loyalty.
By creating an email list Kevin essentially was able to make his brand grow even while he was on the road touring.
So the question becomes what exactly is Kevin Hart? Is he an entrepreneur? Is he an artist?
Can you be both?
The truth that I tell my clients all the time is that “yes” it is absolutely possible to be both. In fact you should embrace the more creative side of your business personality and see where it takes you.
Entrepreneurs who have been successful doing this include Gary Vaynerchuk, Rob Dyrdek, and even Lebron James and Oprah. Think about it. All of them are entertainers at heart but they were also able to leverage the power of ideas and influence to make big moves in the business world as well.
Kevin Hart may clock in at just five-foot-four but he’s already got some big deals on the books!
What he’s doing is attempting to create an empire, by creating his own media company. He has comedy, live comedy dvds, action movies, family movies, cameo appearances, music video appearances (Lean Back, anyone?) and he’s got a best-selling book. He has virtually created himself to the point where his brand is synonymous with something greater than himself.
That’s the goal.
As digital entrepreneurs what we are really doing is trying to make sure that we have all of our bases covered, and Kevin Hart certainly does. He’s also got a lot of content for his audience to dissect and absorb.
Think about how many people will go to see his newest movie just because they love him? Also, think about all of the many people who have still never even heard of him!
The truth is it doesn’t matter how big you are unless you are Donald Trump, someone will be learning about you for the very first time with each piece of content that you create. And even years down the road, people will still be reading it!
However, that’s not all.
The Revolution Will Be On Your Smartphone
Everything in today’s day and age is available on your smartphone. From browsing the weather, to downloading Beethoven’s Fifth, the world is at your fingertips. And today’s best entrepreneurs aren’t missing out on that. Kevin Hart knew that most of his audience was viewing him on their computers or televisions. Watching his movies on Netflix, was very passive and didn’t offer as much hands-on engagement. So he created a mobile app because he is also a savvy entrepreneur.
The mobile app, which was created by a tech company who he partnered with, because unfortunately Java doesn’t respond to comedy routines.
His new app is called Laugh Out Loud and it lets you watch unscripted comedy, new sketches, and stream Kevin’s standup right from your smartphone.
What can we learn from Kevin Hart?
Kevin does an incredible job at storytelling which is why he is so funny. He also is great at being able to make people see themselves in his stories When you can get your audience to relate to your message, you win.
Creating 3D Wins
If you read my blog regularly then you probably already know that I’m a huge fan of winning–three-dimensional winning that is. A 3D win occurs when you win, your audience wins, and the world at large is improved by the work that you do.
Kevin did this by creating a platform that not only helps him, but also allows other content creators to share their content. This helps others, and is also good for the entire comedy community–which makes this an extra sweet three-dimensional win!
His ability to promote user generated content, gets more users engaged and attracts their attention. Then, he provides a platform for their content to be seen, which makes an impact on the entire world of comedy, making it easier for comedians to get seen and heard.
Kevin Acts Like An Entrepreneur
Just because Kevin is an actor, doesn’t mean that he is beholden to all of the big studio regulations. Kevin isn’t content with just getting a paycheck from a company. Instead, he wants to build his own platform, completely independent of everything else he is working on. He acknowledges the fact that it takes a team of people to help you get anywhere, but he is also taking the initiative to make strong moves that are going to have a very favorable outcome for his career in the future.
All of these new online platforms, your website, your social media etc. are all ultimately being leveraged to grow your personal brand so you stand out from the rest. This is an important lesson that Kevin can teach us, because it isn’t just for comedians, it can literally be applied to anyone in virtually any industry or profession.
Create the platforms first, and the followers will follow.
One of the biggest things to always keep at the forefront of your mind is that no matter what industry you’re in whether you are a nutritionist, realtor, dentist, comedian, or even an actor, you need to have a platform. If you want to be the best in your industry, you need a platform that you can use to leverage the power of your brand, and the uniqueness of your content. That platform will allow you to metaphorically stand above everyone else.
I teach my clients to do this on a daily basis. Because the secret to success is that you have to keep producing content, and you have to continue to grow your brand. There is no peak, that’s why actors and comedians like Kevin Hart don’t just quit after a successful string of movies. There are always new pinnacles to reach.
For my entrepreneur clients, I tell them to do what Kevin Hart does–edutain.
Edutainment is a blend of “educate and entertain.” It makes people laugh while they learn–and that my friends, is the best kept secret in showbiz!
Whether you love him or hate him, you still need to go see him get slapped around by The Rock in Jumanji, I mean you owe it to yourself to watch that!
What are your favorite ways to educate your audience through entertainment? Can you think of any scenarios where taking the time to build your platform leveraged you extraordinary results?