Chelsea Krost has packed a lot of success into the first 23 years of her life. With a personal brand already well established, she is not content to focus her attention on just one broadcast platform. She is clearly an adaptive Millennial leader. As a Millennial lifestyle expert, she published a memoir, is the host of a weekly radio show and contributes regularly on television shows including the Today Show, Bloomberg TV and Anderson Cooper. Her twitter party #millennialtalk draws more than 35 million impressions every Tuesday night. When you speak with her you get the impression she is just getting started.
Krost began building her personal brand before she really knew that was what she was doing. She got her start at 16 after a strategy session with her mother who worked in PR. “I don’t usually realize the significance of what I’m doing until I’m done,” Krost explained. When she pitched her idea for Teen Talk Radio to a local AM radio station, she had no idea she was carving out a niche for herself as a future Millennial influencer. “I thought Teen Talk Live was going to help me get into college – and it did. But at the time I didn’t know it was going to blossom into a career.”
While focusing on a project that she was passionate about, her brand began to create itself.
Two years later, at 18, she produced a 4-part docu-series while on a mission trip in Africa. The series was sponsored by Kotex and aired on CBS and Fox. Afterward, Krost was invited by Kotex to be a Millennial spokesperson for the brand and it was an a-ha moment for her. Krost confessed, “I realized that Kotex thinks I’m worthy enough to be a spokesperson for Millennials.” That validation boosted her confidence and pointed her in a clear direction. It was at that point that she began to become aware of and manage her personal brand.
Part of the reason Krost’s personal branding has been so successful is that she allows her experiences to inform and shape her brand and not the other way around. Rather than trying to fit herself into a branded mold, she has allowed the mold to develop over time and organically.
Krost acknowledged that when she turned 20 she began to get questions as to whether or not she could still speak on behalf of teenagers. Those questions proved to be a turning point and another important moment in her personal brand development. It was then that she realized she is her brand. Her brand wasn’t Teen Talk Live. It wasn’t her memoir or her docu-series. Chelsea Krost is her brand and everything she creates is an offshoot of it. It’s a subtle distinction that is hugely important. She explains, “People call on Chelsea Krost to be an influencer, a speaker, a spokesperson, a role model NOT Teen Talk Live.” By coming to that realization, she was able to settle in to a long-term brand, one that can continue to grow and evolve as she does.
Chelsea Krost is her brand and everything she creates is an offshoot of it.
That tendency to evolve and remain fluid seems to fit well with her mantra “Think Millennial.” Krost believes her ability to “Think Millennial” has been a major factor in her success. She explains, “You have to be thinking about the next big thing all the time.” This mindset has served her well. She has remained adaptable and flexible and willing to try new things. By staying dialed-in to the social space she has an insider’s view of new trends. The trends inform and reframe her goals and she is able to course correct.
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3 Ideas from Chelsea to Give You Momentum
- Let your personal & professional experience inform your brand
- YOU are your brand – your projects are simply offshoots of it
- Don’t be afraid to try a new channel – speak in a consistent voice in a variety of places
Krost says, “If you had asked what my main goal was a year ago I would have said it is to have a syndicated national talk show. But now everything is digital.” Krost recognized that Millennials get their news, interact with their communities and seek entertainment options online. She knew that in order for a Millennial focused brand to be successful, social media had to be integrated organically & whole-heartedly.
Out of this realization #millennialtalk was born. Her weekly twitter chat is now the most lucrative and advantageous extension of her brand. She fearlessly stepped out into a less traditional platform and now Krost reaches an entirely new audience. In just over a year, she has built her twitter community to nearly fifty-four thousand followers. And you can be certain that sponsors recognize that.
We look forward to seeing what is next for this adaptive Millennial leader. If her past success is any indication it will certainly be unexpected and entertaining.
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Adaptive Millennial Leader Chelsea Krost
Jon, What an inspiring story. Great tips for leaders of all generations looking to make a real impact on the world.
Agree, Karin. Chelsea sets a great example for all generations to grasp. Thanks! Jon