What do all successful celebrities have in common? Well, the main similarity in today's generation of public figures is the use of their image and the ability to connect with their audiences. Nowadays, social media makes connecting with fans a possibility with the touch of a button. Few may use financial advisors to guide them on how to get the most out of their reach, whilst some celeb's still fall into financial trouble.

Before social media, it wasn’t as common for a celebrity to use his image in promotion of an investment, Curtis ’50 cent’ Jackson was one of the first to show how the use of your reach can have a tremendous impact on the success of your brand. ’50 cent’ is renowned for his talent within the hip/hop and rap genre. The rapper from Queens, New York had a tough time growing up with his single mom Sabrina. When she died 50 went to live with his grandparents and whilst telling his grandmother he was at extracurricular activities at school, he was actually selling drugs at the age of 12.

In a time where investment wasn’t exactly common practice for mainstream celebrities. James Cruz, a music and marketing executive who worked with the rapper put him in touch with Glacéau for a meeting. Jackson was presented with the opportunity to own a minority stake in vitamin water company ‘Glacéau’. Jackson saw the potential for a new grape flavoured water that later would have the world become acquainted with the product, known as ‘Formula 50′. Part of the success of this investment is down to Jackson’s personal endorsements of his brand. This was seen at concerts, social events and other forms of exhibition. The world quickly became familiar to the flavour as the trendy resemble of the popular rapper, Jackson was at his peak. Through his image and large voice ’50 cent’ was able to turn a relatively small investment into a statement brand. Jackson was part of a deal that saw Glacéau water sold to Coca Cola for $4.1 billion, with the rapper’s minority stake returning him an estimated $100million in royalties, from his previous $50,000 investment. ’50 cent’ is a prime example of how a personality can use his large audience to his advantage.

Nowadays, this is common practice for a public figure to participate in brand endorsements and personal advertisement. Take Instagram, brands look at social media companies as the perfect opportunity to contact a large group of consumers. They then narrow it down to the niche that will be interested in their product, and reach out to influencers who have a large voice within this community. Why? Because a large audience leads to increased brand recognition, improved customer loyalty, more opportunities to convert and of course, higher conversion rates. On the flip side, a dwindling following will leave you trailing in the wake of your competitors and losing out on valuable marketing opportunities. Before Instagram endorsements were usually targeted more towards TV advertisements than celebrities, although in some occasions celebrities would feature, but this was a lot less common in the early noughties.

Yes, ’50 cent’ did later file for bankruptcy. But that was due to poor money management. Celebrities are now jumping on the support of financial advisors much more. This is as a result of some of the scary statistics that can be found about money problems impacting mental health, combined with media scrutiny, it further proves how important attaining a good group around you can be.

Ben.

Lawton Benjamin Consultant