Wendy Williams is best known for her long-running daytime Emmy-nominated talk show, “The Wendy Williams Show.” However, there is no such thing as overnight success. Many conveniently forget about how she invested much of her life building a fan base throughout a 23-year career in radio.
Building and nurturing relationships with your audience is not something that should ever be switched off once activated. Refreshingly, despite Williams continuing to enjoy phenomenal success, she is still actively looking for ways to meaningfully engage with her audience.
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As we enter the world of Mobile first, Williams has just launched a new entertainment and lifestyle app called Wendy Digital. Using technology to engage and connect with her audience rather than divide them seems like a natural step for Williams to take.
The app aims to provide a fun content-rich entertainment experience that enables the audience to get to know their favorite host a little better. Wendy Digital also features daily celebrity ‘Hot Topics’ where users can contribute to the show’s discussions and tear down the fourth wall of television.
There seems to be much more to the app than just indulging users with a daily fix of pop culture. For example, the ‘Shopping’ section is again designed to genuinely connect with her fans and allow users to browse and purchase Wendy’s outfit of the day or learn more about the moisturizer she uses.
I recently interviewed Williams on my podcast, and she takes her responsibilities in this feature very seriously. It’s not just about brand partnerships, but a strong focus on what Wendy Williams genuinely likes and recommends.
Williams told me how her audience often picks up on the tiny details from the show and will regularly bombard her with questions such as what is that nail color you wear? Or what do you use on your skin for it to look so great? The app enables Williams to have those conversations with her audience and address these questions directly.
Now through my app, I have a brand new platform where I can continue to engage with my fans, and be able to share more behind-the-scenes intel into my life outside of the show.
In many ways, Willams was a pioneer by building a career on being authentic, open and honest. But now everyone is doing it, she told me. As a result, she is determined to push the envelope by creating a digital platform to connect with her audience.
Essentially, technology is enabling Williams to leave the makeup, and false lashes in the TV studio and broadcast live from her mom cave. It was evident from our conversation that engaging with her fans and allowing them to follow the rollercoaster of emotions in life whether that be laughing or crying is incredibly important to her.
In a digital world, audiences are now increasingly turning to YouTube stars for authenticity and hosts they can relate with. Viewing trends suggest people are turning their back on polished, fast edited and contrived TV shows that feel fake. However, Williams has built a career on simply being herself, and this seems to be her secret recipe for success.
Wendy Williams is widely known for catch-phrases such as ‘How you Doin’. But, in a world where everyone is trying to be like somebody else, it’s incredibly refreshing to see that this mother and businesswoman has built a hugely successful career by doing what she does best. Being herself.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.