A lot of fuss has been made in the news recently over Kylie Jenner, the younger sister of social media Influencer Kim Kardashian being listed in Forbes as the youngest ‘self-made’ billionaire at 21 years old. Kylie’s cosmetics company ‘Kylie Cosmetics’ was listed as being worth $900 million and she owns the entire company!
She claims to have founded the brand with $250,000 which she made through her modelling and TV work, and her mother Kris, looks after her finance and PR in exchange for a 10% management fee.
Now, people’s grouse is that though Jenner has made her fortune with her best-selling beauty business, Kylie Cosmetics, some have questioned whether her money can really be said to be ‘self-made’, since she comes from an already privileged and rich background – a background which she has leveraged by using her family name, fame and wealth to gain direct access to the privileges, connections and resources that accrue to her as a member of that family.
However, that is not our interest right now. We are looking more at how she was able to use the relatively free tool of social media to make herself a billionaire in the first place. Jenner reportedly started by taking ‘selfies’ of herself on her Instagram handle for two years with the slogan “Kylie Lip Kits … for the perfect pout” before she started her company in 2015. She has now amassed over 128 million followers on Instagram and has over 175 million followers overall when you combine her followers on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.
Social media has definitely been the key to Jenner’s success. She has grown so influential she wiped $1.3bn off Snapchat’s stock market value after tweeting that she no longer uses its messaging app! Social Media if properly utilized can transform the lives of people and it has done so, not just in the beauty business, but also in transportation, movie business, the hotel and hospitality business and many other sectors.
Bringing it closer home to Nigeria, we went into the streets to ask people if they felt social media had in fact affected businesses in Nigeria at all and the generality of people said they felt it had. Watch their responses in the video below.
So, no matter your opinions of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, this is a very impressive feat and it should be emulated.