The 21 Years Old Social Media Billionaire

Forbes Cover: America's Women Billionaires. August 31, 2018

The youngest member of one of the most famous families on today’s show business, Kylie Jenner was recently featured in several headlines after appearing in the cover of Forbes magazine as “the youngest ever self-made billionaire” at 21 years of age. Regardless of actually being self-made or not, a discussion that surfaced after her appearance on the American business magazine, Kylie managed to leverage her fame and huge number of followers on Social Media to create an empire on the fashion and beauty market. Analyzing her journey into the three commas club, there is a lot to learn from this social media expert.

After graduating in high-school and before starting what would become her billion-dollar brand, Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner was already listed on the top ten most followed profiles on Instagram with over 30 million followers and was the number one viewed person on Snapchat. These are undoubtedly huge advantages to anyone seeking to start an online business in today’s environment, but Kylie’s approach ensured unexpectedly high results.

The first lesson we can learn from her journey is really understanding your target audience. Before starting her brand, Kylie would always post about what make-ups she used and constantly gave tips to her fans. This ensured that she attracted followers with interests in cosmetics and could gradually build a solid base of potential customers for her future brand. Once she decided to release her first product, she was smart enough to understand the power of building expectation. Since she always posted about cosmetic products, she could naturally talk about the “Lip Kit Set” she was about to release without sounding like a sales person trying to push you to buy an undesirable product. After building hype for several months, she released her first product and sold out in less than 5 minutes. She repeated the same process of building hype on her social media channels to release a second product and this time hit the $19 million dollars mark in less than 24 hours. To sell all these products, Kylie uses an e-commerce platform that allows its users to easily set-up and design their online stores. Shopify’s most expensive plan costs $299 per month and includes several features such as customer data tracking, email marketing campaign and inventory management tools, etc.

Kylie Cosmetics Website

This social media expert focuses on several different channels to maximize her audience reach. On Instagram, for every three to four posts showcasing her personal life she makes one highlighting her brand and products.  Her approach with Snapchat is to show the behind-the-scenes of her company and advertise in first hand her up-coming products. She understands her influencer power on social media and uses it in her favor. On the beginning of 2018, she got upset after Snapchat redesigned its mobile application even after she told the company’s CEO that they should not do it, so she released the following tweet: “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.” The end result was the shares of Snapchat’s parent company decreasing 6.1% and losing $1.3 billion in market value in one day.

After successfully leveraging the power she has on social media to create what is currently the most relevant cosmetic company on the market, Kylie started using her family member’s fame and influencer power to boost sales of her products. She successfully launched products doing partnerships with her mom and sisters – Kris, Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney – all featured in the reality TV show with the biggest audience in the US, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

After debunking Mark Zuckerberg as the youngest self-made billionaire according to Forbes magazine, has Kylie Jenner opened the doors for new up-coming billionaire celebrities that understand the power of having huge fan bases and knows how to leverage that in social media? Let’s wait and see.