The true sales numbers behind Kylie Jenner's Instagram influencer model shows that strategy isn't that good.

Kylie Jenner's Instagram influencer business model is not as effective as most believe, according to the New York Post.

Kylie Jenner has grown her Instagram account to 179 million followers. The Instagram business model relies on two primary revenue streams: sponsored posts and branded products. Instagram influencers start by promoting other brands' products to pushing their own products. Influencers can grow from an advertising medium to their own business or brand.

Other Instagram users have followed Jenner's lead with hopes for a growing revenue stream. However, Forbes recently exposed Kylie Jenner and stripped her of her "Youngest Self-Made Billionaire" title. It was recently alleged that she doctored her tax returns. This only proves that in the eyes of social media, the appearance of success seems to trump tangible success itself.

Diving deeper into the numbers it shows that increasing followers does not translate into increased sales. Kylie Jenner's Instagram account following has grown by millions over the years, but this increased following didn't increase sales. Originally, Jenner's self-reported sales figures brought in $360 million per year, but those numbers were inflated and the real figure is a third of that. Between 2016 and 2018 Jenner's digital sales decreased 62 percent despite her social media following growing.

Jenner was able to grow her account from the publicity of her family. For influencers without famous families and reality TV shows, the road to becoming a profitable influencer is even harder. Kylie Jenner's following is a behemoth compared to other popular influencers such as Chiara Ferragni, 20.2 million followers, and Danielle Bernstein, 2.4 million followers.

If Kylie Jenner had to fabricate her own success, how could a layman influencer be successful. Instagram influencers aren't going anywhere, but this insight from the top of the food chain is undeniably concerning for the business model.

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Economics, Finance and Investing