Kylie Jenner posts a bikini pic from a private beach, Tyga flashes his latest Rolex watch, Taylor Swift poses with her cat and Rihanna pours herself a glass of wine – celebrity Instagram looks like candid shots, a sneak peek behind the scenes of what life is like for the rich and famous. In reality, when used to its advantage, celebrities can turn social media sharing into a multi-million dollar empire.
Frank Spadafora a former casting director and the founder and CEO of the analytics group D’Marie Archive told CR Fashion Book, “If you want to reach a celebrity’s audience, you’re going to have to pay a hefty fee for that.” A large celebrity following can cost brand managers from as little as $2,000 a post to a staggering $1 million.
But don’t go telling your boss you’re quitting and becoming Instagram famous just yet – there is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Each shot is carefully constructed, filtered, air brushed and captioned by a team of pro-social media managers to make sure that their stars get the most return on investment – well, “likes” basically.
With the social media boom over the past decade, we are living in modern times where nowadays a ‘star’ is rated on how many ‘followers’ they have. Spadfora continued, “As far as commercializing a career, a girl won’t get very far in 2016 if she’s not socially savvy. Can I say that you can be a big star without a social media presence? I’m not encouraging it.” Jennifer Powell of Next Models also added, “Casting directors will ask for models with over ‘X’ amount of followers, and then will ask for the specs of the talent after that.”
Here are the stars of today who are making fortunes from posting to Instagram.
15. Scott Disick – $15,000
Scott Disick, the man who humbly declares himself as “Lord of Instagram”, has the easiest job in the world; by night all he has to do is make appearances at luxury nightclubs like 1 Oak in Las Vegas and by day simply post pictures of products to Instagram. So you would think as he lands a pay check for $15,000 per post he would avoid messing this up – but then remember this is Scott.
Several of his sponsored posts have awkwardly included the instructions from advertisers because he has simply copied and pasted their email. One of his posts, where he poses with BooTea, the caption read: “Here you go, at 4am write this below: ‘Keeping up with the summer workout routine with my protein shake!’” Cringe. Another advert for BrightWhiteSmile was posted and the caption read: “Tag BrightWhiteSmile and please tag in caption and on the actual photo.”
Sigh. You had one job, Scott! One job.
14. Kerry Washington – $50,000
Kerry Washington has had to fight for her money over the years. She was ranked as the 20th highest paid TV actress, despite her breakout hit Scandal averaging 8.3 million viewers a week and bringing in a reported $100 million ad revenue – she earned just $3 million as the star of the show. Compared to Modern Family star Sophia Vegara, who earned a $30 million for her work on the hit comedy show, we can’t help but think Washington was being short changed.
Washington has since took to Instagram and has hit 3 million followers – a following she can now start charging the big bucks for. Although her rate isn’t as high as other stars (story of Kerry’s life) almost ever other post of hers in either sponsored or an endorsement. She plugs the hell out of Netflix shows, nutritional books, fashion brands, candy bars, nail polish – you name it and she’s advertised it. Collectively all these posts have add up to millions a year.
13. Kandi Buruss – $20,000
The most popular “real housewife” on Instagram is Kandi Burruss with 3.9 million followers. Okay, so maybe Kandi, who has starred on The Real Housewives of Atlanta since it’s second season in 2009, doesn’t always attract the most drama or shocking story lines – but she is the most likeable without being dull.
A succesful singer-songwriter in her own right, she is always updating her style with new looks and never sticks to the same haircut for more than half a season. She lands a $20,000 paycheck for posting anything from fashionable dresses (often assisted by her young 14-year-old daughter Riley as a model if the style isn’t in her age range), health teas and makeup. She also has her own luxury line Bedroom Kandi that also offers women beauty tips, products and motivational slogans like “Sex is better when the bills are paid.” Great to know.
Even her baby son Ace Tucker has managed to grab 300,000 followers of his own, he launched (we’re guessing with some help from his mother) his own Ace Shoes range – and he can’t even walk yet.
12. Chiara Ferragni – $25,000
Chiara Ferragni started her blog The Blonde Salad for $10 when she was a law student in Italy – she won over a number of fans that fell in love with her style. Now three years and 7 million Instagram followers later, she has a staggering net worth of $8 million.
Chiara told CBS News, “When I started I was doing it because I love sharing my photos. But that was about it. My intention was to create something that people loved to look at, and they could find inspiration from, and that was it.” She added, “My secret has always been to be true to myself. I’ve never tried too hard.”
Now her blog has more than a million monthly visitors and her Instagram following is growing daily, she can charge the big bucks when it comes to plugging other brand’s products for a starting price of $25,000. However, they are picky about what they plug, co-founder and CEO of The Blonde SaladRiccardo Pozzoli explains, “We we (first started the blog) it was not easy for us to say ‘no’ to such proposals with high financial reward. But, we decided to stay away because we knew that if we wanted to work in fashion, we could not sell Chiara as a showgirl.”
11. Maddie Ziegler – $50,000
Dance Moms’ ultimate breakthrough star Maddie Ziegler has gone from rags (well her family weren’t exactly broke to be honest) to riches in just a matter of years. At just 14-years-old and 5 foot 3inches she is worth an eye-watering $2 million.
Maddie has moved from ballet to business and managed to successfully transform herself into a brand. Since the success of Sia’s Chandelier, that witnessed Maddie leap around an abandoned apartment in just a leotard and has since amassed 1.4 billion views on YouTube, she has started her own fashion brand Maddie Style and landed a judging role on So You Think You Can Dance?
Her 8.3 million followers on Instagram means she can charge up to a staggering $50,000 per post on her page. Previously she has represented brands such as Clean & Clear, Capezio including their Betsey Johnson line, Target and Ralph Lauren. Puts us to shame that we weren’t multi-millionaires before high school ended.
10. Anna Kendrick – $100,000
Anna Kendrick has won over quite a following on social media due to her witty posts and hilarious musings. She has treated the world to classic lines such as, “My Patronus is a corgi” and “Sometimes the only reason I leave my house is so when someone asks about my day I don’t have to say ‘Netflix and avoiding responsibilities’”.
Alongside being the best comedian on social media, another favourite pastime of hers is raking in the money for sponsored posts on Instagram. With 9.3 million followers, teamed up wither her A-List Hollywood status, she can make up to $100,000 per post. Her net worth is reportedly $10 million but even she likes to top up her account with big money fashion deals with the likes of Kate Spade. Brand managers believe she is social media gold because not only can she rock a dress but she can also keep her engagements up by being just outright hilarious.
9. Miranda Kerr – $250,000
Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr has enough cash to last her several lifetimes. Becoming the face of Wonderbra, Escada fragrance, Victoria’s Secret and Swarvoski has boosted her net worth up to an estimated $38 million. Despite her finances looking very healthy, she still loves the occasional sponsored post on Instagram and we’re not surprised as she can charge up to $100,000 for a single post. She recently posted shots of with Kora Organics in view and Papillionaire bicycles on her timeline.
The 33-year-old mother-of-one has just recently married Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, who has a staggering net worth of reportedly $2.1 billion which makes him the 931st richest man in the world. The app tycoon had to wait six months before her met her son, 5-year-old Flynn, who’s father is actor Orlando Bloom. She told The Daily Mail, “(Orlando) and I decided that we had to know the person for six months and feel good about them before introducing them to Flynn.” Only one more month to go then Flynn can meet Bloom’s most recent girlfriend, singer Katy Perry.
8. The Beckhams – $150,000-$200,000
“Brand Beckham”, made up with David, Victoria, 17-year-old Brooklyn, 14-year-old Romeo, 11-year-old Cruz and 5-year-old Harper, are worth an estimated $771 million. Just to put that into perspective, they are richer than British royalty as The Queen of England’s net worth stands at an estimated $340 million.
Financial experts at the London School of Marketing found that the brand has grown even stronger and more valuable ever since David gave up professional soccer. Chief executive Anton Dominique told The Daily Mail, “The Beckham brand has been used to advertise everything from designer clothes, to satellite television and even whisky. What is also interesting is that the family name is almost as influential as any individual family member.”
He explained, “For instance, Romeo Beckham won a very lucrative marketing contract with the fashion house Burberry. After the Royals, the Beckhams are Britain’s most recognisable family with a global pulling power that’s almost second to none.”
Despite David only joining Instagram last year, he takes the lead with 30 million followers, Victoria comes second with a following of 12.8 million, and Brooklyn is the only one of the kids who’s allowed to use social media and he’s gained 8.7 million followers. Brooklyn just landed a contract for a Hawaiian phone company that has netted him $100,000. Just wait till we watch Harper grace the cover of every fashion magazine 12 years from now.
7. Dan Bilzerian – $250,000
35-year-old Dan Bilzerian is an international professional poker player, playboy and Instagram famous businessman. He’s world known for his love of the ladies, as almost every picture he posts on the social media app shows him surrounded by beautiful women wearing either very little or nothing.
Although he loves money, he already has enough to be picky when it comes to putting his name to certain brands. He has partnered with Dollar Beard Club, a luxury beard oil company, because well…he has a beard and he also posts whenever he’s in Marquee Nightclub New York because he loves to party there with close-friend Drake.
He can charge for his endorsement in a brand anywhere up to $250,000 however it’s worth it as just a few posts from his account can turn a small business into a multi-million dollar company.
6. Cara Delevingne – $250,000
Cara Delevingne has built most of her career via social media and now has a loyal following of more than 34 million on Instagram. Her quirky, outrageous and often hilarious personality shines through on her posts. Since 2009, she has emerged as a pop culture icon who has moved from being a London admin assistant to a Hollywood A-lister in the space of just 6 years.
In 2015, she was the 7th highest paid model in the world with earnings of $8.5 million just in that year alone and her net worth is an estimated $18 million – proving she’s not just a pretty face and an awesome drummer.
As one of the most sought after influencers on the planet (what Cara wears we wear!) she can charge a staggering amount and reportedly earns up to $250,000 per post. The British born model-turned-actress mixes up her Instagram with some personal posts and others brand endorsements. She has teamed up with high-end brands Burberry, Mulberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Jason Wu, Tag Heuer and Rimmel.
5. Gigi Hadid – $250,000
Same as her close friend Cara Delevingne, 21-year-old Gigi Hadid is also earning a staggering amount via social media too. She was named as the new face of Maybelline last year and it must have been in her contract to mention the brand in almost every post for her 24 million followers.
Most recently she has helped plug brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Anna Dello Russo, Tommy Hilfiger, Amazon and Reebok (Oh and by the way that was just last the posts from last week!) Mixing up personal posts with name drops of brands keeps her fans interested, her life is idolised by many young girls who look up to her as an idol.
Gigi told Harpers Bazaar that she doesn’t let her staggering number of followers phase her. She revealed, “I see the numbers going up but really I can’t picture 10 million people. I genuinely don’t know how many people that looks like. What’s weird is when I walk into, let’s say a stadium or a concert and there are maybe 13,000 people and I’m looking up like oh my God, that’s a lot of people, that’s 13,000 people. I can’t actually comprehend what that means, which is probably a good thing because if I could comprehend 10 million then it might be really scary.”
4. Rihanna – $500,000
Rihanna is not just the Queen of the charts, the bad girl of pop and a fashion icon – but she is also a fierce businesswoman. Last year, The New York Post reported that she negotiated a deal with Samsung to become her official Anti tour sponsor for a jaw-dropping $25 million. The deal took seven months for both parties to make an agreement and is currently the highest music/marketing deal ever known.
This year, she debuted her new Puma fashion collection labelled “Fenty”. Rihanna part-designed some of the clothes and posted the hell out of it all over her Instagram on the run up to New York Fashion Week. Tied into her deals, the Love On The Brain singer also charges up to $500,000 for a single Instagram post. For global companies who want her nice on their products – it’s more than worth it to fork out the cash. Puma noted that Rihanna has achieved sales growth of 11 percent, bringing in $390 million. We think she should charge more.
3. Selena Gomez – $550,000
17 weeks ago, Selena Gomez posted this picture of her sipping on a bottle of Coca-Cola, with their branding on the bottle that reads: “You’re the spark”, as she pouts at the camera. To date the picture has had 5.8 million likes and more than a quarter of a million comments – making it the most popular post on Instagram of all time.
The 24-year-old Kill Them With Kindness singer has more 102 million followers (yes…that’s one hundred and two million global followers) and she can command up to $550,000 for a single Instagram post. Following her succesful marketing with Coca-Cola she can probably charge even more now.
She talked to The Hollywood Reporter about her Insta-style and revealed, “It comes in a moment when I capture something happening, and I go, ‘Oh, that would be great for Instagram. I should post it.” Like she just happened to have a bottle of Coke in her hand, slogan facing the right way and perfect lightning on that day – so what?
2. Kevin Hart – $1 million
An unexpected entry at number 2 is stand up comedian and Hollywood A-lister Kevin Hart. You wouldn’t expect him to earn so much through his social media, as he seems like a pretty down to earth guy who doesn’t play the showbiz game, but then came the Sony emails leak and shocking details were revealed.
To post on his social media about his upcoming movies The Wedding Ringer and Get Hard, it was tied into his contract that he would receive $2 million for TWO sponsored posts to his 43 million followers. When questioned by TMZ on the leaked amount he replied, “I don’t answer those questions” before he added that he was “politically correct” and “a happy guy.” Hey, we would be happy too landing a payday of $1 million just for posting to Instagram.
Due to his high financial demands, in another leaked email he was branded a “wh**e” by a Sony executive. Hart later posted his own personal message to his fans that read: “Knowing your self worth is extremely important people. I worked very hard to get where I am today. I look at myself as a brand and because of that I will never allow myself to be taking advantage of. I refuse to be broken people…with that being said its now time for me to get back to building this empire that I’ve always dreamed of!”
1. The Kardashians – $250,000 to $1 million
The reigning Queens of Instagram Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall, Kylie and Kris of the Kardashian-Jenner fame have a combined following of 345.6 million followers between them. From Sugar Bear Hair tablets to waist trainers, brands have to pay out top end cash if they want a picture of their product beside a Kardashian-Jenner smile. They can command anything from $250,000 to $1 million for a single post.
Comparing stats, Kourtney takes last place with an average of 528,000 likes per picture, Kim is in second position with an average of 965,000 likes per picture, and Kendall (who is the most followed model on Instagram in the world) and Kylie take top spot with an average of 1.3 million likes per picture.
Kim spoke to Adweek last year and she claimed her Instagram is a “no-promo zone” meaning that sure she still does promotional posts (she’s not stupid) but only products she loves. She revealed, “I know a lot of my brands might get frustrated that I don’t promote maybe as much as they would like, but I only do it if it’s authentic.”
Shockingly since Kim has been absent on all social media since her traumatic robbery in Paris, her silence is reportedly costing her around $1 million a month from missing out on sponsored posts. However, the Kardashians have previously claimed to Forbes magazine that social media sponsorship is “the smallest component of her annual entertainment income” when it comes to their $300 million collective fortune, so don’t panic – they will still be okay for money.