Many people have the misconception that social media influencers and entrepreneurs are two separate entities, but the influx of influencers over the last few years has brought on the rise of influencer-entrepreneurs.
Social media’s added value plus a strong following/presence on its platforms has given influencers the power to impact brands in ways that ultimately help boost their business, including brand awareness, a growing customer base, added market value, and more.
Of the many successful social media influencers, Ariana Fletcher — better known online as @therealkylesister — has become one of the most influential of them all, utilizing her social media presence to help brands make millions and in turn made herself into a multi-millionaire.
Fletcher started her entrepreneurial journey back in 2016 when she started her hair company called KYCHE Extensions. Though she had no formal experience, she learned the ropes of the business world and applied those same practices to jumpstart her own successful businesses while helping other entrepreneurs and brands elevate themselves as well.
According to her, she makes about $150,000 from Instagram alone per month and has profited over a million dollars from the platform by promoting big brands such as Savage x Fenty, Fashion Nova, and more. Recently, she’s also been approached with a few future television opportunities.
Her foundation as a businesswoman stems from her upbringing and surrounding herself with strong-minded entrepreneurs.
“When I was younger, being able to be around people who had strong business practices showed me the value of my platforms,” she said. “Unlike some social media influencers, I actually converted my [platform] into a business that generates money for me.”
In addition to monetizing her own platform, Fletcher has also helped her close friends like Mariee’ of Moon Cosmetics and her makeup artist Olivia Song upgrade their beauty brands.
Song — owner of Supernatural Cosmetics — built up her Instagram platform from 15,000 followers to over 130,000 in just eight months thanks to Fletcher. After promoting her cosmetics on her page, Fletcher says that products sell out in a matter of days.
What’s impressive about her career as a businesswoman is her ability to balance her motherly duties while being a full-time entrepreneur for herself and other businesses.
“I’m the breadwinner of my family taking care of my mom, my son, and my niece. I’m the go-to person financially and it motivates me to keep my business going,” she shared. “It’s really challenging [being a mom], but I have a great support system that allows me to successfully tackle motherhood and my businesses.”
Fletcher has figured out the perfect balance between business and motherhood that has allowed her the chance to provide a better life for her family. Her efforts have all contributed to her career as a businesswoman and are setting her up for an even more successful future.
“I’ve made over $1 million from Instagram so I’m proof this can be done,” she said. “Not only in terms of monetizing from the pictures that I post, but also using formulas from these other successful brands that I back to create my own successful brand.”
Although her personal life gets more attention, Fletcher is determined to rewrite her own story in the eyes of the public that puts the focus back on her business accomplishments.
“I want people to know that I’m just a regular girl from Chicago who just decided to go for it,” she shared. “I have an opportunity to generate wealth for my kid and my family. I’m at the tip of my iceberg and I have so much more in store that will go far beyond Instagram or any social media platform.”
As a self-made businesswoman, Fletcher encourages those who aspire to reach their own business goals to keep going despite any obstacles.
“It was a whole year before my [business] saw any kind of revenue,” she said. “So keep going, keep learning, and don’t give up on yourself.”
Fletcher is currently working on releasing her very own beauty brand in addition to a joint venture with Dionte — also known as Arrogant Tae — as they explore more opportunities to work together as business partners.
For more updates on Ari’s business endeavors, follow her on Twitter and Instagram.