Kylie Jenner is Actually Kind of Bad at Being an Influencer, But Her Fans Still Love Her

Whether we like it or not, being an influencer is a real, legitimate, and lucrative profession. Consumers turn to social media to get recommendations from the people they follow on everything from what clothes to wear to what to make for dinner to how to raise their children. Brands definitely want in on this opportunity, and they give away tons of product and pay lots of cash to get their name out in this effective way. 

That leaves people like Kylie Jenner poised to make a whole lot of money from their influencer status. Jenner is among one of the top-paid influencers in the world, but fans are starting to wonder why. If you look close, she’s actually pretty bad at it. 

Kylie Jenner slightly smiling
Kylie Jenner | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Social media influencers are part of a new economic model

Advertising has been a part of American culture for decades, but the use of social media influencers is a new phenomenon. Followers build up a sense of trust and community with the people they follow. They see them share about their own lives and feel connected to them and their experiences. This means that when those individuals recommend a product, the recommendation means a lot more than it would coming from a billboard or a TV ad. 

As Forbes explains, the best influencers are able to bring the promotion of the product into their feed smoothly and meaningfully: “The influencer is in control of the brand’s message, choosing how they would like to portray it. This promotes authenticity and can help reach a specific target audience.” When an influencer can make the promotion fit into their other posts, followers are much more likely to both pay attention and to trust the message, and that means more sales for the brand paying for the partnership. 

Kylie Jenner is a top influencer 

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Kylie Jenner is a hugely successful influencer. Perhaps the brand that has most benefited from her massive social media following is her own. Jenner launched Kylie Cosmetics in 2016 and has amassed a considerable fortune in the years since. When she first revealed her $29 lip kits, they sold out within minutes. That’s the power of a strong influencer network, and Jenner has definitely put it to work when it comes to growing her own business. 

She also sells that influence for other brands. With her amazing track record and huge following, Jenner is able to command top dollar for her work and brings in an astonishing $1.27 million for each sponsored post. Part of the reason her reach is particularly coveted is because of the demographic that follows her. Jenner is in touch with young women who have disposable income, a part of the population that luxury brands are especially desperate to reach. 

Fans don’t think Kylie Jenner is that good as an influencer

Despite her lucrative paydays from her brand partnerships, Jenner isn’t actually all that great at being an influencer — at least that’s what fans are saying. Jenner had a recent Instagram story post where she shared that she got a PR box from fellow influencer Chrissy Teigen. Fans took to Reddit to discuss the post and wound up tearing apart Jenner’s influencer skills. 

One fan noted that “Kylie is just a pretty bad salesman and bad at being a convincing influencer. Even when discussing her own products, she’s not good at selling them.” Many people piled on about how Jenner just uses the same cliché phrases again and again when describing a product. Some defended the practice by saying that Jenner was probably just watching her words carefully to avoid setting off a media firestorm: “If she shills too hard, lies or says something slightly offensive to someone it becomes news.” 

It may be true that Jenner’s endorsements come off as a little forced, but they’re definitely working for the star. She’s able to command an impressive rate for her brand partnerships, and there’s no shortage of companies willing to work with the beauty mogul.