From Influencer to Entrepreneur

July 28th, 2021 by

For nearly the last decade, influencers have ruled over social media. Starting from sharing photos or videos online, many have been successful in building their own followings. With millions of followers, influencers could be called brands in their own rights. 

Influencer followers are essentially guaranteed customer bases that are hyper-engaged to an influencer’s every move. It’s this loyalty that makes influencers so appealing to pre-existing brands for influencer marketing. 

However, some influencers are taking the steps to become entrepreneurs and start their very own businesses. With a guaranteed customer base, why wouldn’t you turn your passion into a business venture?

Which influencers have started their own businesses?

We’ve compiled a list of our favourite influencer-owned businesses across the beauty, food and fitness industries.

Grace Beverley: Shreddy

Grace Beverley built her audience by sharing relatable, but inspirational, workout tips, food guides and daily vlogs under the social tag GraceFitUK. She was one of the most popular fitness influencers on YouTube before she decided to venture into creating her own businesses. 

Shreddy is a fitness app that was launched in 2019, but before it became the popular app it is today, it started as a gym equipment company called B_ND. Shreddy provides users with home workouts, meal plans and classes for a monthly, quarterly or annual subscription fee. The app offers its own social aspect with a “Club” zone, where subscribers can share their own progress, workout tips and inspiration or recipes and ask questions to other members. 

Shreddy members can personalise their Shreddy experiences by choosing meal plans and workout levels, depending on their skill or time availability. By sharing their experiences and progress within the in-app forum, subscribers have the chance to be featured on Shreddy’s social channels.

 

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A post shared by SHREDDY | Daily Workouts (@shreddy)

Shreddy has two Instagram accounts: one for the general app and another for club members. The general app account posts more general content and fitness inspiration, including positive quotes, aesthetic food pictures, brand collaborations and giveaways. The account is geared towards gaining interest and building brand awareness. 

The Shreddy Club account posts content more relevant to those who have access to the app’s features. It showcases the gym equipment available to purchase, specific guides and meal plans and recommended supplements.

 

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A post shared by SHREDDY CLUB (@shreddyclub)

Both accounts use every Instagram feature available, including grid posts, Stories and Highlights, IGTVS, Reels and Guides. It’s Stories and Highlights are geared towards users by providing branded wallpapers, specific workouts and challenge highlights and results.

 

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A post shared by SHREDDY CLUB (@shreddyclub)

Shreddy is also active on Twitter and TikTok, but both of these have significantly less followers than both Instagram accounts. Shreddy uses Twitter to interact with users and support Instagram and TikTok content. 

The Shreddy TikTok account showcases Shreddy products, workouts as well as videos that are joining in with popular TikTok trends. 

While Grace remains the co-founder and CEO of Shreddy, she doesn’t feature on the social accounts. However, she does keep her followers updated of any key meetings or big updates and discounts coming to the app. 

Jess Hunt: Refy Beauty

Instagram model Jess Hunt launched her beauty company Refy Beauty late 2020. Jess was known on Instagram for her eyebrows, so it was only natural she started her beauty line with an eyebrow kit. 

The brand launched on Instagram with a large number of influencer sponsorships and gifted PR gifts. The partnerships were posted on both the influencers’ pages and the most aesthetically-fitting were posted to Refy’s.

 

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A post shared by REFY (@refybeauty)

The Refy Beauty Instagram page features influencer content, user-generated content, aesthetic images and photos from Jess herself. The heavy influencer endorsement meant the brand grew significantly and quickly. 

The brand expanded its range with a launch on Instagram in June 2021, now offering blush, highlight and bronzers. The beauty brand continued its diverse model casting to showcase its products and relating to more consumers. 

Jess frequently posts Refy content onto her main profile, promoting her brand to her 1.4 million followers. She uses grid posts, Stories and Highlights on her own profile to promote her brand.

The brand is also active on Facebook, which has its own store within the platform. All posts featuring a product feature a link to Facebook users to use to make a purchase. 

Michael Pearce: Clean Kitchen

Ex-YouTuber Michael Pearce started Clean Kitchen in August 2020 in Brighton after committing to a healthier lifestyle. The plant-based restaurant quickly became popular and Verity Bowditch joined Michael as a business partner.

 

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A post shared by Clean Kitchen (@cleankitchenuk)

The restaurant opened different London locations and expanded its Deliveroo options in September 2020. Since then, it has committed to various sustainable and ethical initiatives including planting a tree in Ghana for every meal sold and partnering with Compassion in World Farming to end cruel practices in factory farming. Clean Kitchen currently has plans to open a Clean Allotment, a Clean Arts Fund and to offer loyalty points to customers. 

The restaurant has an active and influencer-filled Instagram page. Alongside showcasing their influential restaurant guests, the account posts aesthetic pictures of its food and restaurant locations, store opening IGTVs and Reels, promotion for the supporting podcast and press snippets.

 

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A post shared by Clean Kitchen (@cleankitchenuk)

Clean Kitchen regularly uses influencer marketing and gifting to support new meals or openings. This content is posted to influencers’ own profiles and curated and reposted to the Clean Kitchen page. They are also stored in Highlights, which gives the restaurant social proof when a new user is searching its page. 

The supporting podcast is called “Get Me to Vegan” and is hosted by both Verity and Michael. It discusses the behind the scenes of building a plant-based business, the benefits of plant-based, fun challenges with influencer guests and sustainability in general life.

 

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A post shared by Clean Kitchen (@cleankitchenuk)


Using a podcast is another audience-building technique that casually but interestingly promotes the restaurant to new audiences. Those who are interested in sustainability and plant-based lifestyles can find the podcast and then the restaurant.

The future of influencer entrepreneurship

As more and more influencers take the leap into entrepreneurship, the way brands work with them is likely to change. Brands aren’t limited to working with influencers on small-scale sponsorships and have begun creating full ranges and product lines as collaborations. 

Moreover, we have started to see some brands collaborate with influencer-owned businesses. Skincare brand Paula’s Choice has collaborated with Sheddy to create two limited-edition skincare boxes that are available both through Shreddy and Paula’s Choice websites. 

As influencer marketing in general continues to evolve, influencers are more heavily focusing on their personal branding to further their careers and audiences. Influencing isn’t limited to simply vlogging or taking photographs, it’s now about turning hobbies and passions into business ideas.

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