Colton Underwood is just four episodes away from handing out his final rose on Season 23 of “The Bachelor.” Although the last woman standing hasn’t been announced, the four remaining ladies already have huge followings on social media.
On Instagram alone, Cassie Randolph has 671,000 followers, Caelynn Miller-Keyes has 476,000 followers, Hannah Godwin has 637,000 followers, and Tayshia Adams has more than 90,000 followers (as of Monday).
But being on reality TV is not a guarantee that these contestants will parlay their 15 minutes of fame into a thriving social media business.
Agent Paul Desisto, who represents a number of reality stars — including some from “The Bachelor” franchise — told Page Six it “takes creativity, time and energy” to make it.
“If you go on television or are in a movie, you’re not guaranteed to make money after this happens,” said Desisto, who works for the agency Central Entertainment Group.
One of the ways influencers can grow their presence is by sharing a major life event.
For instance, Jade and Tanner Tolbert, who got engaged on “Bachelor in Paradise” in 2015 and had their own wedding special in 2016, have become more popular online since getting off reality TV because of the birth of their first child and pregnancy announcement for baby No. 2, Desisto said.
“It’s very important that other things are going on in their lives outside of just being on a TV show in order to maintain this business,” he said.
Desisto wouldn’t confirm which reality stars he counts as clients.
Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon are another example of a “Bachelor” couple who continue to make the most of their social media platform.
“I just helped them release a children’s book,” Desisto said. “They were on ‘Good Morning America,’ and that book’s going to be in retailers [and] Amazon, so things like that really help develop the presence and keep growth going.”
Endorsing products is a lucrative part of the influencer business, and can bring in anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000 per Instagram story, Desisto said, adding: “For anyone who is doing very well in this space, it’s very easy for them to make six and even seven figures a year.”
Instagram introduced Instagram Stories in August 2016, and according to Desisto, both celebrities and venture capital-funded brands are big fans of the temporary videos — for different reasons.
“Celebrities and influencers love it because it disappears after 24 hours,” Desisto said. “Brands love it also because the exposure is very strong for a short amount of time. With the swipe-up feature you can get people directly to your website.”
On the brand side, Desisto said companies are very aware of which stars have paid for their followers, and whose following may not necessarily bring in a lot of revenue.
“We could have someone with 5 million fans on Instagram, but if they’re all international, or it’s a really pretty woman and their fans are all males, there really isn’t a lot of value there,” Desisto said. “As a male, myself, we tend to not buy things from those promotions. It works really well when it’s a woman with an all-woman audience, and also we see very strong success with men with an all-woman fan base.”
On the influencer side, Desisto said they are able to be pickier than ever about they partner with because there are hundreds of brands trying to get endorsed on social media.
“Our clients only really get behind products that they actually like and use because they have so much opportunity thrown at them that they only want to be authentic,” Desisto said.
But what is the lifespan of a celebrity influencer — and with so many new reality shows premiering weekly and an ever-growing list of fan favorites, can influencers continue to remain relevant?
“If Instagram keeps growing and there are more people that are on these outlets, then the opportunities should grow,” Desisto said. “If they have the drive, there’s always a way to continue it.”