The Kardashians have proved themselves to be talented business people.

In recent years, the Kardashians have become a household name across America. Yet, many accuse the family of being famous for nothing besides their good looks. Buzzfeed even released an article in 2007 called, “41 reasons why Kim Kardashian is famous since no one seems to know.” However, there’s no way a family could’ve reached this level of global fame by doing nothing. The Kardashians are talented entrepreneurs and businesspeople who know exactly what sells and how to sell it, and more people should realize that. 

The family got their start in 2007, when the reality show “Keeping up with the Kardashians” aired. It focused on the fancy, yet chaotic, lifestyle of the Kardashians. Perhaps this is where their reputation of being “famous for nothing” started. Simply put, this is because the show often framed members of the family as rich airheads. What many viewers don’t realize is that the Kardashians knew they’d hugely profit from a show focusing on such a topic and even fought for the production of the show because of it, according to a documentary by E!

The Kardashians built a worldwide name for themselves with their reality show and then used this platform to start numerous businesses, bringing in millions of dollars. The Kardashian sisters have been coined “queens” of social media by the social media analysis website Medium. This is because the Kardashian sisters were some of the first people to use social media as a marketing tool. Kim knew that promoting a product through social media reached a target audience of people who already liked and followed her. That’s why today, the Kardashians can make over one million dollars per sponsored Instagram post.

Their social media marketing tactics have not yet failed them. In 2014, Kim Kardashian released a mobile game that brought home $150 million dollars in sales — and that was only the beginning. The facts are certain; the Kardashians have always known their audience. Sisters Khloe, Kendall, Kylie and Kim all have flourishing businesses that bring in millions of dollars yearly, and Kylie was recently named the world’s “youngest self-made billionaire” by Forbes

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All of their various businesses relate to multiple demographics that the family reaches — because they know that’s where they’ll sell the most. Khloe, taking advantage of the family’s promotion of body positivity, released a clothing line called Good American that works to celebrate women’s natural shape and curves. Kylie and Kendall, the two youngest sisters, launched another clothing line targeted to younger people. Kim, a mother of four, recently released a body shapewear line called Skims that could help new mothers with uncomfortable baby weight. 

The Kardashians continue to promote all of these businesses on their social media, where each sister has millions of followers, Kim having the most at over 150 million. They’ve even created Instagram’s for their individual businesses, such as Kylie Cosmetics, which is Kylie Jenner’s makeup line, having over 22 million followers alone. The Kardashians were some of the first of their kind, with the world following suit. One could argue that anyone today who uses social media as a marketing tool is following in the footsteps of the Kardashians, and not enough people acknowledge their impact. 

Josie Haneklau is a sophomore political science and psychology double major. Contact Josie at hanekljr@dukes.jmu.edu.