This Instagram Star With A Name We Can't Repeat Has Raised Over $100,000 On Kickstarter In 7 Days


Elliot TebelePhoto courtesy of Elliot Tebele

Elliot TebelePhoto courtesy of Elliot Tebele

If you ever dream of making a living posting funny jokes and memes to Instagram, take a look at the media empire built by 25-year-old Elliot Tebele.

He's the founder of the hit Instagram account with the name we can't repeat in our family friendly publication, @F--kJerry. He and his cofounder and childhood friend, Elie Ballas, are masters of the Internet meme. 

What started as a Tumblr account hobby in 2014, where Tebele posted funny pictures with captions, has turned into the Jerry Media empire. It's now a 9-member team that expects to generate between $1.5 million and $3 million in revenue this year, Tebele told Forbes reporter Madeline Berg.

Among the team is Ben Kaplan, who famously built the WiGo college party app and saw it soar in popularity in 13 months. Then, shortly after raising $1.4 million, his app and company were shuttered, merged with Yeti Campus Stories.

Tebele and Ballas really found their calling on Instagram, amassing 8.5 million Instagram followers.

They make their money by doing paid/promotional posts (the fee for the first one, years ago, was $3,000, though the team wouldn't reveal what they charge these days); through services where they take over a company's Instagram account to drive followers and show them how its done (charging per hour, plus per follower and often making $30,000 a contract for that). They do advertising videos and speaking engagements, too. 

Instagram star Elliot Tebele (left), Jerry Media employee Ben Kaplan, Jerry Media cofounder Elie Ballas.Ben Kaplan

Instagram star Elliot Tebele (left), Jerry Media employee Ben Kaplan, Jerry Media cofounder Elie Ballas.Ben Kaplan

And they have several other Instagram accounts. Tebele and his wife, Jessica Tebele, also run the @beigecardigan account, for instance, where they post jokes more geared toward women, (2.3 million followers). Plus they run @pizza and @KanyeDoingThings and a more serious news channel @FJDailyNews.

They are also masters at merchandising. Their fans can buy jackets, hoodies, flip-flops, t-shirts, hats, aprons and other assorted meme-laden wares.

Last week, they launched a Kickstarter campaign for their latest merchandising project, "What Do You Meme?" This is a Cards Against Humanity knock-off where the object is to match the funniest caption to a picture. 

This was the team's first Kickstarter campaign. They had hoped to raise $10,000 to get the game produced. In just seven days, faithful fans have pledged over $100,000, with weeks left in the campaign.

The Jerry Media team sent Business Insider a few sample cards to give you a feel for what they hope will become "the funniest card game in the whole entire world."

[By: Julie Bort ] [ Business Insider ] [ Read More ]

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