Josh Ostrovsky, aka The Fat Jewish, is a case study in turning social influence into a booming business. Here's how he grew a 10 million-follower Instagram account and sold his wine company to Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Josh Ostrovsky, aka The Fat Jewish, is a case study in turning social influence into a booming business. Here's how he grew a 10 million-follower Instagram account and sold his wine company to Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Ostrovsky's breakout moment came in 2013, when he posted a video of himself conducting a spin class for the homeless using New York City's bike-sharing system Citi Bike.(Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
  • Josh Ostrovsky, known professionally as The Fat Jewish, has turned his loyal 10.6 million Instagram followers into energized customers.
  • Last year he sold his wine company, Babe Wine, to Anheuser-Busch InBev. It was the brewing behemoth's largest investment in wine.
  • Business Insider spoke with three social media management founders and CEOs, all of whom said Ostrovsky's success is replicable for other influencers — provided they take the right steps.

Memeing the Kardashians and judging a wet T-shirt contest for pregnant women doesn't sound like the normal start to entrepreneurial ventures. But Josh Ostrovsky — better known by his social-media alias, The Fat Jewish — isn't typical.

Instead of filling fans' feeds with photos of chiseled abs and dewy skin, Ostrovsky, 38, serves up to his 10.6 million Instagram followers photos of his pronounced belly and his upright ponytail, which he affectionately refers to as a "hair erection."

Over the past eight years, Ostrovsky has ascended from viral hit to legitimate businessman. He's landed sponsorships with prominent companies like Burger King, appeared in beloved TV shows and a music video, and partnered with celebrities like Madonna. Perhaps most notably, in 2015, he cofounded Babe Wine, which he sold to Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2019 in what the brewer says was its largest wine investment to date.
Advertisement
Ostrovsky has also said that the influencer world has become so competitive in the past eight years that his playbook for netting high-price sponsorship deals is already obsolete.

But Business Insider spoke with social-media experts who agreed that Ostrovsky's success is indeed replicable for other influencers, provided they follow a few key steps: Build a strong persona, remain authentic, and understand the needs and wants of their followers.

Subscribe to Business Insider to read the full story.

{{}}