Every influencer has a different origin story, but 14-year-old Danielle Bregoli’s might be one of the most unique. It started with a viral clip-turned-meme from an episode of Dr. Phil. Less than a year later, Bregoli has millions of followers across her social channels and is embarking on a tour to perform in front of fans.
Whether they’re travelers, photographers, artists, musicians, models, or notable personalities, influencers typically succeed for a common reason: Authenticity. Her rise to fame may have been unorthodox, Bregoli is no exception to the rule. She’s attracted millions of followers and managed to leverage her viral popularity to build an online presence that’s personality-driven and is engaging fans long after the meme’s buzz has faded.
Known as the “Cash Me Outside” Girl, Bregoli skyrocketed to fame courtesy of a clip from an episode of Dr. Phil that featured her angrily challenging the show’s audience to “catch me outside, how about that?” — or meet her outside to fight. Bregoli delivered the line in a heavy accent, and spelled phonetically, it became “Cash me ousside, howbow dah?”
Bregoli’s mother sought Dr. Phil’s help with her daughter, who was allegedly fighting with her mother and stealing cars. The episode focused on the tense relationship between them. The now-famous line came when the live audience began to turn against Bregoli, laughing. She responded by “challenging” them to step outside, then turning the challenge on her mother.
Central to Bregoli’s personal brand is her willingness to say whatever’s on her mind without regard for politeness or authority. That aspect of her personality is on full display on her social media channels, particularly her Instagram channel, which has nearly 10 million followers. Followers are finding exactly the type of content that they might expect on her channels, and it’s helped her build a large audience around a specific theme.
The viral clip from Dr. Phil came first, but it was the Cash Me Outside meme that gave Bregoli the biggest boost in notability. Several months after the clip was uploaded to YouTube, featuring a picture of Bregoli with the words “Cash me ousside, howbow dah” went viral, millions followed her on social media.
Photo by memecrunch
As is typical with memes, people consuming, remixing, and sharing the content were instrumental in boosting Bregoli to fame. It started with a post on a popular Facebook meme page, but soon others were using Bregoli’s words in new contexts. It traveled quickly throughout social media and a few months after the Dr. Phil episode aired, Bregoli’s face and words were everywhere.
Memes are a popular and vital internet tool. They’re not just pictures and jokes shared on social, but a way for influencers and creators to join and contribute to ongoing conversations in popular culture. Bregoli found a way to make the meme work for her and built an entire presence around it.
Bregoli capitalized on the attention from the spread of the meme (often a short-lived boost) to build up her social channels. She’s on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, and now has millions of followers. Though she may have taken an unconventional route to become an influencer, Bregoli is doing a number of things right when it comes to cultivating, growing, and engaging a following.
Bregoli is also collaborating with big, established influencers to help her grow her following. In a recent Instagram video, she worked with Lele Pons and Hannah Stocking, both massive influencers in their own right. In doing so, Bregoli expanded her reach and got exposure to new audiences. Collaborations lend credibility and depth to influencers who are new to the game and gives them a unique opportunity to grow their channels through cross promotion.
Most importantly, she’s keeping authenticity at the heart of her content. Her brazen personality is front and center in her work. She’s the same outspoken, crass, larger-than-life character we saw in the Cash Me Outside video and meme. She’s giving followers more of what they came for and is branching out into new content types (Instagram videos, photos, YouTube videos, etc.) to keep her brand and voice fresh.
Danielle Bregoli is proof that even people who don’t come to be influencers via the usual methods can create success. In building channels capable of leveraging the attention of a viral meme and staying true to her personal brand, Bregoli went from a brief punchline to a bonafide influencer with millions of followers, brand partnerships, and even a tour.