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Lessons from 15 People Made Famous by Social Media

Filed under Social Media

The new generation of young celebrities are not necessarily singers and actors. Many up and coming rich and famous people have found their way into celebrity status through social media.


On platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Vine, ordinary people are gaining massive followings and weaving their way into the hearts of millions, all while making some money on the side too!

We can learn a lot from people who have turned their social media presence into a lucrative, full time job. These lessons tend to fall into the following themes: branching out to other industries to make more money, the marketing of oneself through their personal branding, and lessons regarding how best to curate content that is going to increase one’s following.

Today we will have a look at 15 famous and rich social media stars, and the individual lessons we can learn from them if we too want to make it big on social media.

1. Kylie Jenner – Branching out: Mobile App

Some of you may argue that Kylie Jenner was rich and famous before she ever got an Instagram account. And this may be true, but there is no denying that in comparison to her sister Kendall, Kylie has been able to propel her celebrity status and wealth by herself through her social media presence. Kylie is Instagram royalty, with over 64 million followers. Kylie has been able to further her fame through her new mobile application which got many more downloads than any of her sisters’ apps; Kim’s included! It is also generating the most amount of revenue out of all the sisters’ apps.


Having content that is compatible with mobile devices is definitely a good way to expand your business. Aside from social media stars, companies are also doing this to cater to their clients who like content and services available on the go. Royal Vegas Mobile is a good example of this. The highly respected online casino is now available on your mobile, and allows users to play the casino games they love with ease and convenience. Their site is compatible not only with Android, Apple and Blackberry devices, but also with older smartphones made by Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson. With many people leading busy lives, it is a smart choice for both Royal Vegas and Kylie Jenner to move towards mobile accessible content and services.

2. Troye Sivan –Branching out: Singing Career

Troye Sivan is fast becoming a household name. Sivan, born in South Africa, became famous as a YouTuber. His YouTube fame has not only helped him land the leading role alongside John Cleese in the Spud movies, but has propelled him into the music industry too! Troye Sivan’s debut album Blue Neighbourhood came out in 2015 and songs such as Wild and Youth have become immensely popular. Branching out into other industries is beneficial not only for increased name recognition, but in terms of making more money too.

3. Bethany Mota – Branching out: Clothing Line


Bethany Mota is a famous YouTuber whose videos focus on make-up, fashion, crafting and DIY projects. Her fame has gotten her many opportunities such as interviewing President Obama and featuring as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. She, like Sivan, has also used her YouTube channel to promote her music. But the most notable and original way in which Mota has expanded her personal brand is through her new clothing line at Aeropostale. Mota teaches us that launching into tangential, but related industries can be incredibly beneficial and lucrative.

4. Tyler Oakley – Branch out: Author, Documentary, Reality TV Star

But the king of branching out and diversifying their presence has to be Tyler Oakley. Oakley, like most social media stars, begun his reign on YouTube with his personal and funny videos. He has since released a book entitled Binge, which chronicles his most embarrassing and hilarious moments. He has also has a documentary, called Snervous about his celebrity life and the personal struggles of coming out as gay. And as if this all was not enough, Oakley also recently starred on The Amazing Race.

5. King Bach – Personal Branding: Have Fun

The Vine Star King Bach is the most followed person on Vine. He has created a personal brand around the aspect of fun, and having fun. In an interview, he credited having a good time as being one of his reasons for success.

6. Freelee the Banana Girl – Personal Branding: Fight for a Cause You Believe in


This famous Australian YouTuber is best known for being a vegan activist. She is very polarising and has no problem telling it like it is and shaming non vegan stars. Freelee teaches us to be courageous and fight for what you believe in.

7. Big Nik – Personal Branding: Do Not be Afraid to be Yourself

Another Vine star, Big Nik, teaches us to always be ourselves and not to let our struggles define us. Big Nik has dwarfism and has had to undergo many surgeries. Despite his disability, he is never afraid to put himself out there and be himself –teaching us that we should too!

8. Essena O’Neil – Personal Branding: Honesty

Esssena was a popular YouTuber and Instagram star who made headlines last year when she denounced social media and edited all of her Instragram photos with more honest captions. She called out social media for being fake and while she has sworn off it for now and can no longer generate money via social media, we do applaud her honesty. O’Neil teaches us that social media is not all what it seems and we must remain firmly rooted in reality.

9. Jenna Marbles – Personal Branding: Be Relatable

Marbles has created a personal brand around her being relatable with her candid, but funny videos. She shows us that being authentic has its perks. Or at least it has worked out well for her with a net worth of $2.5 million.

10. John and Hank Green – Curating Content: Collaborate


John and Hank Green are best known for their YouTube channel, VlogBrothers. But the Green brothers teach us the value in collaborating and investing in others to create the best online content. They produce and fund many other YouTube channels including Crash Course, Sci Show, the Brain Scoop, and Mental Floss among many others. They are also the picture boys for using their fame for good, with the annual project for awesome where they donate lots of money to various causes.

11. MayBaby – Curating Content: Cater to the Masses

You may not want to hear this, but sometimes the trick to curating content can be to cater to the masses. YouTuberMayBaby teaches us a valuable lesson here; her most famous videos with the most likes have to do with her boyfriend and her relationship, showing us that sometimes going with convention can be useful to boost your ratings.

12. PewDiePie – Curating Content: Find Your Niche

PewDiePie is the most well paid YouTuber. He teaches us the lesson that to be successful, you need to find your niche. He makes videos of himself playing and commenting on video games –so maybe you have not heard of him. But within the gaming sub-culture he is incredibly famous and pretty rich too.

13. Aspyn Ovard – Curating Content: Let People into Your Life


Aspyn Ovard is a famous YouTuber. She has become even more famous since she and her husband started daily Vlogging where they let the audience into their life. This more frequently content and an inside look into her life has not only gotten her a lot more money from advertisements, but also a bigger fan following.

14. Franchesca Ramsey – Curating Content: Speak the Truth

This YouTuber and actress has become famous for speaking the truth. A YouTube video of hers that highlighted racial micro-aggressions catapulted her into the spotlight when it got over 11 million views and got national news coverage too. She now writes for Upworthy and hosts the MTV series Decoded.

15. Eva Gutowski – Curating Content: Follow Your Passion

YouTuber, mylifeaseva, Eva Gotwski credits following her passion for her social media fame. She is very famous and earns a decent amount of money through social media, and teaches us that being consistent and creating content around things you love really are the keys to success.

Guest Author: Sandy Jakobs

Sandy Jakobs is a professional writer for

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