Aspiring influencers can learn from the success of social media’s brightest stars. If you’re hoping to turn your social media influence into income, read on for a heaping dose of inspiration from five influencers who have put their unique talents on display to build sizeable audiences and generate money. As you’ll see, this dynamic group is quite different than the rest, as their original ideas have been catalysts for their success.
Joanne the Scammer
Joanne the Scammer is a web character created by Branden Miller. Miller’s character first gained popularity on Twitter and Instagram. According to Joanne, she is a “glamorous caucasian woman.” Or, as Teen Vogue writes, Joanne is “a self-proclaimed messy b*tch who lives for the drama.”
So, where did Joanne come from? Miller thought that he was white for the majority of his life. At 17 years old, a family friend informed him that he was actually adopted. It turns out, his biological father is black and his biological mother is Puerto Rican. Following this culture crisis, Miller began dressing in drag during his teenage years, which ultimately led him to Joanne. Miller’s alter ego has garnered the attention of A-listers like Amber Rose, Ariana Grande, and Katy Perry, and the social media mogul was invited to the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards thanks to Joanne’s star power. Moral of the story: Being different can help you stand out on social media.
Help Helen Smash
Laura Clery has mastered social media thanks to her Help Helen Smash Snapchat series. Clery performs as various members of an imaginary family employing accents and utilizing filters as props. In fact, Clery’s most popular character, Helen Horbath, is known for her signature fat chin filter.
The Snapchat series has propelled Clery into the entertainment world, as she now stars in her own show, The Laura Clery Project, on Comedy Central. Since the television network was unable to legally use Snapchat filters when filming, they enlisted the help of a team of CGI experts to develop Clery’s on-screen characters. Furthermore, the social media starlet is in talks with Canvas Media about producing a show around another one of her characters, “Pamela Pupkin.” The bottom line: Your acting skills can pay off on social media.
BatDad, a character played by Blake Wilson, who initially exploded onto the social media scene through Vine. The raspy-voiced personality is reminiscent of the fictional superhero he’s named after, and tells jokes to his son and three daughters that entertain audiences around the world. The direct contrast between the comedic BatDad and the ultra-serious Batman makes Wilson’s character the perfect parody.
The father-turned-social media star was able to create an entire persona and build a robust social media following with a $10 mask and a solid sense of humor. BatDad continues to post regularly on Facebook where he boasts more than 7 million followers. Final word: A big budget isn’t necessary for social media stardom.
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Chad LeBaron created a social media empire thanks to his meme-worthy, quirky characters. Cheb, LeBaron’s most-developed character, represents a mishmash of cultures. He is a stereotypical nerd of the late 1990s/early 2000’s living in the present. In his “How to” video series, Cherdleys uses Cheb to take his audience on a cringeworthy, satirical journey as the uber-nerd learns real-world skills in hopes of becoming cool.
Cherdleys’ others characters like “Chet,” a typical frat guy, and “Dad,” a completely out-of-touch father figure, further entertain his audience. The influencer has mastered a unique brand of comedy that blends both scripted and unscripted scenes into a smash hit. The takeaway for aspiring influencers is that multiple personas can play a part in your social media strategy.
These five friends turned a trick shot with a basketball into a major income stream following the release of their first YouTube video in 2009. Now, the Dude Perfect team is a sports entertainment company with an e-commerce store and a successful television series.
The group built their following courtesy of minimal athletic talent that translated well into trick shots, competitions, and challenges. The crew now has more than 50 million followers across several platforms. By the way, the aforementioned video that launched their career, has more than 24 million views. Tip for influencers: You don’t have to go at it alone.
Finding Social Media Inspiration
Regardless of the size of your audience, everyone starts from scratch on social media. With a combination of creativity and consistency, you can achieve social media success that translates into real income. As the influencers on this list illustrated, exercising your creative juices can reap rewards. Happy creating!