Social media is helping to create a new class of young influential entrepreneurs that spend $44 billion a year on themselves, according to a recent study by Millennial Marketing.
A growing number of Generation Z — a 61 million strong age group born after 1996 — are being propelled to stardom via the Internet, and securing their financial future in the process. Audacious and social media-savvy, the age cohort behind millennials – the group marketers are currently enamored of – wield the sort of influence that in some cases can earn them seven figures and above.
Take 6-year old social media star Ryan, who according to Forbes reaped $11 million last year reviewing toys, and in the process became Forbes sixth-highest paid YouTuber. He boasts of over 13 million followers and has more than 21.1 billion views.
Ryan's success is emblematic of a digital-savvy generation that's been able to turn social media into a goldmine. For Luka Sabbat, a 20-year old actor and entrepreneur, it's "less about leveraging social media, but being able to leverage and finesse life as a whole," he told CNBC in a recent email.
Sabbat ditched acting school and after landing a coveted internship, built a network that helped him ease into fashion. Sabbat now stars in ABC's "Grown-ish," has modeled for brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, and boasts more than a million followers on Instagram.
"Everything I do is to be able to change the next generation's culture," Sabbat wrote. "I'm trying to push the envelope."