5 Influencers To Keep on Your Radar This Year

There are always people, in any group, who manage to hold the attention of a crowd for longer than others. People who make heads turn, eyes stare, and people talk, for any reason in the world. When you’re able to hold someones attention with something you’ve created, they are actively consuming your content. Before the rise of social media, we usually only saw these attention grabbers in magazines, or on our T.V.’s, and always in the style of someone else’s narrative. Social media gave its users the ability to create their own content in their own way, and market themselves on the Internet.

It wasn’t long before platforms allowed people that weren’t considered celebrities to make a name for themselves online. This became a hustler’s field, with everyone looking for the next way to go viral online. You no longer needed to become an actor or musician, or go through an agency to have your face plastered to the masses. All you needed to do was hit upload or send, and figure out how to get people to look.

Influencing became legitimate when advertisers and marketers realised that the attention of their consumers was shifting to our digital devices. Advertisers started offering compensation to users who had high levels of attention, and were able to influence the interests of their audiences. Thus, the term “Social Media Influencer” was born. There’s a really great series on Cameron Dallas and his rise to social media fame that’s worth checking out if you have interest in the subject.

Now we’re in 2020, and the game has changed drastically. Not only have these influencers made a name for themselves, many of them have achieved financial goals beyond most of our wildest dreams, solely through their online work. So, who are these people, and what do they do?

David Dobrik

Dobrik on America’s Most Musical Family in 2019, image courtesy of Wikipedia [1]

David Dobrik first became well known on social media application Vine in 2013 before he later created a YouTube channel focusing on comedy sketches and pranks, shortly followed by vlogging [2]. At the time of writing, Dobrik holds 15.8 million subscribers on his YouTube channel alone [3], his estimated net worth is a staggering $7 million [4], and to kick off 2020, he created “David’s Disposal”, an editing app that allows users to overlay their photos with retro filters inspired by David’s secondary Instagram account [5]. Every year gets bigger for David Dobrik!

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk, Internet Week 2015 in New York May 19, 2015. Insider Images/Andrew Kelly (UNITED STATES) [6]

While some would argue that Gary Vaynerchuk title is a business man, it’s hard to deny that Vaynerchuk (known to his fans as Gary Vee) holds immense power across multiple social media platforms. His presence on social media dates all the way back to 2006, when he started making daily videos on YouTube categorised as WineLibrarayTV [7]. In 2019, for his 44th birthday, Gary Vee released an online deck titled “How To Create 64 Pieces of Content a Day” [8], giving readers an opportunity to see how he’s managed to create daily content across multiple platforms. His current net worth is estimated at $160 million [9], and his latest project is YummyText, a text-to-door gourmet food delivery service [10].

Charli D’amelio

Tik Tok star Charli D’amelio [11]

Charli D’amelio is taking the world by storm and proving the power of social media to all of us. In just June 2019, D’amelio started posting videos on social media app Tik Tok, where she choreographed her own dances, created montages, and lip-sync videos [12]. At the time of writing, Charli has already reached a whopping 25 million followers on her Tik Tok page [13], leading her on her wildest dreams. D’amelio has now danced alongside Jennifer Lopez [14], and in January 2020, her entire family signed with talent agency UTA [15]. It’s sure that we can expect to see a lot more of Charli in the near future!

Shane Dawson

YouTube Star Shane Dawson (2017) [16]

Shane Dawson rose to internet stardom when he started posting on YouTube in 2008, and he still holds immense success today [17]. Over the years, Shane has expanded his means of income to things like writing books, making movies, and working on his podcast [18]. He currently has 23.2 million YouTube subscribers [19], and at the time of writing, Shane’s net worth is estimated to be $12 million [20]. It seems like we’ll be seeing a lot more from Shane Dawson for many years to come!

Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner (2019) [21]

Kylie Jenner was named the Most Valuable Instagram Celebrity in 2018, with a sponsored post on her page costing $1 million on average [22]. From smartphone apps to lip kits, Kylie owns the social media game, currently holding 5th place for the most followed Instagram account of all time with over 160 million followers [23]. One of her latest projects to look out for is Kylie Skin by Kylie Jenner, where she’ll be dropping a Mini 3 Piece Set on February 11th, 2020 [24]. Kylie’s current estimated net worth is $1 billion, making her the world’s youngest self-made billionaire ever [25].

In Conclusion

While it may seem laughable to catch someone taking a public bathroom mirror selfie, there’s no denying that people can make a substantial living from having an online following alone. It’s also clear that while gaining the initial following may be tricky, once a fan base is in place, influencers can create and make an income off of things like writing books, making movies, or launching products in their own name. If you’re looking for the personal branding pros of 2020, these five creators are sure to catch your digital attention, keep it, and likely monetise it, too.

[1] Photo retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Dobrik
[2] “Who is David Dobrik? How a Vine Star Became YouTube’s Biggest Blogger” Dexerto.com
[3] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmh5gdwCx6lN7gEC20leNVA
[4] “David Dobrik’s Networth in 2019” Wealthygorilla.com
[5] “David Dobrik: YouTube Star’s Net Worth and Career Rise to Stardom” Businessinsider.com
[6] Photo retrieved from https://eximomarketingstrategy.com/is-gary-vee-the-most-dangerous-man-online/
[7] “Gary Vaynerchuk Builds Businesses” Garyvaynerchuk.com
[8] https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/how-to-create-64-pieces-of-content-in-a-day/
[9] “Gary Vaynerchuk Net Worth and How He Built His Fortune” Capitalism.com
[10] “Announcing YummyText.com!” Garyvaynerchuk.com
[11] Photo retrieved from https://www.distractify.com/p/tiktok-charli-damelio
[12] “Charli D’amelio – Bio, Facts, Family” Famousbirthdays.com
[13] https://www.tiktok.com/@charlidamelio
[14] “Tik Tok Star Charli D’amelio on Her ‘Dream Come True’ Dance with Jennifer Lopez (Exclusive)” Etonline.com
[15] “Tik Tok Stars Charli and Dixie D’amelio Sign with UTA (Exclusive)” Hollywoodreporter.com
[16] Photo retrieved from https://twitter.com/shanedawson/status/880979806916980736
[17] “After Unlocking the Key to Longevity, Shane Dawson is Helping Fellow YouTube OG’s do the Same” Tubefilter.com
[18] “Shane Dawson, The most Popular, Successful, Comedian You’ve Never Heard Of” Qz.com
[19] https://www.youtube.com/user/shane
[20] “Shane Dawson’s Net Worth in 2020” Wealthygorilla.com
[21] Photo retrieved from https://finance.yahoo.com/news/kylie-jenner-may-1-million-160100128.html
[22] “Kylie Jenner’s Social Media Posts Worth $1 Million Each” People.com
[23] “Top 100 Instagram Business Accounts Sorted By Followers” Socialblade.com
[24] “Kylie Skin by Kylie Jenner” Kylieskin.com
[25] “Kylie Jenner” Forbes.com

Facebook: Hey Facebook! Here are five social media influencers that you need to keep an eye on throughout 2020. If you don’t already know them, you surely will! Check it out here: http://bit.ly/2tLxuLB

Twitter: These are the Five Social Media Influencers To Keep On Your Radar This Year, check it out! http://bit.ly/2tLxuLB

Becoming a Social Media Influencer in 2020


Influencing is one of my jobs.

Trust me, it’s never a job title I thought that I would have. I mean, what makes me so special, anyway? When I started to gain traction through my online social media, I realised that for some reason, in some way, I was influencing others. People cared about what I was talking about online, and they wanted to spend their money on products that I was trying. They were excited to have any interaction with me, but… why? What about the selfies that I was posting were any different from the millions of selfies that get uploaded by 21 year olds like me everyday? I wanted to know what made me different. So, over the last two years of my influencing career, I broke down exactly what was making me successful in the online industry. 😁

Quality of Post (not photo)

Let me start by saying that I’m no professional photographer. I’ve never taken a class in Photoshop, and I don’t have financial access to the latest and greatest equipment. It turns out that all you really need to become a social media influencer, is a smartphone, and access to the Internet. Don’t get me wrong, that selfie you took on a DSLR camera last summer still looks AMAZING in your feed, But, what kind of value is your audience getting from seeing your post. Is it helpful, inspiring, or informative? For example, If your post is questioning authority, smug your face up! This draws people into reading on “why the smug face?” and brings quality to your post. Last year I used this strategy myself to draw attention to my Instagram page with a very “done-with-life” look on my face. The caption explaining my situation gave this post REALLY good engagement. That engagement then propelled people to share my story!


Engagement Makes Impact

I’m lucky enough to have been born in 1998, making me one of the oldest “GenZs”. Here lies a rare group of adults working in this field who actually understand what drove us to spend our first dollars online when we were 13 years old. Before I say anything else, I want to tell you about a time when I was younger and eager to be making my FIRST online purchase. There were so many options, I had an entire eBay wishlist that I had been curating for months. But, I used social media a lot, and my favourite app at the time was Tumblr. Another user had more followers than me, but she still answered my messages, and it gave me reason to further engage with her posts. I wanted to talk to her more! So, when she posted one day that she had just finished opening her online Etsy store, you can bet that my first online purchase was a homemade bracelet. BUT IT WAS FROM HER. To me, it was priceless.

Now, you may be thinking “Great story about the first girl that noticed you, Adam, but what about when our audience isn’t so eager and impulsive to buy from us adults?”, in which case my question to you is simply this; How’s the value that you’re giving your audience? Many social media users will be quick to a post-gym selfie with the hashtag “#gains💪” instead of writing a caption where they took the opportunity to discuss something that really motivated them, thus encouraging their readers to become motivated. That caption will inevitably start discussions where you’ll have the opportunity to be more transparent with your readers. Over time you’ll have regulars who’ll become your supporters on AND offline. That’s what makes personal branding today more important than it has ever been before.

The Value of Trust

What’s the difference between a commercial that you see on TV and a sponsored advertisement that you scroll by on Instagram? Well, first of all, it’s 2020, and most of us are making the major switch from cable TV to commercial free streaming services such as Netflix or Crave, meaning the number of people consuming (let alone being influenced by) commercial advertisements is dropping rapidly. You can read more about the inevitable shift from pay TV subscriptions to on demand streaming options here. [3]

With that being said, social media has very quickly become a way for us to easily consume information, whether it be from our friends, family, or members of the media that we trust. Think about it; if a really good friend posts about this awesome new product, you’re probably more likely to try it based on that referral alone, rather than basing your buying decisions solely on what the brand has managed to advertise to you. We trust who we know, and we’re influenced by who we trust. We also tend to want to support those that we feel connected to, so if your friend lands a micro-influencer campaign [4], not only are you more likely to remember the advertisement as it relates to someone that you personally know, you’ll also likely be more willing to try the product out, in support of your friend. This is great news for advertisers, and it’s why so many brands are spending more and more money on influencer marketing. [5] It’s why being a social media influencer in 2020 is giving people the financial freedom to work for themselves, online, building the reputation of their own personal brand.


Over the course of writing these blogs, I’d like to dive deeper into what makes a great online influencer, how to gauge the monetary value of an influencers work, and what it means to grow your own personal brand online. Thanks to influencer marketing, I’ve made friends around the world, built lasting connections with well known brands and organisations, joined in on trips and experiences that I otherwise never would have had the opportunity to, and even managed to make my own money along the way. The best part? It’s only 2020, and I have my whole life ahead of me.

An advertisement that I participated in for an LGBT Dating App called “Her”

[1] Image derived from https://blog.praxiscenterforaesthetics.com/this-artist-built-a-career-through-social-media/
[2] Image derived from http://www.instagram.com/adam.mcmaster
[3] “Netflix Usage Surpassed Cable and Satellite TV for the First Time in 2018” https://bgr.com/2019/01/31/netflix-vs-cable-2018-statistics/
[4] “What are Micro-Influencers and Why Are They so Effective?” https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/power-of-micro-influencers
[5] “Influencer Marketing: State of the Social Media Influencer Market in 2020” https://www.businessinsider.com/influencer-marketing-report

Facebook: Have you ever thought about becoming a Social Media Influencer? I wrote a blog post about my journey in the field, and if you’re thinking of joining me, this might be a good place to start! http://bit.ly/2O9T5UH

Twitter: Thinking about joining the Social Media Influencer Market? The time is now. http://bit.ly/2O9T5UH