The well-trodden path of attending school, a university, and then finding a job is one that many people believe is the best path to success. The monetization of talents such as writing, singing, and dancing may seem far fetched, especially for teenagers who may just be starting.
However, teenage entrepreneurship is quickly becoming a hot topic. Thanks to social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, users can now instantly promote their ventures to mass audiences.
The following five teenagers are all on a path to entrepreneurship and have some top tips for anyone looking to follow in their footsteps.
1. Milly (millydoesmakeup_)
With 119K followers on Instagram and 2.05K subscribers on YouTube, 15-year-old, aspiring makeup artist, Milly, has quite the social media presence.
Milly began learning to apply makeup by watching makeup videos online and shortly after decided to launch her makeup account ‘millydoesmakeup_’. The account features makeup and skincare tutorials, but also competitions such as international giveaways. Initially starting her makeup account on Instagram two years ago, Milly recently expanded to include YouTube videos to promote her content further. “I’ve started a YouTube channel where I can post makeup tutorials whilst speaking, or possibly also talk about my life on there.” Milly explains that she aims to allow her followers to “get to know her more.”
“Just go for it! It’s very scary, but I promise it’s amazing. Also, push yourself and never give up!” Milly advises those who want to follow in her footsteps,” Lastly, have fun!”
2. Mel Torrefranca
17-year-old Mel is a YouTuber, writer, and editor for the Lost Island Press. Self-publishing her first novel at 13, Mel has recently released the book Leaving Wishville.
Mel promotes her work through a range of mediums – releasing trailers for her novel via YouTube, hosting giveaway competitions on her Instagram page, and posting artwork of her characters. “Social media has been especially valuable for me,” Mel reveals, "especially Instagram."
Mel credits Instagram for giving her valuable networking opportunities within global writing communities and gaining like-minded author friends. “ They have supported my projects, given me constructive criticism on my work, held me accountable to my goals, and even helped with book promotion,” Mel says.
“Had I not met these teen writers, I doubt I would have had the motivation to finish and publish my debut novel,” she adds.
“My biggest advice to teens interested in publishing a book is to join an online writing community, whether that be Instagram, Twitter, or even a community blog,” Mel says. “It will not only aid in marketing but also in forming lasting friendships with like-minded people.”
3. Evan (evan.jb_visuals)
15-year-old Evan, an Ohio based self-taught photographer, also relies on Instagram as a platform for his venture. “I wanted to gain recognition for my work, and I wanted to inspire others that are aspiring photographers,” Evan says. “I also use Facebook, but mainly for close friends and family.”
Evan began taking photographs on his iPhone, and it quickly became a passion – “I upgraded to a real camera and learned how to use editing software,” he says. Photography additionally became a tool for positivity in other areas of Evan’s life, as he reveals that it was his “coping mechanism for my depression and anxiety.”
When asked if he had any advice for budding photographers, Evan said, “To remember to keep their options open and to not be so stuck on something that they miss out on amazing opportunities.”
4. Kanticha Chumma
Although no longer a teenager herself, Ticha started her career at an early age. Winning season 2 of The Face Thailand in 2016 was a turning point, rocketing her to fame on Instagram. Now a model, actress, and social media influencer, Ticha has amassed 1.2 million followers on Instagram and 666.6K fans on TikTok.
Maintaining her audience on social media required strict marketing from Ticha. "I had to basically post every single day to keep the engagement going," she says. Her success is hardly a surprise as she appears to be a ruthless self-critic. "I'm not a person to do one TikTok video, and I know it would be good. I would do like 30-40 videos! I will just keep repeating until I find the best, perfect one that I like," Ticha says, revealing that she even marks drafts of videos before uploading.
"Do a bit of what makes your soul happy!" Ticha added when asked what she advises for readers looking to follow in her footsteps. "Enjoy the ride – don't just expect that the result has to be perfect all the time, sometimes just enjoy what you do."
5. Catherine (cc_snaps)
17-year-old teen photographer Catherine also utilizes Instagram as a marketing platform for her work. "My friends embraced my idea of sharing on Instagram with nothing but love and support, encouraging me to pursue this thought," she recounts of first opening her photography account. "At that point, I never imagined it becoming anything more than simply a way to share my passion."
The inspiration for the account's creation also occurred within the company of Catherine's friends. "My friends came over during summer, and I mentioned that I had just purchased my first camera. We ended up taking so many photos right in my backyard, making it the first time I shot with my camera," Catherine says. "I was really proud of how they turned out and thought no better way to them than online."
Entirely self-taught, Catherine stumbled across her camera in a pawn shop nearly two summers ago. Now, she monetizes her talent through photoshoots, offering packages including portrait and wedding photography. "I do take pictures as a charitable endeavor in some situations," she adds.
"Be unique! There are many photographers out there, so do something that sets you apart and makes you different from the rest!" Catherine advises aspiring photographers. "All it takes is a camera from a pawn shop and some passion to start now and follow your dreams."
Teens are monetizing their talents and embarking on inspirational journeys towards entrepreneurship on a worldwide scale. The use of social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok facilitates an enormous marketing platform, which is ideal for teens who already have extensive knowledge of the networks.
With no better time to start than now, what are you waiting for?