I love the entrepreneur spirit, doing things yourself the way you want to do it. I have been thinking lately about people who have really made a name for themselves, using social networks and the internet. That’s what so great about the internet, you can reach so many people and it can really help you promote yourself or your company. I have listed 4 people below that have used the internet to help them get to where they are. I’m not sure if you would call off of them entrepreneur’s but they did it by themselves and that in itself is very impressive.
Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em
I have already talked about Soulja Boy and how he does personal branding right, but out of anyone on this list he is probably the most successful. Back in 2005-2006 no one had ever heard of him, he was a nobody. He started recording his own songs at that time and he posted them on SoundClick and created MySpace and YouTube accounts. He was making all his music by himself and posting videos on YouTube. His songs and videos were becoming very popular and he was then discovered by Collipark Records and signed to a record deal. His song “Crank That”, which he recorded before the record deal spent 7 weeks at the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, was Grammy nominated, and is the most downloaded song of all time. Not bad for a 17-year old who decided to put his songs online to see what people would think of them. Right now he is working on his third official album which will be in stores on December 16th.
Fellow Pittsburgher Justine Ezarik or as most of you know her iJustine has really used the internet to build her personal brand and help her to really make a career about it. I first discovered her on Justin.tv where she basically broadcasted her life live on the internet. It was quite interesting and she gained many fans this way. She really broke out when she posted her 300-page iPhone bill video on YouTube; it currently has over 1.4 million views on YouTube. Because of the video’s popularity she was interviewed by many news outlet’s which only added to her popularity. Since then she has appeared on many video podcasts, TV shows, and even commercials. Pretty good for a girl who decided to make funny videos on YouTube and broadcast her life to the world. She currently is working on many projects, but you can still see what she is up to by checking out her blog.
Another musician who has used the internet to catapult her music career in the right direction. I first discovered Kina when her song Gotta Digg was featured on Diggnation. She was a very good singer so I decided to check out her YouTube and found out she was in the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest. To help herself promote her song for the contest she posted a daily video on her blog each day until the contest. Because of this she not only gained many fans, she won the contest! Her song “Message From Your Heart” was played during the Super Bowl and as an artist what more can you ask for? She now has a record deal with Interscope Records and her songs are featured in movies and TV shows.
A few years ago most of you probably did not even know who John Chow was. At that time he was running TheTechZone.com. I had met him at CES back in 2005 and we started talking about starting blogs. Back then blogs were really not that popular but we both started a blog. He decided at start talking about making money online on his blog and how he has made money online. This really struck a chord with people as not that many people were willing to expose their secrets and tell people how to make money using the internet. His blog quickly gained popularity and he is now an authority on making money online, speaking at industry events and letting everyone know about the latest ways to make money online. You can check out what he is up to at his blog.
These are just 4 examples, but I’m sure there are many more people using the internet to help them with whatever their business is. It is such a big platform there is no reason not to use it to your advantage. What I really like about all 4 stories is that these people did it by themselves. No matter if you like them or not you have to give it to them for that, they put in the hard work, they started doing it for nothing, and now are making a living off of it. If someone tells you it’s not possible, here are 4 great examples that say otherwise.