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From Your Feed to Forbes: The Top Creators of 2023

Creator Economy

Forbes has unveiled its 2023 Top Creators list. The second-annual list showcases the 50 highest-earning personalities on social media. Collectively bringing in $700 million, this year’s honourees have a flair for fortune and a far-reaching fandom. Widespread and well-deserved, their influence is opening doors for Creators and birthing a new wave of celebrity. Let’s explore their success and how it has revolutionized advertising, entertainment, and the Creator Economy.

 

A Data-Backed Methodology

Forbes curated its Top Creators List quantitatively. A Creator’s popularity was measured based on their engagement rate, follower count, and Entrepreneurship Score. Here’s how each metric breaks down.

 

Average Engagement

The engagement rate gauges the level of audience interaction with a Creator’s content. Typically, a higher follower count correlates with lower engagement rates. While a 2% engagement rate is deemed high, many Creators on this list have surpassed this benchmark. With an engagement rate of 25.75%, honoree Kai Cenat is one such (exceptional) exception to the rule.

 

Total Followers

Total followers is a Creator’s cumulative follower count. Every Creator on the list has a massive following in their own right. Together, they’ve amassed 2.6 billion followers across platforms. Such substantial reach translates to influence that spans across social media and the globe.

 

Entrepreneurship Score

The Entrepreneurship Score ranks Creators on a scale from 1 to 4 depending on how they earn their incomes.

  • Creators who received a score of 4 built businesses of their own and invested in the businesses of others.
  • Creators who received a score of 2 or 3 produced content with high production value and possessed monetizable expertise.
  • Creators who received a score of 1 had an impressive roster of Brand partnerships but did not venture past their social platforms.

 

The Expansion of the Creator Economy

The impact influencers have had on the media landscape is undeniable. It has been so groundbreaking the Creator Economy is projected to reach $480 billion by 2027. While people with influence predate social media, digital influencers only emerged in the 2010s. Partnering with Creators has become a super strategy for Brands and a superior way to reach audiences in the digital age, especially Gen Z and Millennial consumers. Creators have become a source of strength for Brands, and the names on the Forbes Top Creator List continue to exemplify why.

 

 

Influence That Sparks Mayhem

With the highest engagement rate on social media, Kai Cenat knows how to move a crowd. His influence is so pervasive it traversed digital borders and reached Manhattan. When he announced a Sony Playstation giveaway in Union Square, thousands of fans appeared and caused chaos, inciting a riot that got Kai arrested. The outcome may have been less than ideal, but the results underscore the weight of his influence.

 

 

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A post shared by Kai Cenat (@kaicenat)

 

More Views Than the Super Bowl

Khabane (Khaby) Lame is TikTok’s most-followed Creator with 161.9M followers to date. His selling power is so potent, he charges $750,000 per sponsored post on TikTok and Instagram. He is a Senegalese-Italian influencer who has forged global connections with audiences without uttering a word. What has left many speechless, however, was his ability to rack in more views than a Super Bowl ad. State Farm chose to partner with Khaby during the Super Bowl to reach audiences online rather than on couches. The collaboration was such a triumph, it garnered over 200 million views, surpassing the Super Bowl’s 115 million viewership.

 

@khaby.lame Who needs bubble wrap when you have @Jake from State Farm #learnfromkhaby #ad ♬ original sound – Khabane lame

 

Pivoting Away From Perfection

Although some Creators on this list have had their fair share of scandals, their ability to transform these scandals into success is one of the many reasons they were honored by Forbes. Notable examples of this are brothers Logan and Jake Paul. Logan was notoriously demonetized on YouTube after filming a cadaver in Japan’s Aokigahara forest. Rather than let it kill his career, he used it to catapult into wrestling and greater heights. Jake Paul also had a series of controversies under his belt. Undefeated by them, he signed a multi-year MMA contract with the Professional Fighters League.

 

 

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A post shared by Jake Paul (@jakepaul)

 

Breaking into Business

Creators who went on to launch businesses were given an Entrepreneurship Score of 4. Many of these influencer-led Brands have come to dominate their respective industries, reinforcing the lucrative nature of each Creator’s influence.

 

Olajide Olatunji (also known as KSI) and Logan Paul founded Prime Hydration, which has now become the official sports drink for the UFC, FC Barcelona, and Arsenal.

 

 

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A post shared by PRIME (@drinkprime)

 

Emma Chamberlain blended her personality, social media success, and love of coffee into the successful coffee brand Chamberlain Coffee.

 

 

Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, turned his clout into cash with chains like Feastables snack bars and MrBeast Burgers.

 

 

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A post shared by MrBeast Burger (@mrbeastburger)

 

Huda Kattan’s beauty blog-turned-brand “Huda Beauty” has made her one of the richest women in America.

 

 

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A post shared by POPSUGAR (@popsugar)

 

Mainstays in Mainstream Media

Many Creators on this year’s list have crossed out of social media into mainstream media.

 

Addison Rae Easterling has gone from the TikTok small screen to the Hollywood big screen and is set to star in two feature films.

 

 

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A post shared by Addison Rae (@addisonraee)

 

Madison Beer has elevated from social platforms to sold-out stages, with a second album just released.

 

 

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A post shared by Madison Beer (@madisonbeer)

 

Sisters Charlie and Dixie D’Amelio have branched out into a variety of ventures with the third season of their reality TV show airing on Hulu this fall.

 

 

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A post shared by the dam show (@dameliosonhulu)

 

Alexandra Cooper is the host of Call Her Daddy and Spotify’s leading female podcaster, having inked a $60 million, three-year deal with the platform.

 

 

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A post shared by CALL HER DADDY (@callherdaddy)

 

The Appeal of Authenticity

Alix Earle’s real talk is really relatable—so much so that she was this year’s biggest “It Girl.” Her “Get Ready With Me” videos sparked a social media revolution, attracting adoring fans across the internet. Unfiltered and unafraid to be herself, she shares moments big and small, light and dark. She does not hold back and holds her own every time. Any products featured in her videos tend to go viral and sell out overnight. This is known as the “Alix Earle Effect,” but it is not the key to her success. The key to her success is her authenticity. Alix’s authenticity inspires others, fosters trust among her followers, and is what makes her so relatable. She is a Brand darling and a fan favorite.

 

 

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A post shared by Alix Ashley Earle (@alix_earle)

 

Find Creators for Your Brand

Care for some clout? You’ve come to the right platform. Glewee is an all-in-one influencer marketing platform and home to many of social media’s brightest stars. You can find top talent in your industry, collaborate with them across social media, and drive awareness, sales, and engagement for your Brand. Every Creator on Glewee is pre-vetted and prepared to promote your Brand as and when you want it. Joining Glewee is as easy as creating an account. From there, you can launch unlimited campaigns with as many Creators as you like. Ready to connect, collaborate, and create clout-backed content? Sign up for free here.

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