How to (Actually) Get Rich as a Teenager Step-By-Step

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from Emma Chamberlain and Benjamin Kickz, it’s that getting rich as a teenager isn’t just a pipe dream.

But let’s be real: not everyone can become a YouTube sensation or the go-to sneaker plug for celebrities overnight. So, how can a mere mortal like you (actually) get rich before turning 20?

This article will ditch the overhyped “get rich quick” schemes and the clichéd “stop buying avocado toast” advice.

Instead, we’ll dig deep into the world of entrepreneurship and leveraging the power of the internet to bring you tried-and-tested strategies that have transformed ordinary teenagers into self-made success stories.

Buckle up—it’s time to make your teen years count.

0. Seriously Embrace Work

I’ll be brutally honest: if you want to join the ranks of disgustingly wealthy teenagers, you’ll need to develop an obsessive, borderline-crazy work ethic that makes even the world’s most successful entrepreneurs seem like lazy sloths.

This journey is so intense that it makes surviving an episode of “Survivor” look like a cakewalk. 

It will demand your time, and effort, and possibly even cost you what’s left of your social life (assuming you had one). You have to embrace this totally—that’s why I call it “step zero” of success.

But rest assured, the glorious rewards of delayed gratification will make you feel like the master of the universe.

Take Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, as an example. He reportedly works 85 to 100 hours a week.

That’s right, while you’re binge-watching Netflix, he’s plotting world domination. And it’s no hyperbole, based on what we’ve seen.

But it’s not just him, either. Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, was known for 12-hour workdays during Amazon’s early years. 

And me? I’m always working, and I don’t mind because I love it.

Becoming the next big thing isn’t for the timid or easily distracted—got it?

To make it happen, you’ll need to kick distractions to the curb with the ferocity of a soccer star scoring a game-winning goal.

Social media, video games, and even hanging out with friends might need to be mercilessly sacrificed on the altar of success.

The goal is to make every minute count and ensure you’re relentlessly working towards your financial goals like a gold-digging prospector from the Wild West.

Take my personal story, for instance. At 23, I’ve built a solo business that does multi-five-figures and leaves me plenty of free time to invest in my other ventures (like this blog, which is sucking up most my time lately).

It all began when I started my first business at 19. While my friends were enjoying their college years, I was knee-deep in business plans, marketing strategies, and setting up websites.

There were times when I questioned whether I was making the right choice.

But today, as I look back at my journey and the progress I’ve made, I can confidently say that embracing a relentless work ethic and rejecting distractions was crucial to my success.

In the end, it’s all about weighing your priorities like a world-class juggler and deciding what you’re willing to sacrifice in the short term to rule the world in the long term.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your fortune.

The path to obscene wealth as a teenager starts with a solid foundation built on blood, sweat, tears, and an unwavering dedication to conquering the world.

1. Build Your Army of Followers on Twitter and LinkedIn

You might be scratching your head, wondering why on earth you should focus on building an audience on Twitter and LinkedIn before diving headfirst into your entrepreneurial endeavors. 

But trust me, amassing a loyal following isn’t just about inflating your ego—it’s a strategic move that can pay off handsomely.

The reason? Building an audience and testing different ideas is the most effective way to validate the vertical you want to grow in.

Think of your followers as your board of directors—they’ll help you gauge the market’s interest, provide valuable feedback, and, eventually, become your first customers.

But don’t just take my word for it; listen to the wisdom of Gary Vaynerchuk, who firmly believes that “the number one variable to your success is your community.”

He advocates for the power of community-building on social media platforms to help drive your business forward.

You can also monetize your audience directly. I promote my LinkedIn online course to my audience both actively and passively and make money while I sleep:

So, how do you build your digital empire? Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Be authentic

Nobody wants to follow a corporate robot. Let your personality shine through, and share valuable content that resonates with your target audience.

According to a Sprout Social study, 86% of consumers prefer brands that are honest, and 83% appreciate brands that are friendly on social media.

This guy I follow on LinkedIn, Jasmin (Jay) Alic, has built up a veritable cult of personality based on his honest-to-a-fault content.

Be like him.

And rest assured—you are a brand—a personal brand.

2. Share genuinely valuable content

Don’t just spam your followers with self-promotion. Create high-quality content that gives readers those “a-ha!” moments that build authority like nobody’s business.

I recommend using Taplio and Tweet Hunter to take your content creation to the next level. It’s pretty hard to screw up using those tools (I would know, I use them).

3. Engage with your audience like your career depends on it (because it does)

It’s called “social” media for a reason.

Respond to comments, like and share your followers’ content, and participate in relevant conversations. Buffer’s research found that 83% of respondents like it when a brand responds to them on social media.

As Jasmin says, “never post and ghost.”

4. Be as consistent as the sunrise

Consistency is everything when it comes to building your following.

Develop a content calendar, and stick to it. Based on my experience, posting on LinkedIn 1x a day and Twitter 2x a day yields the best results.

That said, don’t just phone it in.

If you don’t have time to create a quality post every day, it’s better to wait until you’ve got something great to share. Posting great content 2x weekly is infinitely better than mediocre content every day.

Once you’ve built a respectable following, start experimenting with different business ideas and gather feedback from your audience.

They’re your secret weapon in validating your chosen vertical and catapulting your venture to success.

And the coolest part? Even if your first business fails, you still have the personal brand you’ve developed on social media.

YouTube: A High-Maintenance, High-Reward Option

While Twitter and LinkedIn can be your trusty steeds in social media, there’s no denying the irresistible allure of YouTube.

After all, it’s the second most popular website globally and has created countless teen sensations and self-made millionaires.

However, the road to YouTube stardom is paved with demanding challenges, especially when compared to the more straightforward platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter.

If you’re considering venturing into the realm of video content, be prepared for late nights and endless hours of shooting, editing, and promoting your channel.

But no sweat—there’s a clever hack to help you bypass the painstaking video editing process: outsourcing.

Instead of burning the midnight oil to perfect your video transitions and sound effects, hire a Fiverr pro to work their magic.

Hiring a professional editor lets you focus on what truly matters—moving the ball forward and growing your business.

It’s a strategic move, akin to delegating tasks to a team member in a traditional business setting.

As Tim Ferriss, the author of “The 4-Hour Workweek”, wisely advises, “Delegate [everything] that can be automated or streamlined.”

After all, there’s no point in wasting precious time on tasks that don’t directly contribute to your ultimate goal—becoming a teenage tycoon.

2. Start Small with Freelance Services

As you embark on your quest to build a teenage fortune, remember that even Jeff Bezos had humble beginnings in a garage with nothing but a painted banner to signify its branding.

And while you might be tempted to shoot for the stars right away, sometimes the best approach is to start small and learn the ropes of running a one-person business that can eventually morph into a multi-person empire.

Freelance services are the perfect entry point for budding entrepreneurs.

The benefits? You’ll find an industry you’re passionate about, foster an independent mindset, and learn what it takes to be your own boss, with nothing but your own motivation and unrelenting drive propelling you toward success.

It’s like this: when creating a company, you’re baking a cake.

You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion. Starting small with freelance services allows you to gradually acquire and fine-tune the necessary ingredients to build a thriving business.

Ready to take the plunge? Here are a few tips to help you dive into the world of freelancing:

1. Identify your niche

If you created a LinkedIn/Twitter and started posting (like I recommended above), you’ll already have a lead on where you want to do work.

I started freelancing with content writing. While I had an inkling that it was the right direction for me, being involved with the content marketing community on LinkedIn sealed it for me.

2. Build a portfolio

Create a portfolio showcasing your skills and previous work.

This will be your calling card when approaching potential clients. Upwork’s guide on creating a winning freelance portfolio can be an excellent starting point.

3. Network relentlessly

Leverage your social media presence to the max to grow your network. You should be out there on the front lines, promoting your services like nobody’s business.

I continue to do this today and will forever. And I have no clue where I’d be without LinkedIn and Twitter.

See why I emphasize that so much?

4. Master cold outeach

To expand your client base and grow your freelance services, learning and mastering cold outreach is crucial.

Sure, you can use LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with potential clients, but let’s face it —most people prefer business proposals and inquiries to land in their email inbox versus being harassed on social media.

Enter, your new best friend in the world of cold email campaigns. This nifty tool helps you find email addresses associated with any domain, so you can effortlessly reach out to prospects en masse.

I used it to secure over half of my first clients, and I’ll use it again if I ever need to send cold email campaigns.

But with great power comes great responsibility; ensure you personalize your messages to avoid getting labeled as a spammer.

Here are a few tips for crafting an effective cold outreach campaign:

  • Do your research: Take the time to learn about your prospects and their needs. This will not only help you tailor your pitch but also show that you genuinely care about their success.
  • Craft a compelling subject line: Your subject line is your first (and possibly only) chance to grab your prospect’s attention. Keep it short, intriguing, and relevant.
  • Personalize your message: A personalized email is far more likely to generate a response than a generic, mass-produced message. Address your prospect by name, mention their company or a recent accomplishment, and explain how your services can address their specific pain points.
  • Follow up, but don’t be pushy: If you don’t hear back after your initial email, it’s perfectly acceptable to follow up once or twice. However, don’t become overly aggressive or demanding; nobody likes a pushy salesperson.

Remember, as you reach out to new prospects, always strive to provide value and maintain a genuine desire to help them succeed. Any other way, and they’ll see right through it.

3. Scale From Freelancer to Agency

You’ve honed your skills, built a strong client base, and know how to leverage cold outreach even more. Now it’s time to level up and transform your one-person operation into a thriving agency.

Scaling your business might seem daunting. But rest assured, if you can make it this far, you can do the rest.

Building an agency around the service you’re already proficient in is the logical next step, and a pretty reliable way to multi-five-figure passive income once you’ve got it humming along on its own.

After all, this is pretty much exactly what my friend Ben Wise did with Storyd—his LinkedIn ghostwriting agency.

He was a solo LinkedIn ghostwriter but found other talented wordsmiths to help him scale his brand into a top-quality agency.

While he still has to spend some time keeping the ship running smoothly, his employees are doing most of the work these days.

1. Define your service offerings

As an agency, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of the services you provide and the specific problems you solve for your clients.

This will not only help you attract the right customers but also enable you to build a team of specialists tailored to your agency’s unique offerings.

Again, take inspiration from Ben’s agency. He creates story-driven content for founders and executives to build authority with on LinkedIn.

2. Build a winning team

Your agency is only as strong as the people behind it. Start by identifying the roles and skill sets needed to deliver your services effectively.

Then, recruit top talent that shares your vision and values. As you build your team, prioritize company culture and employee satisfaction.

Richard Branson’s famous quote comes to mind: “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

3. Establish systems and processes

Efficient systems and processes are the backbone of any successful agency.

Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for project management, client communication, billing, and more. You can then use tools like Loom and ScribeHow to easily teach them to the employees/freelancers you onboard.

This will ensure consistency, streamline operations, and ultimately, contribute to client satisfaction.

Consider using tools like Asana or Trello for project management and QuickBooks for accounting, too.

4. Invest in marketing and business development

To scale your agency, you’ll need to attract new clients and retain existing ones.

Develop a multi-faceted marketing strategy that includes content marketing, social media, email campaigns, and networking events.

Additionally, don’t underestimate the power of referrals and testimonials; as Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report states, “83% of respondents completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family.”

That’s why I heavily recommend building an affiliate/referral program, which I’ll breakdown in the next section.

5. Continuously evaluate and refine your strategy

As your agency grows, it’s essential to assess your performance and make adjustments as needed regularly. Analyze your financials, track key performance indicators (KPIs), and solicit client feedback to identify areas for improvement.

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, famously said, “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”

Embrace this philosophy and be open to change as you scale your agency. Be a moving target or get left behind—it’s that simple.

6. Foster a culture of innovation and growth

As the leader of your agency, it’s crucial to promote a culture that values innovation, learning, and personal growth.

Encourage your team to stay current with industry trends, develop new skills, and think creatively.

This will not only boost employee satisfaction but also ensure your agency remains at the forefront of your industry.

Take a cue from Google’s “20% time” policy, which allows employees to dedicate a portion of their work hours to passion projects and innovative ideas.

You don’t want employees who lack in creativity and ambition, or you’ll be destined to regress to boredom and mediocrity.

7. Collaborate with strategic partners

Forming strategic partnerships with complementary businesses can help you expand your service offerings, tap into new markets, and increase your agency’s credibility.

Look for partners who share your values, have a strong track record, and offer services that complement yours.

As Steve Jobs once said, “Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.”

Scaling your freelance business into a successful agency may be challenging, but with determination, careful planning, and a commitment to excellence, you’ll soon find yourself at the helm of a thriving enterprise.

Remember, as a future founder, your goal is not only to grow your business but also to create a lasting impact in your industry. Embrace the journey and continue to aim for the stars – your empire awaits.

Bonus: Launching an Affiliate Program

Once your agency’s humming along without skipping the beat, the only thing standing between you and an infinite amount of money is more clients.

And one of the most effective ways of doing that? Rewarding folks for sending prospects your way.

Let’s face it, word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful force, and who wouldn’t want a small army of influencers, peers, and enthusiastic supporters singing their agency’s praises?

By creating an affiliate program for your agency, you’ll tap into the power of these connections and incentivize them to bring clients to your doorstep.

The secret sauce? Generous commissions, of course.

But how do you create an affiliate program that’s effective, scalable, and rewarding for all parties involved?

Follow these steps, and you’ll soon have your very own client-generating machine, fueled by the irresistible combination of ambition and cold, hard cash.

1. Define your commission structure

Before you can lure affiliates with the promise of generous rewards, you’ll need to determine your commission structure.

Will you offer a flat fee per referral, a percentage of the project’s revenue, or a combination of the two?

Consider your profit margins and strike a balance that’s attractive to affiliates while still financially sustainable for your agency. Check out some successful affiliate programs for inspiration.

2. Set clear terms and conditions

A well-defined set of terms and conditions is essential for keeping your affiliate program transparent and manageable.

Outline the responsibilities of both parties, payment terms, promotional guidelines, and any other rules or restrictions that apply.

As Jeff Bezos emphasizes, effective communication is key to business efficiency. Don’t leave any room for confusion or misinterpretation.

3. Choose an affiliate management platform

Managing your affiliate program won’t be a hassle as long as you’re leveraging the right software stack.

Use an affiliate management platform like Post Affiliate Pro or PartnerStack to streamline tracking, reporting, and commission payouts.

Prepacked services like these save you time, reduce errors, and let you focus on growing your agency.

4. Recruit your affiliates

Now comes the fun part – assembling your team of affiliates! Reach out to influencers, industry peers, and existing clients who might be interested in promoting your agency.

Remember, according to Nielsen, 83% of people trust recommendations from friends and family. Leverage your network and watch your client base grow.

5. Monitor and optimize your program

While an agency affiliate program isn’t nearly demanding as one for a product, regularly review your affiliate program’s performance, identify areas for improvement, and make adjustments as needed.

This may involve tweaking your commission structure, refining your marketing materials, or curating who you invite into your program more carefully. Like Steve Jobs said, “It’s not about being right. It’s about getting it right.”

With a well-structured affiliate program in place, you’ll harness the power of your network to drive new clients to your agency.

Incentivize your affiliates with generous commissions, and watch as your empire expands before your very eyes.

After all, who can resist the tantalizing combination of ambition, camaraderie, and cold, hard cash?

I Leave the Rest to You

That’s it—a comprehensive roadmap to conquering the world of entrepreneurship and achieving teenage (or not-so-teenage) riches beyond your wildest dreams.

From embracing a borderline insane work ethic to assembling an army of affiliates and even mastering the dark arts of client retention, we’ve covered it all.

Now it’s time to take these not-so-secret nuggets of wisdom, get out there, and build your empire.

Remember, as you embark on this wild rollercoaster ride of self-made success, don’t forget to keep a healthy dose of sarcasm, wit, and humor in your back pocket. After all, when the going gets tough, laughter is the best medicine (or so they say).

So, go forth and conquer, dear aspiring mogul.

Whether you’re a teenager, a 21-year-old prodigy, or someone who’s just decided to plunge into the entrepreneurial realm, let your passion, determination, and unyielding ambition be your guide.

And when you finally make it to the top, don’t forget to send us a postcard—I’ll be waiting with bated breath and a healthy dose of snark.

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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