How Charli D’Amelio turned TikTok fame into a family enterprise that’s making millions of dollars

Charli D’Amelio, Dixie D’Amelio, Heidi D’Amelio, and Marc D’Amelio attend the 9th Annual NFL Honors at Adrienne Arsht Center on February 01, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the business of influencers, creators, and social-media platforms. Sign up for the newsletter here.

In this week’s edition:

Inside the D’Amelio family’s multimillion-dollar business

Why TikTok music marketers are turning to hydraulic press and DIY slime videos to promote songs

YouTube star MrBeast on why he’d pay $10,000 for the best possible thumbnail

Instagram has quietly paused two bonus programs that paid creators

And more, including how influencer Brandon Turner makes millions selling real-estate investing dreams, and how a YouTuber has made over $1 million in ad revenue.

One more thing: Insider’s creator economy team is hiring! We are looking for a journalist to join our team to cover the business of social media and the rise of the creator economy. Read more and apply to the fellowship, here.

Send tips to or DM me on Twitter at @arperelli.

The D’Amelio family.

How TikTok star Charli D’Amelio and her family built a multimillion-dollar business

In just two years, the D’Amelio family has gone from run-of-the-mill suburban household to one of the most famous families in the world. And they’ve capitalized on that fame, turning it into a multimillion-dollar business empire.

Their enterprise includes media deals, brand partnerships, and investments, and they’ve got a team of employees making sure it all runs smoothly.

To understand their sprawling operation, we mapped out their various revenue streams, from a line of ring lights to Dixie’s music, and the people making it all possible.

Here’s a preview of our breakdown of D’Amelio Family Enterprises:

As influencers, the family’s biggest revenue source is brand deals: They have several endorsement deals, investments, partnerships, and a licensing deal.

The D’Amelios can be found in all corners of the media world: The family started on TikTok, but have extended to television, podcasting, animation, and more.

The family now runs a multi-person, multimillion-dollar company: They have amassed a lineup to rival that of any top Hollywood talent, including an agent, attorney, assistant, and public relations team.

Check out the interactive story, which details each of the family’s deals and the team behind them.

Forget dance challenges. TikTok music marketers are getting creative.

Music marketers often hire creators to make dances or memes that help a song trend on TikTok – but not all TikTok music campaigns feature influencers.

Dan Whateley dug into why record labels are teaming up with general-interest accounts to put songs in their background of videos – you know, those oddly addicting clips of a rug being cleaned, slime being stretched, or coffee being poured over iced.

Last month, for example, the TikTok account “Hydraulic Press Channel” uploaded a video showing a stack of money being crushed into oblivion. In the background of the video, you can hear the song “Loretta” by Ginger Root. That was all the marketing magic of agency Songfluencer.

Read more about why music marketers are paying these accounts to promote songs, here.

Here’s what else you need to know this week:

What’s trending

BiggerPockets’ Brandon Turner makes millions selling real-estate investing dreams on Instagram.

Creator earnings

How a YouTuber has made over $850,000 in ad revenue so far in 2021.

Instagram has been building a suite of money-making tools for creators. Here are 9 features it’s testing or has begun rolling out.

A Twitch channel known for “Dungeons and Dragons” content made over $9 million in the last two years.

Market moves

Comedy YouTube channel Smosh has hired its first CEO, media veteran Daniel Tibbets.

YouTube star MrBeast breaks down how he creates his eye-catching thumbnails

YouTube star MrBeast, also known as Jimmy Donaldson, is one of the platform’s top creators with over 70 million subscribers and more than a dozen videos with over 100 million views.

One key part of his strategy? Thumbnails, which he believes can make or break a video.

He recently explained his strategy for the images at the creator conference, VidSummit.

Three things determine whether someone will click on a YouTube video, Donaldson said: Topic, title, and thumbnail. And he says thumbnails should be brightly colored, clear, and tested for mobile.

“I don’t care if we spend up to $10,000 making a thumbnail, I just want the best thumbnail possible,” Donaldson said.

Here’s his advice for crafting the that perfect thumbnail.

Young Ezee

Instagram has quietly paused two ‘bonuses’ programs that paid creators

Earlier this year, Instagram started paying creators “bonuses,” or cash rewards for posting content to Instagram (or Facebook).

These don’t last forever, though, and two bonus programs have quietly already been paused.

Sydney Bradley wrote that as of October, bonuses for Badges and IGTV ads have reached their expiration date, and are currently “on pause,” Instagram confirmed to Insider.

“Bonus programs will be seasonal, evolving and expanding over time,” Facebook wrote in a blog announcing the company’s billion-dollar investment.

Read more about the programs that Instagram has paused, here.

Annelise Campbell is the CEO and founder of CFG.

Seeking nominations: Top talent managers for micro influencers

We want to hear from you! Who are the top managers representing and building up the businesses of micro influencers?

Sydney Bradley is seeking these nominations for Insider’s second annual list of the top talent managers for micro influencers and emerging creators.

Please submit your ideas through this form by October 15.

TikTok hashtag of the week:

Every week, we highlight a top trending hashtag on TikTok, according to data provided by Kyra IQ.

This week’s hashtag: #ComingOutDay

Percentage uptick over the last 7 days: 4,160%

The latest viral hashtag is centered around creators talking about their coming out stories and showing support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in honor of National Coming Out Day, which was observed on Monday.

What else we’re reading and watching:

Twitch streamers’ earnings were exposed, and now they are making a meme out of it (Cecilia D’Anastasio, from Wired)

A cannabis brand is using influencers to reach new customers (Kimeko McCoy, from Digiday)

A protest over a college “dating violence incident” went viral on TikTok (Ej Dickson, from Rolling Stone)

Check out the new trailer for the second season of the YouTube Originals show “Instant Influencer”

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And before you go, check out the top trending songs on TikTok this week to add to your playlist. The data was collected by UTA IQ, the research, analytics, and digital strategy division of United Talent Agency.

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