The Million Dollar Mime: How Khaby Lame Became TikTok’s Biggest Star

For Khaby Lame, silence is golden. TikTok’s million-dollar mime fetches $750,000 to feature a product in a TikTok and Instagram post. Lame, who in 2019 was assembling car filters in a factory outside Turin, now has more than 240 million social media followers and has scored lucrative partnerships with Hugo Boss, State Farm, and Middle East bank QNB. This fall, he was featured as a character in Fortnite, the blockbuster multiplayer video game with more than 230 million monthly players.

Creators. Influencers. Streamers. Vloggers. Whatever you call them, these powerful social media personalities are calling the shots in entertainment and advertising.

This year, the 50 honorees on our second annual Forbes Top Creator list harnessed their combined 2.6 billion followers to haul in an estimated $700 million in earnings. That’s up more than 20% from 2022’s $570 million score. To rank the world’s Top Creators, Forbes crunched data on the earnings, follower counts, engagement rates, and entrepreneurial activities of thousands of internet personalities with the help of the creator marketing firm, Influential.

The result: The fifty people tapping their massive fan bases to reshape the worlds of media, marketing, entertainment, and taste.

0:00 Introducing Khaby Lame
0:16 What Is The Khaby Lame Brand?
1:27 How Khaby Found His Audience
2:52 How Khaby Shoots 70 Videos In 3 Days
4:04 How A Video About A Banana Made Khaby Lame Famous
5:54 Khaby Lame’s Secret? “Don’t Care About The Follower”
7:14 Monetizing The Khaby Lame Brand
9:10 What It’s Like To Work With Famous Collaborators
10:00 Where Does Khaby Go From Here?
11:55 Khaby On His Hopes For His Legacy
12:32 Advice To Creators Looking To Build Their Brand

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