11. Connor Franta
Connor Franta’s first YouTube video came out in 2010, but his most famous video, which first aired in 2014, ‘Coming Out’, really put him in the limelight. His honesty about being gay and feeling isolated and depressed tugged at the heartstrings of his 3.6 million subscribers. Being straightforward with no regrets hit home to people who were afraid to come out until he spoke about his experience. Connor talked about feeling isolated and depressed. He gives credit to other video bloggers and bloggers who were there for him and now he is paying it forward. He is not only a video blogger; he is a mentor to his fans seeking his sage advice.
Franta has his finger in many entrepreneurial pies. At age 22, he launched a fundraising campaign for ‘The Thirst Project’ to build water wells in Swaziland. He got busier over the next year and wrote a book, ‘A Work in Progress’, which spent 16 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and sold over 200,000 copies. He got involved in a new record label, ‘Heard Well’, and released his own line of coffee called ‘Common Culture Coffee’. One dollar from the sale of every bag of coffee went to ‘The Thirst Project’. He even got together with ‘Junk Food Clothing’ to put out a limited edition line of clothing.