I graduated college in 2015 with a degree in political science — and no hope for a job. After 100+ interviews, I ended my job search. I published my own portfolio and decided that I would find work in the social media space on my own. I took really awesome photos and advertised them as a social media service. Before I knew it, I was taking photos for several start-ups. What started as a cool “photo-op” soon turned into a full-blown social media agency. This is just a small example of how millennials may eventually be known as Generation “E” (and no, the E isn’t for “Entitled”, it’s for “Entrepreneur”).
Google Sensei Is a Millennial’s Best Friend
How, exactly, did I start an agency with just photos? Like everyone else in my generation, I used the Internet. “Google sensei” taught me how to optimize hashtags, write SEO friendly blog posts, and even how to use Photoshop. The secret to my sauce was figuring out what I needed to Google. Every social media client I gained had their own needs. With every individual need came something new I had to Google. For instance, if I had a client in the wedding space, I ran to Google for details on the industry.
While my political science degree is certainly something I value, Google has become my eternal instructor that I confide in for just about everything. I even used Google to write this article. I wanted to write about how other people my age are changing the world. What did I find? Were there any truths to my claim?
Here’s what I found on Google…
A World of Entrepreneurial Opportunities
On average, there are 50,000 new Uber drivers a month. There are over 2 million Airbnb listings. Why is this relevant? More and more people are using the Internet to fund themselves. Those with hustle enough to make the most out of Uber are making over $40,000 a year. The same can be said for those taking advantage of Airbnb. This is unprecedented in our society. The Internet has become a tool from which our generation can derive its living. Who needs a job when an application can help you build your income?
Even more interesting is how our generation is taking advantage of social media. More young people are opening Instagram accounts to reach their target audiences. Facebook is making it easier and easier to literally upload products on to your profile page. Anyone can do this. The barrier to starting your own business is now thinner than it ever was. You don’t have to wait for a mass media outlet to connect with your customers when you can build your own.
At the same time, you have individuals who have become social media stars. Bloggers like IamGalla travel the world for free because of the size of their Instagram accounts. The best bloggers are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year just by posting about product.
Earlier this week, YouTube travel channel stars Damon and Jo appeared in an ad for the MTV VMA awards. Since when are “Internet-famous” people hosting the VMA’s? In this way, it’s clear that millennials have set their sites on transforming the media landscape as well.
In my case, I used the Internet and Google to create and maintain my legitimacy as a social media entrepreneur. Others are using the Internet to make money off of hosting strangers in their homes. Some are using it to sell things, or provide car rides, while others are using it to host MTV shows. What are some other millennial stories you’ve heard, or millennials that you know who are reinventing the term Generation “E?”