Gone are the days when Disney and Nickelodeon had the monopoly of producing stars that kids and tweens idolize. Proof of this is the massive success of reality star-turned-YouTube sensation JoJo Siwa.
Take a peek at how she managed to capture the under-10 audience and build a multimillion-dollar brand at just 17 years old.
‘Dance Moms’ Start
Siwa, who was born Joelle Joanie, began her career early in life. Thanks to her dance instructor mother, Jessalynn, the young JoJo developed a love for dancing at just two years old.
However, her big break would only come a couple of years later when she got national exposure as she appeared on ‘Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition’. The nine-year-old Siwa, who was the youngest contestant, finished fifth.
However, her camera-friendly attitude and personality made her stand out from the competition. Some producers even nicknamed the Nebraska-native ‘The JoJo Show’ because of her compelling demeanor during interviews.
From there, Siwa and her mom got a spot to appear in another reality show ‘Dance Moms’, which aired on the Lifetime Network. This gig brought Siwa’s name to an even larger audience.
Ever the hard worker, the young dancer branched out to YouTube during her two-season tenure on ‘Dance Moms’. Her channel put out a variety of videos from Q&As to vlogs.
Siwa managed to capture the attention of millions of subscribers and viewers on YouTube in just a couple of years. This popularity on the platform aided the success of her eventual venture into making music.
She released her first single, ‘Boomerang’ in 2016, a few days after she turned 13. The song proved to be a hit having been certified platinum by the RCAA and garnering over 872 million views on YouTube.
Banking on her appeal with a young fan base and her distinctive style, Siwa turned her YouTube persona into a brand.
She has sold a variety of products bearing her name from hair bows to children’s books and even a doll. Her signature bows alone have reportedly sold 40 million units over the years.
Now, the 17-year-old has further expanded her horizons and has signed on with Nickelodeon. She’s also continued her music career with a sold out concert tour in 2019.
The teen star now boasts of having a $12 million fortune.