Meet 21-year old Tyler Schrage, the social media celeb earning more than $1 million posting photos and short videos on apps like TikTok and Instagram. I recently sat down with Schrage at The DreamLA creator mansion to chat about moving to L.A., his finding viral fame, and his proudest moment to date.
When Tyler Schrage posted his first TikTok video in November of 2018, he never imagined that the social media app could make him a millionaire.
“I was in welding school, in the middle of nowhere Missouri,” Schrage says with a smile, as he recalls his life just two short years ago. “I started posting almost as a way to make fun of myself. I was bored. It was something to do.”
Within a year, Schrage found himself living out the Gen-Z dream— he’d reached over 1 million followers, signed a deal with PopWrapped Entertainment Group’s famed management division under the direction of CEO Zachary Jaydon, and moved to Los Angeles full-time.
But Schrage isn’t just your average TikToker trying to make it in L.A.
While his pre-recorded content consists primarily of dances, POVs, and lip-syncing videos, it’s actually Schrage’s organic interations with fans that’s turned him into one of the highest-paid creators on the platform, making tens-of-thousands of dollars a week utilizing TikTok’s live feature. “You have to respect your fans and give them the love and attention they give you,” Schrage says on building meaningful connections with his fans via live. “You can’t just expect people to stick around if you treat them like they’re disposable. You have to invest back into the people who are investing in you.”
A founding member of The DreamLA collab house, Schrage’s knack for connecting with his audience has definitely set him apart— so much so, that he was actually one of the first 100 creators to roll out Instagram’s newest feature, Badges, where fans can tip businesses and creators in their livestream.
It’s his drive and ability to pivot that’s helped Schrage parlay viral fame into bigger opportunities since moving to L.A. In early 2020, he signed several fashion modeling deals, including major partnerships with H&M and Zara. “I flew to Costa Rica to shoot, just before the Covid-19 pandemic started. I’m really glad I got to experience that. The people of Costa Rica are amazing, and their culture is really fascinating,” he told me. Schrage also has his own custom line of merch coming out this fall as part of The DreamLA Collection.
Though Schrage might be living out the Gen-Z dream, he vows to never forget where he came from. “Just before I left for Los Angeles, I promised my little brother that when I got ‘rich and famous,’ I would buy him a Nintendo Switch,” he recounts. “For his 9th birthday, this year, I flew home to surprise him, with a custom Nintendo Switch, and every game I could find. You can’t forget the really important things. Family and friends are everything.”
This, Schrage told me, has been his proudest moment to date.
We estimate pre-tax gross earnings that Schrage took in from January 1, 2020, through October 31, 2020. To estimate what a talent makes, we talk with the influencer themselves, as well as agents, managers, marketers, investors, social media executives, and brands the influencer has worked with.