The 10 SnapChatters the world needs to know.
This is not an exhaustive list.
There, I said it, off the bat. There are close to 100 SnapChatters whose stories I tune in to regularly, and ain’t nobody got time to write — or read — a blog post of Biblical proportions.
To compose a list of great SnapChatters and leave off Ben Phillips (figoamericano), Vincenzo Landino (vincenzolandino), Mark Kaye (markkaye), Sunny Lenarduzzi (sunnylenarduzzi), Niv Dror (nivo0o0), DanaGarrison (danagarrison), QtheBrand (QTheBrand), Joel Comm (joelcomm), Mr Funky Fairy (Rob) (mrfunkyfairy) and The Funky Fairy (headfunkyfairy), Amy Schmittauer (schmittastic), Victoria Taylor (victoriataylUK), Jed Record (jedrecord), Carlos Gil (thecarlosgil), Victoria Fratz (toribelle1), Jennifer Quinn (jennyq411), Alex Pettitt (alexpettittsnap), Sarah Moore (sarahnmoore), Kristy Gillentine (krisgillentine), Shaun Ayala (shaunayala), Alexa Carlin (alexacarlin) and Mitch Jackson (CA_lawyer) is almost crazy, but it’s a testament to how highly I feel about the 10 I’m listing below.
Also: I’d love if you’d follow me. I’m no mystical SnapChat artist, but I am the first guy to use SnapChat in all 50 U.S. states, and I try to bring as much value to your screen as possible. (And, I spent an entire day writing this for you.) My username is @ChrisStrub.
To add me, and all of the great people below, SCREENSHOT this code, go to SnapChat, go to “Add Friends,” go to “Add by SnapCode,” and select each image. It’s the easiest way to build your own community — and the people on this list are a great place to start.
So without further ado, here are 10 SnapChatters the whole world needs to know:
→ Ryan Pena (iRyanPena): One of the nicest guys you’ll ever “meet,” Ryan’s Snap stories are a healthy balance of fun, family and work. I heard of Ryan when he teamed with another SnapChatter — who you’ll meet further down this list — to live-stream last year’s MobCon in Minneapolis. Ryan has an infectious smile, a wry sense of humor and his interactions with his daughter are beyond adorable. He’s got a brilliant mind, but never forces it upon his stories; instead, Snap him a question to see just how sharp he is. Ryan is a rising star.
→ Joe Wilson (joewilsonTV): Joe has been telling stories creatively since before Evan Spiegel ever picked up a cell phone. Undoubtedly the newest to SnapChat on this list — he’s been on the platform less than a month — I, and others, begged Joe to join SnapChat because we knew, as a prolific live-streamer, that he would love the short-form storytelling capabilities. In just a few short weeks, Joe, along with his sidekick cat, Mike, is already mastering the ins and outs of telling a unique SnapChat story. I look forward to seeing how short-form video affects Joe’s approach to his signature series, “Vampire Mob.”
→ Tiffy Diamond (tiffy4u): A multi-platform star, Tiffy Diamond’s signature move is to keep it real at all costs. Talented, hilarious and gorgeous, what I love about Tiffy’s Snaps is that I don’t think she ever X’s out and re-records. You always feel like you’re in the room with Tiffy, whether she’s creating hand-made pastries (her donuts are decadent), or canoodling with puppets. Her super-down-to-earth sense of humor is the perfect undertone to my favorite recurring feature on SnapChat: “Ask Me Anything Mondays,” a concept duplicated by many recently — but nobody does it like Tiffy. Moreso than 99.9% of Snappers out there, Tiffy makes everyone in her community feel like a friend, bearing witness to the hilarious life of a beautiful, bi-racial bachelorette in Los Angeles in 2016. (Now, let’s see if she ever parts ways with “Ruthie.”)
→ Saba Sedighi (sabasedighi): One of the fastest rising stars in the industry, Saba has quickly emerged as a live-streaming powerhouse. Watch a Blab broadcast with Saba and you’ll immediately recognize why guests and co-hosts love her: an immense knowledge base, a keen sense of professionalism and a rich, complex, addictive personality. On SnapChat — and Peach, of course — Saba chronicles her adventures around southern California with stunning artistry, never once publishing a Snap that wastes a viewer’s time. There’s much more to Saba than SnapChat, but in 2016, the platform will allow us to join her as her career in the industry continues to blossom.
→ Gary Vaynerchuk (garyvee): I’ve never met Gary Vee. I’ve never seen Gary Vee in person. But the genius of Gary Vee, in my opinion, is his accessibility. Gary is relatively new to SnapChat, but as he evidenced in a terrific recent post, he’s all in on the platform, and not surprisingly, he’s terrific at it. Gary’s incredible career has been all about providing value to his audience, and his SnapChat stories are no exception. He’ll often open up and invite people to ask him questions via SnapChat, and though there’s physically no way he can answer — or probably even read — all of them, it’s that accessibility that makes him the king. You can create all the SnapChat fire you want, but the true genius of Gary Vee is his accessibility — a trait the other nine people on this list each recognize and embody themselves.
→ Chocolate Johnny (chocjohnny): As I told him multiple times in person at Summit Live last weekend, I truly believe Chocolate Johnny is the man who will change social business in 2016. The fourth-generation owner of Perfection Chocolates in Sydney, Australia, Chocolate Johnny (nee John Kapos) was a leadoff speaker at the Summit for a reason — and if there was a SnapChat summit, he’d be the choice to speak there, too. On SnapChat, Johnny will introduce you to a unique cast of characters behind the scenes at Perfection Chocolates, including the fast-talking “Oompa Loompas” and “Teeth,” but more importantly, he’ll make you feel like you’re part of the family. His SnapChat logo is plastered on the front door of the business for a reason: because he’s just as, if not more, proud of his SnapChat community than the chocolate itself. Don’t be surprised in 18 months, when Perfection Chocolates has become one of the premier chocolatiers on an international scale.
→ Caleb Maddix (calebmaddix): Where does one even start with Caleb Maddix? Entreprenuer, published author, motivational speaker — oh yeah, and he’s 14. Fourteen! Caleb stole the show at Summit Live last weekend and he’s on a career path that many of us in our 30's, 40's and 50's wish we could achieve even now. When he mentioned during his Summit Live speech that he aimed to make six figures in 2016, he quickly hedged by saying “I might be aiming too low.” (Did I mention he’s 14?) On SnapChat, he’s created his own niche, consisting of daily vlogs, sequential “SnapChat advice” segments and all sorts of naturally motivational content. I listed him above Gary Vee and, ironically, he’ll be flying to Australia for a speaking gig with Gary. If Chocolate Johnny is turning the world of chocolate on its head, Caleb Maddix is turning an entire generation on its head.
→ Brian Fanzo @iSocialFanz (isocialfanz): How can 59,400 people win a Shorty Award? By being a part of the unbelievably strong and faithful community that Brian Fanzo has developed. A nominee for “Periscoper of the Year” — vote for him here — Brian will be the first to tell you he’s not a SnapChat wizard — although we all collectively chuckled at his recent “VanillaFanz” escapades — but Brian is near the top of this list because of his unabashed love and appreciation of his community. Brian — he of “Talk Fast, Tweet Faster” fame — is one of the most knowledgeable young men in the game, but what distinguishes Brian is that, at every last opportunity, he uses his influence to build and recognize others. I feel forever indebted to Brian, as it was his generosity that allowed me an opportunity to speak at last weekend’s Summit Live, but already, Brian is going out of his way to ask what else he can do to help. He Snapped yesterday that he gets tons of requests for his time and attention, but that he never turns down an inquiry made via SnapChat. That realness is what lands this admitted SnapChat novice so high on this list.
→ Ahna Hendrix (ahnahendrix): Witnessing the evolution of Ahna Hendrix via SnapChat has been like watching a butterfly bloom. Last fall, on Blab, Ahna — the incredibly talented, hard-working and angelic CEO of ARCH Digital — spoke of SnapChat as a platform unlike all others, where she could show a side of herself that wasn’t seen anywhere else on social media. In three months, as SnapChat has become the collective darling of all the so-called social media whizzes, gurus and experts, Ahna’s increased expression of heart and soul has taken the SnapChat world by storm. A growing appreciation for the platform that rewards genuine transparency has paid off for all the individuals on this list, but especially Ahna, whose kinship with her audience is dwarfed only by her ongoing dedication to her own mind, body and soul. No one I follow seems to be as genuinely appreciative of the warmth offered by an adoring audience, and everyone reading this has a true friend awaiting in Ahna Hendrix. (Just don’t group-tag her!) Wondering the ROI of SnapChat? I can truly say my life has been made better since “meeting” Ahna Hendrix. (Thanks, K.P. Kelly.)
And finally … the ONE person who EVERYONE on SnapChat needs to know in 2016 is …
→ Blake Croft. (blakec432).
Let me tell you a little bit about my friend Blake. See, we live about 1,000 miles away. I’ve never met the guy. But Blake Croft is absolutely as real as it gets.
Blake is not a social media superstar, raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars with scores of clients, a super-packed schedule and airplane rides from coast to coast every week.
Nope — Blake works a 40-hour-a-week job as an Assistant Manager at Food City, in a town you’ve probably never heard of in Tennessee. You’ll never see a Snap on the clock from Food City, because whoever owns Food City has no idea the power of SnapChat — or the power of the young man working (usually) the day shift, five days a week.
Like most others on this list, Blake has his signature content — “Goooooooood morning” and “#SadSingingSunday” immediately come to mind — but truly, every Snap Blake creates is an effort to build the community. Every Snap Blake sends isn’t about him — it’s for you, the audience. At every juncture, Blake wants to help his audience however he can. Moreso than anyone, and perhaps even to a fault sometimes, Blake Croft’s goal is to help people enjoy SnapChat just as much as he does. Send him a Snap, about anything, especially SnapChat, and I promise Blake will go to the end of the earth to get you an answer.
Blake, pictured above in an autographed shirt, was the unofficial SnapChat host of Summit Live — even though he wasn’t at Summit Live. He spent the entire weekend curating and repurposing content for the sake of creating a great story — and for the sake of the audience.
Blake, in the truest sense of the word, is the community. And that’s the biggest reason why I legitimately value Blake’s friendship — even though we’ve never met.
So that’s it, that’s my list. So now, I ask you: who are your must-follows on SnapChat, and why? Leave a comment below, Tweet me or, better yet, Snap me: @ChrisStrub.
Chris Strub is the first man to live-stream in all 50 U.S. states, and he considers himself lucky to have met (in person) 5 of the 10 people on this list. Chris volunteered with youth organizations in all 50 U.S. states during the summer of 2015 and is passionate about being the torchbearer for a major nonprofit in the live-streaming community in 2016. Chris’s book, “50 States, 100 Days: The Book” is available now on Amazon. Chris is literally regretting not making this list 13 because Vincenzo, Ben and Mark Kaye all need to be on it. Chris would love to chat with you on SnapChat, but he’d really love to introduce you to all his friends.