The New Stuff

Koby Conrad

Meet the 20-year-old Who Makes a Living Off of Facebook


Kauffman Foundation

Kauffman Foundation

Young entrepreneurs are probably less common than you think they are. Last year we talked about the growing desire young people have to start a business, yet we also understood that young people (ages 18 – 26) are among the least represented age group of start-up business owners. In fact, over fifty percent of people aged 18 to 26 have intentions of starting a business, but less than 10 percent of actual business owners are within that age group.

So when we do find a young successful entrepreneur, we know we’ve found something special. Recently there’s been news about a 20-year-old who makes his living completely off of Facebook traffic. His name is Koby Conrad. Nine months ago you would have never heard about him or his businesses. He began his online shop (Hippies Hope Shop) in the middle of 2013 and now he meets with investors who are interested in buying large portions of the online business. It looks like he came a long way in less than a year.

Koby Conrad

Koby Conrad

Conrad told us that his entrepreneurial endeavors “started with the Facebook page, The Hippy Bloggers. I got it to about 17,000 likes (I started it with my girlfriend, Emily Eveland) and then we decided that since we have all this traffic, we should open a store that revolves around the Facebook page!” From there he created Hippie Hope Shop, an online store that sells alternative products. Conrad is also a chief executive of the Mother Hemp brand. In total, his Facebook presence with Hippie Bloggers, Hippies Hope Shop, and Mother Hemp is able to pull in over 150,000 likes. That’s not a bad achievement considering that the oldest Facebook page (Hippie Bloggers) started on April 20th of last year. Eventually he plans to reach one million likes, which he believes will bring in 50,000 in revenue a month.

impact-age-graph

Entrepreneurial Confidence Survey (Kauffman/LegalZoom)

impact-hippie-blog-chart

Number of likes from his Hippie Bloggers Facebook page

Conrad is definitely someone we can learn from. Other young business owners don’t place such a high emphasis on using social media for business related information. His Facebook presence is actually what gives him an unfair competitive advantage over similar online shops. He explained to us how social media is important to him: “It’s important to any entrepreneur, but as a serial entrepreneur, its importance gets amplified. So when I started, I had a network of 17,000 likes. Now it’s over 150,000. So this means that when I start a new venture, I have thousands of people who have basically signed up to receive my content already. This is a huge advantage.”

The fact is that other young people are already capable of having this same “advantage.” 90 percent of young people (18-29) surveyed by Pwn.com said they use social networking sites regularly, which is considerably a much higher percentage than any other age group. Yet, what other young entrepreneur is doing what Conrad is doing? Who even considered that you can make a living off of your Facebook friends? The fact that he even thought of doing it is what makes him successful. He may be young, but he knows how to take advantage of what he already has.

He knows how to think like an entrepreneur, too. “Being an entrepreneur isn’t about having all of the right answers, it’s about learning what the right answers are. You know those awesome salesmen who can sell anything to anyone? You can learn that (I learned it, and I am THE most shy, anti-social, person on the planet). Most of the million-dollar CEO’s didn’t get there by dumb luck; they got there through a process that they can repeat. A process that you can learn. Marketing, SEO, social media geniuses? You can learn how to do that stuff too.”

Whether you think Conrad’s goals are overly ambitious or not, there’s no doubt that he has the drive of an entrepreneur. Right now it’s almost impossible to tell if he’ll follow the footsteps of billion dollar founders, but I do believe that he’s a new type of entrepreneur. He’s the new entrepreneur who represents our social media generation.

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About the Author

Matt Lee

Matt Lee is a contributor for Impact: Inspired by Entrepreneurs + Innovators. He is currently pursuing a teaching credential from Long Beach State. His work is focused on innovation in writing and storytelling, specifically in presenting information through methods that have never been seen before.


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