If you’re on any of the major social media platforms, from Facebook to Instagram, and everything in between, and you have a decent number of followers, then you can leverage your social media following! Loyal followers show corporations and brands that you’re someone that people pay attention to, someone that they can use to advertise their products.
So how to Make Money as a Social Media Influencer? Let’s dive in…
- Your following is everything!
- Social media engagement is more important than you think
- Make it brand friendly
- Let it be known that you are an Influencer
- You have to reach out to make money!
- Make Money with Sponsored Posts
- Get partnered and make money with ads
- Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
- Be the Ambassador for a Brand
- Be Your Own Product
Your following is everything
To consider yourself an influencer, you have to be influencing, which means that you need to have people who are watching you do what you do. Until you’ve amassed a decent following, say 5,000 people or so, your goal should be building that following. Once you’ve proven to companies that you have what it takes for people to follow you, they’ll come running.
However, the size of your audience doesn’t matter if no one is paying attention…
Social media engagement is more important than you think
This is a tricky one, the truth is that engagement is probably more important than your follower count. Companies will check your social media channel to see if your followers are actually following you, engaging with you, liking, commenting, sharing. If you’ve just got a few thousand nameless faces who don’t engage at all, then that’s no good.
Find your true fans, you don’t need a huge audience to be successful, what you need is true fans… If your audience is already engaging with your content, awesome – keep it up. If they’re not, then try different types of content to find one that really sticks with your audience.
Pro tip: Get rid of “fake” followers as they can significantly harm your engagement rate.
Make it brand friendly
Produce high-quality content around a niche, if you’re a gamer, focus your content on gaming. If you’re a writer, focus on writing. Keep it simple, focused, and show to potential sponsors who you are and what you do, and – as an extension of this – the types of followers you have. If your audience is too varied, potential sponsors won’t know how their products will land.
Let it be known that you are an Influencer
Mention in your profile for whatever platform you use that you are an influencer, that you are open to sponsorships. If companies know that you’re willing to help them promote, and you have a decent following to promote to, then they’ll more likely reach out to you.
Also Tag brands on social media, it goes to their notifications and gives you the opportunity to build relationships with those brands.
Pro Tip: Pay attention to any hashtags that they use on their social media channels.
You have to reach out to make money!
Sure, it’d be great if all the brands came to you, but that’s typically not the case until you’ve really created a name for yourself. In most cases, you’ll have to reach out for them to even know you exist.
Focus on brands that fit you, that fit your content. When you reach out, tell them as much about you as in influencer as possible – how many followers you have, who those followers are, and why they’d ever want to partner up. But don’t forget to always be authentic and honest.
Pro tip: Create a Media Kit with bio, statistics, advertising options, rates and more.
Also sign up for an Influencer Network, can be a great way to find brands to work with:
Make Money with Sponsored Posts
This is provably the most common way for influencers to make money, even If you’re new to the influencer life, this is a great place to start. If a brand extends you an invitation to advertise for them, don’t hesitate to say yes, if the brand is a good fit for your audience.
Pro Tip: Always disclose your sponsored Posts.
Get partnered and make money with ads
If you’re a Youtuber or Twitch streamer, then you can become partnered and earn a percentage of any ad revenue from the platform. Be smart and create content frequently, just make sure your content is advertiser-friendly!
Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
Affiliates receive a portion of sales if those sales can be tied back to your post or content, such as through an affiliate link. It’s also a great way to check to see just how engaged your audience is. If nobody is clicking, then there’s no affiliate money to be made, and you’ll have to reevaluate your strategy.
Some popular Affiliate Networks include:
- Amazon Affiliates
- CJ Affiliate (Commission Junction)
- eBay Partner Network
- Rakuten Marketing
Be the Ambassador for a Brand
This is the big one. If there are any brands that you’re an especially big fan off, then there’s no harm in reaching out and offering to be an ambassador for them. Identify the brands you would partner with and put yourself out there. You’re best trying to speak with their PR and marketing teams, and those people can typically be found easily enough through LinkedIn or even live events.
There are also agencies that you can collaborate with that may help you to become an ambassador. Some other tips to keep in mind:
- Join Facebook Ambassador Groups
- Search on job sites
- Explore websites like Stuckforstaff and Craigslist.
Be Your Own Product
If you’re an influencer, then by definition, you’re partly the product. Take advantage of this to launch and promote your own products and brands. This is probably the most profitable way to make money online as influencer.
Top social media influencers like PewDiePie and Jeffree Starrar just to name a few are making millions of dollars launching their own products. You can start out small. Perhaps have some t-shirts printed with slogans or a book and you can work up from there. The more popular you become, the more people will be willing to buy products that are tied directly to you.
Consider digital items, as well. They’re cheap to produce, easy to distribute and very profitable. Can be anything from an ebook to a online course. Another popular way is to co-create products directly with brands and benefit from their resources and expertise.