Only a few years ago, only celebrities and a few bloggers dominated the influencer industry. But today, social media has opened the doors for almost everyone to become an influencer and earn money online. It has become a highly desired profession among young people who aim to gather an audience around shared interests and values. If you’re one of them, you’re on an exciting path with endless opportunities!
However, earning on social media isn’t a quick and easy process. It requires time, effort, and patience to grow your presence, connect with people, and build trust. Success also depends on having a deep understanding of the industry.
In this article, we’ll explore how you can earn on social platforms and discover the best platforms to establish yourself.
How do Influencers Make Money on Social Media?
One of the many great things about social media is that you don’t have to stick to one option for making money. There are different opportunities you can explore to find out which type of cooperation fits your niche and audience best, improving your business outcome.
Whether you are just starting as an influencer, or want to improve your influencer business, there are several options to try out. Let’s take a look at some of the more common (and working!) strategies for making money as an influencer.
What is a sponsored post? If you have a solid strategy and put consistent effort into creating engaging, high-quality, and relevant content for your community, brands can pay you to promote them.
These posts leave a lot of space for creativity for the content creators but are usually approved by the brands before posting. They can be entirely dedicated to the brand you promote, may feature different products, or can include a tag/mention.
The format and post type depends on the brand you work with and what they want to promote, whether it’s a physical product or a digital one. If it’s a physical product, brands can send a sample and request a product review.
How much should you charge for a sponsored post? To negotiate a better price for your work, you should present your stats and past collaborations to brands. You can do it through your influencer media kit. Depending on how many followers you have and how engaged they are with your content, the average price for sponsored posts may vary.
For example, on Instagram, nano-influencers can charge up to $100/post, while micro and macro-influencers can go as high as $5,000 – 10,000. This is why it’s important to constantly put effort into growing an engaged audience.
Here’s an example of a sponsored post created by a travel influencer Annette White, who is promoting a glamping experience for her followers in California.
Brand Ambassador Partnership
Many famous brands hire celebrities to become their ambassadors. But, you don’t have to be a celebrity to become an ambassador. Today, brands are shifting toward smaller influencers and offering them similar collaborations.
Brand ambassador partnership is similar to other brand deals in a way that influencers are paid directly to promote products. However, the key difference is that while other brand deals are mainly one-time partnerships, this one can span for much longer periods of time, and the influencer signs an exclusivity contract that doesn’t allow them to work with other brands in that niche.
Usually, brands go for relevant influencers whose values align with their own, who are loved by their audience, and who have a positive impact, in general.
For example, the famous singer and BTS member Jung Kook has become Calvin Klein’s new global brand ambassador, and he can’t collaborate with other brands in the fashion industry.
The collaboration can include shooting unboxing videos, featuring different products in their posts on different platforms, organizing giveaways, and even joining their offline events. As part of the collaboration, influencers often get free products from the brand. The compensation amount may vary depending on different factors including but not limited to the collaboration terms, influencer’s engagement, etc.
Gymshark, an athlete-wear brand, is known for cooperating with influencers from around the world. Jessica Olie, a fitness and yoga trainer, and influencer is one of the brand ambassadors and features Gymshark clothing in most of her posts.
As an influencer, your end goal is to have a business that will bring income. To do so, you should work on your personal brand. Once you have an established personal brand, you can create and sell your merchandise – branded products.
You can create products on your own or with your team. In this case, you are bound to all the earnings from the product as the sole creator. The products can range from clothing items to eBooks, and everything in between, and are greatly based on your niche. One prominent example of this is Chiara Ferragni, a fashion influencer who eventually went on to create not only products but her own clothing brand.
Another option is when you collaborate with a brand to create a product line. Here, you get paid a certain amount by the brand, based on the contract and your level of involvement. This kind of cooperation can be greatly profitable for both parties.
A great example of this is Song of Style, a brand created as a cooperation between influencer Aimee Song and an e-commerce platform Revolve. The cooperation initially started as one line, but because of its success, grew to become a stand-alone brand.
For influencers, one of the most common ways of making money is affiliate marketing, also known as referral marketing. With this collaboration type, you get a custom link or coupon code, and every time someone makes a purchase through them, you get a commission agreed with the brand.
An affiliate campaign can be done as a collaboration with individual brands, as well as through affiliate networks. On these networks, you can register and choose the ones that fit your niche from the available options. Then, you can apply to the program and start promoting it once the brand approves the collaboration.
Commission Junction and Amazon Associates are two of the more well-known affiliate platforms for influencers of different sizes and niches.
Digital Content Creation (UGC)
UGC (user-generated content) is any type of content that is created by a brand’s audience. If you are good with video and digital content creation, you can become a UGC creator and cooperate with brands to help them create branded content.
By becoming a UGC creator, you can create content and generate income. Your social media accounts can serve as a portfolio you can send to potential clients to showcase your digital content creation skills as you offer them your services. That’s why it’s important always to keep it active, visually appealing, and strategically planned. With time, you’ll see what type of content works for your niche better.
Once your account is content-rich and looks the way you want it to, you can go ahead and start contacting brands with offers. Alternatively, they can reach out to you, if they like what they see.
Digital Courses and Ebooks
Another way to monetize your following is creating and selling digital courses and ebooks based on your expertise. If you have a specific niche, you can educate your audience by sharing your knowledge and experiences.
You can promote and sell your educational materials through different channels. For example, Udemy can be a great platform for creating an online course. Or, you can publish an ebook through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Then, depending on which platform you are active on, you can share them with your audience. By providing valuable content, you can generate income from the sales of your courses and ebooks.
Direct Donation, Tipping, and Subscriptions
All major social media platforms offer subscription features that allow you to receive tips and direct donations from your followers. For example, on YouTube and TikTok, viewers can donate money or tips during live streams.
Patreon is another popular platform that can help you offer exclusive content or other perks to your subscribers in exchange for monthly subscriptions. This way you can have a consistent source of income. If you have an active website or other platform, you can accept donations through services like PayPal.
By diversifying your income streams, you can earn money by providing value and engaging with your loyal audience.
Which Social Media Platform Pays the Most?
Now that you know what strategies work for making money on social platforms, let’s see how much you can make on different social media platforms as an influencer.
Of course, the best social media will vary depending on your niche, audience, and the content type you create, but all are profitable. Below, we cover the three most popular social platforms: Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
How Much do Influencers Make on Instagram?
The first on our list is Instagram, one of the most beloved platforms around. The social media giant has more than 1.4 billion monthly active users, with virtually every brand having a presence there. The team behind Instagram constantly works to make the platform as creator-friendly as possible, and many brands and influencers today use the channel to advertise their services and cooperate with each other. The affordability of the platform and the high levels of user engagement make Instagram one of the most profitable social media channels.
However, to make money on the platform, you need to keep in mind that there are certain strategies that work better than others. So, if you are thinking about how to make money on Instagram, here are a few do’s and don’ts to consider:
- Communicate clearly;
- Set realistic timeframes and expectations;
- Be selective of the brands you work with;
- Work with all content types;
- Show the world who you are;
- Work with services like ViralMango that help you find brand collaborations.
- Don’t overwhelm your posts with hashtags, stick to 3-4 relevant ones;
- Don’t spam;
- Don’t post without brand’s final approval
- Don’t be detached from your fans;
- Don’t isolate yourself from other influencers.
This is far from being a comprehensive list, but sticking to these tips can help you organize your work better, and start earning sooner.
On Instagram, how much you can earn as an influencer will greatly depend on the number of your followers, engagement rate, post type, as well as your niche. Below you can find the average compensation amount based on the above-mentioned metrics.
|Nano-influencers (1,000–10,000 followers)||$10 – $100 per post|
|Micro-influencers (10,000–50,000 followers)||$100 – $500 per post|
|Mid-tier influencers (50,000–500,000 followers)||$500 – $5,000 per post|
|Macro influencers (500,000–1,000,000 followers)||$5,000-$10,000 per post|
|Mega influencers (1,000,000+ followers)||$10,000+ per post|
How Much do Influencers Make on TikTok?
TikTok has appeared relatively recently, gaining an unprecedented usage rate in just around two years. This newness is one of the key qualities that make TikTok a great place to earn as a digital content creator: since the platform is new and not yet too crowded, establishing yourself as an expert is easier. To put it simply, making money on TikTok is easier because there is little competition yet.
Another significant benefit coming from TikTok being new is the atmosphere of trust. Because the platform is new, there are not so many brands there yet, branded content looks more organic and less “salesy.”
The monetization options available on the platform are branded content, advertisements, as well as access to the TikTok Creator Marketplace. As in the case of Instagram, engaging and relevant content is necessary to drive engagement. On top of these options, TikTok also offers the TikTok Creator Fund, a fund designed to sponsor the creators on the platform for their efforts. As of the most recent requirements, influencers can join the fund if they have 100,000 organic video views during the last 30 days.
Below you can find the average compensation amount for different types of influencers:
- Nano-influencers: $150 per TikTok video
- Macro-influencers: $550 per TikTok video
- Mega-influencers: $1,600 – 4,500 per TikTok video
How Much do YouTube Influencers Make?
The list wouldn’t be complete without YouTube, the second-largest social network in the world, and the beloved video content platform. With 2.1 billion monthly active users, it’s the place to be for influencers big and small to boost their community and income.
YouTube is an ideal marketplace for creators and brands in many ways. First is, naturally, the audience size: YouTube is also the second largest search engine in the world, and it significantly improves your content reach. Second, it gives the audience flexibility in terms of video duration, allowing influencers to present products comprehensively, and speak in detail about their collaboration.
What sets YouTube apart from other social platforms is the shelf-life of video content. Most influencers usually keep the videos they’ve created mentioning the product on their channels, which increases engagement over time.
As with Instagram and TikTok, you can collaborate with brands too, presenting their products or offering affiliate services. Another method for making money on YouTube is monetizing your videos by running third-party ads on them.
FAQ: How do Influencers Make Money
- How much does instagram pay for 1000 views?
Instagram doesn’t pay users for views on their posts or videos. However, if influencers have engaged audiences with many views, they can negotiate high compensation from brands for their sponsored posts. Besides, recently, Instagram introduced a new feature for users to earn money. If your profile complies with the requirements, you can earn a share of the revenue received from ads placed in your profile feed.
- How much does an influencer make?
influencer’s income depends on many factors. First, it depends on which platform they are active on and what kind of content they create. The number of their followers and engagement rate are also important factors, as brands will consider these metrics when choosing whether or not to work with them.
- How much money do you get for 1,000 followers on TikTok?
To make money directly from TikTok, you should have at least 10,000 followers. Besides, there should be at least 100,000 views in the last 30 days to be eligible. However, if you go live on TikTok and collect gifts, you can trade them for diamonds, which are a type of TikTok currency. Then, you can convert the diamonds into money.