Only a few years ago, the influencer industry was limited to celebrities and a handful of bloggers. Fast forward to today, the growth and accessibility of social media platforms have allowed almost everyone to become an influencer and earn money online. And people were quick to notice! Today, social media influencer is one of the most desired professions among young people, who want to make a living by gathering an audience around shared interests and values. If you are one of these people, you are on an exciting path with endless opportunities!
That being said, social media is not the place to earn a quick buck. It requires time, effort, and patience to grow your social media presence, connect with people, and gain their trust. The success will also depend on deep knowledge of the industry.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can earn on social platforms, and take a look at the best platforms where you can establish yourself.
How To Make Money As an Influencer?
Whether you are just starting as an influencer, or want to improve your existing income, there are several ways you can do it. In fact, it’s one of the many great things about social media: you don’t have to stick to one option of 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. This section takes a look at some of the more common (and working!) strategies for making money as an influencer.
Sponsored posts are a major option for influencers to make money online. It’s when brands and companies pay you to promote a specific product online. The posts can entirely be dedicated to one product, be visuals featuring a few different products, or simply tag the product to the post often without featuring it (e.g. in the case of digital products). Ranging from short videos to stories, these posts leave a lot of space for creativity for the content creators but are usually approved by the brands before posting.
Depending on the following size and the platform, the average price of sponsored posts varies significantly. For example, on Instagram, nano influencers charge up to $100/post, while mid-influencers can go as high as $5000. As you can see, the drill is pretty simple: the larger your following, the more money you can charge for sponsorships. This is why it’s important to constantly put effort into growing your audience. Have a solid strategy, and put consistent effort into creating engaging, quality, and relevant content that’ll help you attract interested and active people into your community.
Here’s an example of a sponsored post created by travel influencer Annette White, who is promoting a glamping experience for her followers in California.
Brand Deals and Advertisements
Brand deals and advertisements are similar to sponsored posts in a way that influencers are paid directly to promote products. However, the key difference is that while sponsored posts are mainly one-time partnerships, brand deals can span for much longer periods of time, and the influencer doesn’t work with another brand in that niche. For example, if you are an influencer in the sports niche, and have a brand deal with Nike, you’ll be exclusively promoting their sportswear. During the time of collaborating with the brand, influencers may shoot unboxing videos, repeatedly include the products in their content, or even organize giveaways of brand products. As part of the brand deal, as an influencer, you may often get free products from the brand, as in exchange for promoting them on your social platforms.
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.
Selling Your Branded Products
- You create the product 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 the 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.
- A brand cooperates with you to create a product line. Here, a brand pays a certain amount of money, based on the contract and your level of involvement. If it’s a big brand and a big influencer, the 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 brand in its own right.
Affiliate marketing (sometimes known also as referral marketing) is one of the oldest and most common ways for influencers to collaborate with brands. In this case, influencers contact brands offering affiliate programs, or vice versa, and receive custom links or coupon codes, which they can then include in their content. When someone makes a purchase using these referrals, the influencers earn 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, people can register and among the offered affiliate programs, choose the ones that fit their niche best. They can then 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, where influencers of different sizes can find co-operations.
Video and Digital Content Creation
This is one of the lesser-known (yet effective) methods for influencers to generate income online. If you are good with video and digital content creation, you can cooperate with brands to help them create branded content. In this case, 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 to always keep it active, visually appealing, and strategically planned. 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.
Some of these strategies may require more effort than others, but ultimately it comes down to who your audience is, and what type of content they want to see. With time, make sure to test these strategies to see what works for your niche better to maximize your income.
What are the best social media platforms to make money?
Now that you know what are some of the working strategies for influencers to make money on social platforms, let’s take a look at which social platforms are the best for the task. Of course, the best social media will vary depending on your niche, audience, and the content type you are eager to create, but all are profitable. Below, we cover the three most popular and profitable social platforms of today.
Earning money 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.
How much money can you make on Instagram?
As mentioned earlier in the article, how much can be earned on social platforms depends on many things. On Instagram, how much you can earn as an influencer will greatly depend on the number of your followers, engagement rates, post type, as well as the industry you’ve chosen. Below is the average payment range that takes into consideration these variables.
|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|
Making money 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.
Making money on Youtube
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.
There you have it, a few tried and tested ways to earn more on social media as an influencer. As you navigate your way through this world, you need to remember that influencer marketing is changing rapidly. You need to always keep your hand on the pulse for the latest trends and developments to incorporate them into your social media business. We hope that these tips and tricks can be a useful place for you to start earning on social media.
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