Social media influencers get a lot of slack from the public. Mainly because people don’t understand the value of influencer marketing, and they don’t consider making money off social media should be regarded as a career. Fortunately, being an influencer can now be a full fledged career choice and not just a hobby. That’s if you play your cards right.

The rise of social media influencers is proof that you can make money online. If you’ve ever wondered how social media influencers make money then this blog post was created especially for you.

What is an influencer

Just because you have 100 000 followers on any of the various social media platforms doesn’t necessarily make you an influencer. You simply have 100 000 followers.

An influencer is someone that has built up an audience. Most importantly, the individual should have a relationship with their audience, so that when they speak, they either respond or take action. Your audience should consider you to be an expert in your niche. Being an influencer has absolutely nothing to do with the number of followers you have; it’s about how consistently your audience engages with you.

Before we get into the details of how to make money on social media, let’s talk about the basics of establishing yourself as an influencer. Getting these basics right will help you attract brand deals from potential clients.

Create high-quality content

If you can’t create high quality content for free, nobody is going to pay you to do it for them willingly. Get better at content creation. Keep practicing. Try out different things, talk about various topics; eventually, you’ll figure out what works. If you reach out to brands and the quality of your content is not good enough, they won’t even get back to you.

Real talk, would you pay for the kind of content you’re creating at the moment? If not, then you need to go back to the drawing board.

I would recommend you find 2 or 3 of the best content creators in your niche, and study their content. Now I’m not suggesting that you copy, but look at the quality of their work and aim to get to their level. Look at the quality of their images, captions and how they engage with their audience.

Consistency is another game-changer, being consistent convincingly demonstrates that you are serious about growing your brand. It shows that you are committed. If you’re not showing up for your audience over a 3-week period, how are brands supposed to trust that you’ll follow through on a 1-month long campaign? If you don’t take yourself seriously, then no one else will? And consistency is not just about being consistent, but being consistently good.

If, for example, you’re a fashion blogger, then you should be creating fashion editorials. This will come in handy when you start pitching brands.

Know your audience

Do you know who you’re talking to? Carefully define your ideal audience. Male, female or both? How old is she? Where does she live and what does she do for a living? You genuinely need to know who you’re talking to so that you can intentionally create content that appeals to your audience.

When you eventually start approaching brands, you will need to demonstrate how you’ll add value. And one way to do that is by giving the brand access to a market that they don’t usually have access to or a market they need to access. But you need to know your audience to achieve that.

Know your rates

I struggled with this, but that was because I had no idea that there are specific apps that can help you calculate your rates. Such as this influencer calculator.

But I urge you not to use these online calculators blindly. You need to use your discretion when it comes to calculating your rates. How long does it take you to create content? How much do you spend on things like photographers, make-up artists, props, etc.? You don’t want to be out of pocket.

Make sure your documentation is ready

Once you know your rates, it’s time to put together your rate card. If you’re trying to build a lucrative business, then you need to keep things professional. I know some people typically combine their rate and media cards. I prefer to keep mine separate. I use my media card when I pitch brands and only submit my rate card once a prospective client has shown interest in working with me.

So how do you make money on social media?

#1 Sponsored posts

Influencer marketing is the fastest growing marketing practice and media channel worldwide, expected to become a $10bn market by 2020. Approximately 8% of marketers worldwide plan to grow their influencer marketing spend in 2019, which is currently sitting at an average between 4.3% and 7.6%.

In the current economy, one of the most cost-effective ways for brands to promote themselves is through blogger and influencer collaborations.

There’s no universal requirement for the minimum number of followers required, but I think anything less than 3000 followers might be too low to start monetizing. But the more followers you have, the more likely you are to make money on social media.

Social media influencers make the majority of their money from brands who collaborate with them. Briefly, a brand will pay you to create content and post it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. In essence, they pay you to gain access to your audience.

#2 Become a brand ambassador

Another way to make money on social media is by becoming a brand ambassador. As an influencer, you would sign a long-lasting contract for a couple of months instead of a once-off partnership.

As an ambassador, you will be expected to regularly create content for the brand and share that content on your social media platforms. The brand may pay you a fixed monthly fee for your services, depending on your agreement. Some brands only offer trade exchange deals, which means they’ll send you free products as a form of compensation.

#3 Digital products

Did you know you could launch an online store without selling physical products? Yep, you heard right. So let’s say you’re a food influencer, you could sell a pdf. document which contains 10 of your recipes. Or, if you’re a fitness influencer, you could sell your training programs online. That is the best way to monetise your knowledge and expertise. What I love about this unique approach is that your initial expenses are relatively low; you don’t have to worry about inventory and shipping. And most importantly, the risk is almost non-existent.

#4 Speaking Gigs

If you are an influencer, that means people see you as an expert in your niche. As you grow your brand, you will eventually start to receive offers to speak at events, workshops and conferences.

If you want to make money on social media, you have to make sure that you are clear about your target market, create high-quality content and treat your influence like a business. Are you interested in becoming a social media influencer? Let me know in the comments below.




Resources: IOL

Photography: Unsplash