A social media influencer is a trending type of advertiser business can hire. Whether you need one or you want to be one, it is essential to know how an influencer can make money on their social media platforms. It’s not that hard to do; all you need is to do the right campaigns and strategies for your social media content and you’ll be on your way to influencer fame!
Here are ten ways you can make money as a social media influencer.
1. Sign up with an Influencer Marketing Agency
There are many influencer marketing agencies that will connect brands with influencers for sponsored posts, product reviews, and giveaways. You usually don't need to have a huge following to sign up either - oftentimes all you have to do is fill out the information about your niche (ie: health and fitness, beauty, etc.) and some personal details such as age, location, and income level.
The agency will match you up with various brands based on the information given when signing up - sometimes they'll even pitch ideas for you! There's also the option to apply to be considered for one of their featured influencers.
2. Sign up with a social media talent agency
Social media talent agencies are similar to influencer marketing agencies in that you can sign up and they'll pitch ideas to brands on your behalf. The difference is the social talent agencies work exclusively with YouTubers, bloggers, vloggers, and Instagrammers. However, some influencer marketing agencies may have video personalities or vloggers as well, so it never hurts to ask if you can sign up!
3. Create your own social media campaigns
If you're an aspiring social media star, working on creating your own brand rather than being another cog in the machine, try creating your own social media campaigns! That's what I did when starting my blog, and it worked out really well.
Brands will pay you to create a post (or posts) promoting their product or service in an organic yet sponsored way, oftentimes without the need for exclusivity. I made $52,500 in one year from doing this alone - not too shabby for someone with no prior experience making money online!
4. Sell products directly
This one is used A LOT by YouTubers that have large audiences and tons of engagement on the video they make. Makers of all sorts of products will contact these social media influencers and ask if they can sell their product onscreen in a video. YouTubers are then paid through PayPal or via merchant accounts with companies like ShareASale.
5. Sell digital products
You don't need a huge following to make money by selling digital products! Some social media stars make $10,000+ per month just by creating courses, eBooks, and other downloadable content related to their niche! The great thing about this method is there are very few start-up costs - meaning you could go from 0 followers to "pro" status overnight!
6. Sell prints or photobooks
If you have a particularly stunning Instagram feed, you may be able to sell those images as prints or in a photo book! I've seen so many bloggers do this and it works great - especially if your feed consists of nature/landscape shots! Check out PhotoShelter for more information on how to do this.
7. Sell logos, illustrations & other custom designs
Brands will often pay social media influencers good money for custom artwork (ie: logos, product mockups, etc.) that is relevant to their niche. This is usually best left up to the vloggers or bloggers since they can show the design on their channel/blog rather than just tell you about it. Check out Fiverr or Upwork for more info on how to get started with this method of monetization.
8. Promote affiliate offers
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular methods used by social media influencers - that's why we have a whole division here at WiC devoted to it (check out Make Money With Influencer Marketing for more information)! All you need is an "affiliate link" from one of the many affiliate networks available online.
You can find these links in the dashboard of your account on whichever network site you join - ShareASale, FlexOffers, and Clickbank are my current three favorites, but there are dozens more! When someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you earn a commission on that sale.
9. Promote sponsored ads
Similar to promoting affiliate offers, some social media influencers will also promote "sponsored ads". Some of the bigger networks like BubbleGum Marketing offer this service. You can also reach out to brands directly and ask if they'd be interested in sponsoring one of your posts or videos. This is great because it allows you more freedom in terms of what you do and don't promote on your channel/blog.
10. Sell advertising space on your site or YouTube channel
Some YouTubers make $1,000+ per month just by selling ad space! Your Google Adsense account is the most basic way of doing this - but you can also reach out to brands directly and invite them to advertise on your channel/blog.
Keep in mind that selling ad space isn't going to make you rich overnight - it's a nice little bonus if you have a decent following, but don't expect your social media presence to be the sole reason for making tons of cash online.