As social media continues to grow by leaps and bounds every day, so does the number of social influencers. Per the most recent stats, Instagram stands at 800 million and Twitter at 330 million active monthly users, according to Statista. Facebook has, of course, surpassed them all and crossed the two billion monthly users mark recently.
These figures are an embodiment of the fact that there is a vast ocean of opportunities available out there. So if you wish to make it big as a social media influencer, it is not entirely unachievable. Here are some of the most important things you need to know about influencing your followers and making more money.
1. Authenticity is the key to influence.
Brands are willing to pay for your influence on social media. However, they will not pay you blindly. Simply having a large number of followers on your social channels is not good enough.
With the multitude of tools and tricks available, anyone can buy followers on social media. However, you must remember that fake followers are not genuinely interested in you or your content. So your level of influence on them will be scant.
Instead, you must work on growing your followers using your personality and great content. It is important to find a niche that resonates with you. If you are able to tell a compelling story to your audiences, you are most likely to win them over. The more authentic your story is, the more influence you can exert on your followers.
For example, Daily Dose, founded by Tim Karsliyev, is one of the biggest motivational influencers on Instagram. The account has over a million followers acquired predominantly through authentic motivational messaging.
2. Make money with sponsored posts.
Once you have acquired a few thousand genuine followers, you can start pitching to brands for sponsored posts. These posts can have content created by the brands, or you can create it as well. Depending on your contract, you will then be responsible for posting them on one or more of your social accounts.
Crowdtap is a good example of a platform that connects brands and influencers. If you're confused about how much to charge for each sponsored post, you can use Social Bluebook. It is a platform that will help you sync all your social media accounts and create proposals. These proposals are created taking into account your follower count and influence level.
Eleanor Pendleton, the founder of GRITTY pretty, a digital beauty magazine and website is a well-known influencer. She often uses sponsored posts to fund her magazine.
3. Try affiliate marketing.
Another great way to make money using your social influence is through affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you are simply promoting the products or services of another brand. So when your followers make a purchase from an affiliate link, you get a percentage of it.
The most important thing to remember here is to choose brands or products related to your niche. If you steer away from it in your attempt at making money, it will do you more harm. If your followers do not see a consistent brand personality, they will soon unfollow you. Try putting yourself in your followers' shoes and think about what products they might benefit from.
Some of the most popular affiliate marketplaces are Amazon, CJ Affiliate, and ClickBank. The best way to use affiliate marketing that does not come across as spammy is to write product reviews. Also, it is recommended that you tell your followers upfront about your affiliate relationships.
For example, popular YouTube influencer The Deal Guy regularly promotes Amazon's products on his channel as an affiliate.
4. Create or co-create products.
Successful social media influencers use their influence to promote their own products or services too.
For example, popular fitness influencer Kayla Itsines runs a profitable business by selling her workout programs.
You can even collaborate with the brands you work with and co-create products or services. For such partnerships, you can receive a commission on sales or charge a fee for becoming a brand ambassador.
YouTube influencer Jaclyn Hill works with the cosmetics brand Becca and promotes their products to her followers. Becca has even launched a product line named after Jaclyn.
The possibilities are endless once you have established a secure foothold on social media. It might take some time and effort to build up a decent follower base. However, if done well, the results will be well worth the investment.
Also, remember to continue engaging your followers with fresh content. Your followers are the people who pave the path to your success. Once you embark on that journey, don't leave them behind.
Can you think of more ways of making money as a social influencer? Let me know in the comments below.