Right now, digital advertising is dominated by influencer marketing. On platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, social media influencers are earning thousands of dollars per month. The question is, however, how do they make this money? How much money can they actually make through their work? And how can you become an influencer, too, to make money?
There is a lot of competition in the influencer marketing space, but the rewards can be substantial for those who succeed. Here we’ll discuss what it means to be a social media influencer, and how you can become one. Let’s get to it.
What is a Social Media Influencer?
Social media influencers are people who use social platforms to influence their audiences. The objective of this kind of influence isn’t to brainwash viewers but rather to persuade them to try new services and products.
And in return, influencers get paid for promoting the products they advertise. The influencer receives a commission every time a user uses their link to make a purchase. Many companies benefit from this type of marketing since they don’t have to hire an employee to handle it.
Influencers can either be celebrities or common people who have huge followings. However, a lot of brands prefer working with influencers with fewer followings but more engagements. Influencers generally fall into the following categories:
- Macro Influencers (over a million followers)
- Micro-Influencers (between 10,000 & 100,000 followers)
- Nano Influencers (between 1,000 & 10,000 followers)
Macro influencers generally fall below really famous people in terms of fame. In addition to being well-known in their industry, they have also appeared in media outlets nationwide and internationally. The opinion of these individuals matters, and they can contribute to the promotion of a company’s products when there is a match between the audience and the product.
Micro-influencers are increasingly sought after as potential influencers. It is easier for brands to reach and work with micro-influencers because they are more flexible, more accessible, and, in some cases, more creative.
According to Akinola Olusegun’s book Instagram Money, nano influencers are the most authentic and valuable influencers because they share a close relationship with their audience.
Even if the audience isn’t huge, endorsements from nano influencers are more realistic and actionable.
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How to Make Money as an Influencer
Diversifying your income is the key to a successful long-term career as an independent influencer. Social media influencers make money in many ways, including:
- Brand Sponsorships: Influencer sponsorships are the most popular and profitable way to earn money.
Influencers receive payments from brands when they mention products in their social media posts, stories, and content.
- Affiliate Marketing: It is a popular yet simple way for influencers to share products and use affiliate links, so when someone clicks on the link, they get a commission.
- AdSense: Influencers get paid for the adverts of brands they run on their videos, which their audience watches. Different niches and creators earn different amounts.
- Starting a Business: Influencers can use their fame to sell products to their audience and launch their own businesses.
- Selling Merch: Selling hoodies, hats, t-shirts, and other merchandise to an engaged audience is an effective means of monetization.
- Product Collaboration: When influencers don’t want to launch their own products, they partner with brands to create products.
How to Become a Social Media Influencer?
It is, however, a challenging task to become an influential individual with a large following. To influence your social media audience, you need to put a lot of effort and time into it. However, if you’re interested in this, we’ve got you covered. Take note of the following guidelines and come up with your best for becoming a social media influencer.
Choose Your Niche
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Influencer marketing is a diverse field and covers every niche that you can imagine. There are influencers who endorse broad fields like fashion, gadgets, automobiles, and many other cover topics like infant feeding formulas. One way or another, influencers earn money by educating and pursuing users about the products they’re advertising. So, to earn money doing the same, selecting your niche is crucial as it determines your success as a social media influencer.
Choosing a niche that’s up your alley if you want to stay motivated and interested as a social media influencer for as long as possible is important. Post about content that you’re good at. If you have a talent for DIY projects and crafts, go for it. If you know nothing about cars and how they work, do not opt for this niche. Your passion for your niche will make it easier for you to provide value to your users and followers, create great content, and regularly publish over time.
Choose Social Media Platforms
Because there are so many options available today, it is important to decide which social media channel is right for you to succeed as a social media influencer. Selecting the right influencer platform will determine whether you successfully gain followers and make money. Consider these questions before choosing a social media platform:
- What kind of audience are you trying to reach?
- Which social platforms are your competitors using?
- How will you create content in the long run?
- When it comes to creating content, what type do you find easiest?
- In terms of trendy social media channels, what are the latest trends in social media?
However, don’t overburden yourself when it comes to creating content. Decide on one or maybe two social media channels with the most potential, highlight your profile, and stick to them!
Plan Content Strategy
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It can be challenging to establish a solid reputation among social media influencers at first, but it is always possible. In addition to selecting a niche carefully, identify the content type you want to create and develop a content strategy. It is important to select a format for your content that educates your audience while demonstrating your expertise and personality.
Content strategies used by social media influencers often include blog posts, photos, and videos. When producing certain types of content, you can follow the 5-3-2 principle as a rule of thumb. According to the 5-3-2 principle, your social media posts should be divided into five worth-reading articles written by a specialist in your niche, three that are informative, and two that are self-promotional. With this strategy, you can offer potential customers both educational information and the chance to get to know you better.
Although there are many other rules, it is important always to post on-topic and incorporate the content of others as much as possible so your audience can consume a variety of content without being overwhelmed with self-promotion.
Know Your Audience and Engage With Them
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There will be a variety of ways to do this. Many people engage with their followers after posting content on their social media channels. Other people engage primarily through email, either through a mailing list or a site like Patreon that offers private content. Because of your personality, your writing, what you share, and the way you approach influencer marketing, your followers keep returning to your profiles. Create friendships and connections with them by providing them with content and reasons to stay.
Aside from the money and freedom associated with social media influence, another reason for the popularity of this vocation is the friendships one can cultivate because of their position. In order for your brand to be likable and successful, you must build genuine relationships. Failing to do so will cause your brand to suffer.
Distribute Content Properly
Your content will be ineffective if no one sees it, regardless of its quality or effectiveness. That is why you should understand how and where your content should be distributed. To assist you in this process, here are some tips:
- Keep each social media channel focused on a specific theme: There are a variety of social media channels that are used for different purposes. Instagram is mainly used for marketing pictures, while Twitter is primarily used for short bursts of text. Various social media channels may be used to share different content, but it is important to take the time to update them all regularly. Your reputation as an influencer can be negatively affected by using a variety of social media channels no longer relevant, which can result in fewer influencer marketing opportunities in the future.
- Personalize your message: The best way to make your message stand out is to customize it for every social media channel, even if you’re sharing similar content. In your marketing message, you should emphasize appreciation and value for your target audience instead of flooding them with false information and myths. The true value of influencer marketing results from targeting your audience without annoying or spamming them.
- Make posts mobile-friendly: When you’re browsing the web on social media as an influencer, remember that not everyone has a desktop computer. Technology has made it possible for many people to surf the Internet using smartphones and other handheld devices. If you want your content to reach all of your intended audience, ensure that it is still accessible no matter what device they use.
Expand Your Community
Influencers need to expand their community because their followers are the ones who drive their growth. To expand your community, use hashtags, partner with other brands, and engage with people readily. Engaging your followers and the followers of other influencers in your niche is also critical to the frequency with which your posts are delivered and shared on social media.
You must consistently engage your audience, whether you have 5 followers or thousands of followers, by answering their product questions or sharing your personal experiences. Unlike celebrities, influencers are regular people with a platform, and their followers like simple, regular life things.
Influence marketing is a lucrative yet competitive field. Influencers put a lot of effort into their work. The skills you’ll need as a professional influencer include video or audio production, social media app mastery, and making visually appealing images.
In addition, you will be in charge of negotiating with brands, meeting deadlines, and marketing products. So, being an influencer requires a lot of hard work. It cannot be easy to be a full-time influencer, as it is with most creative work. However, the work often pays off in a big way. Follow the strategies mentioned above, and you will definitely see the desired results.