Becoming a social media influencer and earning money from it is the dot-com dream of new generations.
Successful social media influencers have become so relatable, authentic, and real that anyone thinks they know how to become social media influencers too.
Combine that with the fact that YouTube made $15 billion last year, and nearly half of that went to content creators. Youtube is the forerunner of social content; As long as there is economic opportunity, creators will go.
It’s no surprise that Tiktok has unveiled a $200 million fund for creators and Instagram will start sharing revenue with creators on IGTV.
That said, Instagram has a long way to go given that last year it made $20 billion in revenue and shared hardly any with creators.
How do social media influencers make money?
Influencers can make money through their social media presence. There are different ways of monetization that they can employ to derive a handsome income. Let’s check out some best ways in which social media influencers can leverage their expertise, skills, and influence to make money from various revenue streams.
1. Put keywords that can help identify your interests in your bio so that search engines pick up your profile
There are a lot of influencer and publisher search engines, including more prominent platforms like Google. Search engines aren’t magic; they need something to anchor their decisions. If you help them index your page, you will show up when brands are looking for you.
If you’re a mom with three kids, put that in your bio! Do you have a French bulldog? Put that in, too! Imagine if you’re a brand or agency. PR teams look for specific things and they will use tools to search for particular keywords.
2. Don’t buy followers or pay for likes on your posts
This one should be straightforward, but a majority of brands have bot detection services at their disposal. If they determine that your account has a lot of bots following you or engaging with your content, it will be too much risk for them to partner with you.
3. Pick a category that has a lot of ad dollars and optimize your content for that category
PR managers and talent managers are continually searching for new talent to prospect and pitch. If you’re in a popular category, it’s likely to get more results. The most desired influencer advertising categories are animals, lifestyle, travel, beauty, and fitness.
4. Delete old branded content
Many brands look for conflict of interest and brand saturation in your feed. You’ll want to remove old branded content. Modern influencer marketing tools can also tell brands and agencies the percentage of how much sponsored content you have. If you have a double-digit percentage of sponsored content in your feed, it could be a major turn-off.
5. Tag and show other influencer friends in posts
Brands and agencies love when you know other influencers — they see it as a two-for-one deal. You also benefit from getting more shares and organic traffic.
6. Run ads to gain followers
Many aspiring creators don’t have a lot of followers in the beginning. Instead of doing the follow and unfollow trick or buying likes, followers, and comments, buy targeted ads to get your channel to at least 3,000 followers.
Many search engines don’t track influencers with less than 3,000 followers. You’ll need to pay to play here, but rest assured that creators who do this well eventually make money. If your career is to be a social influencer, invest in your business.
7. Include your pet
The animal category is the highest sought-after category for influencer marketing. Most brands lean on the pet and animal category to hit their growth targets when numbers are sluggish. Pet content gets the most clicks and PR specialists know that. You’ll notice many brands like Ford sprinkle in a dog here and there — now you know why.
8. Make your content consistent
Brands love predictability. Use the same filters, styling, and story formats. If you’re looking to work with big brands and agencies, they like to know you are safe to market with. Think about what brands want. They want to drive sales and awareness, so work backward on what you think will make your content appealing in these scenarios.
9. Create a business account on Instagram
Brands and agencies can often only see your posts if you have a business account. You may lose out on a potential deal if you don’t have one. Furthermore, if you do get a deal, they will likely ask you to connect your account with an analytics service and in doing so you will need to create a professional account.
10. Make sure your contact information, including a business email, is in your bio
Search engines index text on your page and parse our email addresses. The more information you put here, the easier it will be for brands to reach out to you. Search engines also show accounts higher if they have contact information. This is so brands and agencies can have a better experience when reaching out.
11. Reach out to influencer marketing platforms
Find influencer marketing platforms and reach out to them to ensure your data is displayed correctly. A lot of deals are passing through these tech platforms and you want to make sure you are appropriately represented. Many modern platforms will let you connect your accounts, fill in personal details, and more.
12. Secondary social channel
Having more than one channel to promote on will help you in the long run, but the main reason you want to invest in this early on is that brands love when you have a multi-channel strategy. Another benefit is that search engines parse this data and link your other social connections to their databases. The best channels to invest in our Instagram, Tiktok, Youtube, and blogs.
13. Find a niche and be different
Do research, create a spreadsheet of creators in your space, and be unique. Update your competitive sheet every month.
14. Survey your audience every month
Learn about what your audience loves and be customer-obsessed. Engage with your customers in new ways and try to connect with them. The hardest thing for creators is being more disciplined in this category. It’s not just responding to comments — it’s jumping on a video conference and asking your fans when they love your content.
15. Go live
Nearly every digital platform is trying to disintermediate TV. Live content is the toughest to produce and therefore the most sought-after. Social platforms will do everything they can to promote it. If you were a product manager at Facebook, what would you do? Send more notifications? Promote more content? Host AMAs, do live contests, and have giveaways. It doesn’t need to be fancy — just try something!