The popularity of social media influencers seems to be on a steady upward trajectory.
Social media influencers have become a formidable force in the digital marketing world. With massive & engaged followings on platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook & YouTube, influencers have the ability to reach a wide audience & shape public opinion.
In relation to that, many influencers have found ways to monetize their online presence & turn their hobby into a profitable career. But how exactly do they make money?
In this blog post, we will explore the various ways in which influencers make money on social media.
Top 7 ways Influencers make money on Social Media
There are a number of ways social media influencers profit from their online presence. Below is a list of 7 known ways they earn money from their social media accounts.
- Sponsored posts and brand partnerships
- Affiliate Marketing
- Selling their own products or services
- Consulting and coaching
- Live streaming and subscription services
- Influencer marketing agency
This is a common way for influencers to monetize their social media presence & can be an effective way for brands to reach a targeted audience
Sponsored posts & brand partnerships refer to the practice of social media influencers partnering with brands & promoting their products or services through posts on their social media accounts. This can take the form of sponsored posts, product reviews & even sponsored Instagram stories or branded TikTok videos. Normally, these posts typically include a disclaimer indicating that the influencer has been paid or compensated in some way for the post.
The influencer may be paid a flat fee, a commission on sales, or may receive free products or services in exchange for promoting the brand. Influencers can also be paid to attend events or take part in brand campaigns, adding an additional revenue stream.
By definition, affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards an affiliate for each visitor or potential client brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
In the context of social media influencers, it means that an influencer can make money by promoting products or services on their social media accounts & earning a commission for each sale made through a unique affiliate link that they share with their followers.
The affiliate link is a special tracking link that is given to the influencer by the merchant, which allows the merchant to track any sales that are generated from the influencer’s promotion. When a follower clicks on the affiliate link, they are directed to the merchant’s website, where they can make a purchase.
If the purchase is made, the influencer earns a commission on the sale, usually a percentage of the total sale. This can be a lucrative way for influencers to make money, as they can earn commissions on multiple sales from a single post & they don’t have to worry about creating their own products or services to sell. They can simply promote products they like or that align with their niche & earn money from it.
Another way social media influencers make money is by selling their own products or services. This can include a wide range of products or services, such as e-books, courses, merchandise, or even one-on-one consulting services.
Influencers who choose to sell their own products or services can leverage their platform & their relationship with their followers to promote & sell these items directly to their audience.
For example, an influencer who is an expert in a particular field, such as cooking or fitness, may create an e-book or online course that teaches their followers how to achieve similar results. Or, an influencer with a large following on Instagram may sell merchandise, such as t-shirts or hats, with their personal brand on them.
This approach allows the influencer to have more control over their content, pricing & overall brand, as well as allows them to create a more direct relationship with their followers since they are selling their own products or services rather than promoting those of other companies.
In addition, if the influencer has a sizable following & the right product or service, it can be a significant source of revenue for them.
Influencers who have built their brand & reputation in a particular area, such as social media marketing, personal development, or e-commerce, may offer consulting or coaching services to businesses or individuals looking to improve their online presence.
For instance, an influencer who has successfully grown their own social media following may offer her services to help other businesses or individuals to do the same. They may help with strategy development, content creation, audience engagement & more. Similarly, an influencer who has a strong reputation in personal development may offer coaching services to help individuals achieve their goals & improve their overall well-being.
This approach allows influencers to capitalize on their knowledge, experience & expertise while helping others. It can also serve as a way to diversify their income & not rely solely on sponsored posts or affiliate marketing.
It’s worth noting that this method requires a significant investment of time & effort to create a coaching or consulting program, but it can be highly profitable in the long run. Additionally, it also requires a certain level of expertise, credibility & trust with their followers, to be able to provide value to their clients.
Platforms like Twitch & YouTube Live allow influencers to create live videos & interact with their followers in real-time & also provide various monetization options.
One way for influencers to monetize their live streams is through advertising, where they can display ads or sponsorships during their live stream, similar to traditional television or radio. They can also earn money from sponsorships, where brands will pay them to feature their products or services during the stream.
Another way for influencers to monetize their live streams is through subscription-based services, where followers can pay a monthly fee to access exclusive content, or to support the influencer’s channel. This can include perks such as exclusive live streams, early access to videos, or behind-the-scenes content.
Live streaming & subscription services provide influencers with new & unique ways to monetize their content & allow them to connect with their followers in real-time. This approach can also be more interactive, providing an opportunity to build a stronger connection with their audience & offer something unique compared to traditional pre-recorded videos.
An influencer marketing agency is another way that social media influencers can profit from their expertise & network. Influencers with a significant following & established reputation in the industry may start their own agency to manage other influencers, brands & campaigns. The agency can act as a liaison between brands & influencers, helping to match them with the right campaigns & negotiate deals.
In this scenario, the influencer-turned-agency-owner can make money by taking a commission on each deal they facilitate. The commission rate can vary, but it’s usually a percentage of the total deal value. This can include a commission on sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, or any other type of influencer marketing campaigns they manage.
Starting an influencer marketing agency can be a profitable way for influencers to monetize their platform & expertise, as they can leverage their reputation & network to attract a wide variety of clients & campaigns. Moreover, it also allows them to be more in control of their revenue streams, as they can decide on the commission rate & the campaigns they want to work with. However, starting an agency requires a significant investment of time, money & effort, as well as knowledge of the industry, but it can be a profitable way for influencers to diversify their income streams.
Crowdfunding platforms such as Patreon, Kickstarter & GoFundMe, allow creators, including influencers, to raise money for their projects by soliciting any amount from a huge number of people.
Influencers can use crowdfunding platforms to raise money for their content creation, such as creating a video series, podcast, or e-book. They can also use crowdfunding to fund other projects such as merchandise, events, or personal projects. Also, they can use it as a way to sustain their existing business model.
Crowdfunding platforms allow influencers to offer rewards, such as exclusive content, merchandise, or personal perks, to those who contribute to their campaign. This can help to build a sense of community & engagement among their followers & supporters.
Keep in mind that crowdfunding can be a challenging way to monetize content, as it requires a significant investment of time & resources to create & promote a successful campaign. It also requires a large & engaged following to be successful, but it can be a powerful way to monetize content, especially if the influencer has a dedicated & passionate fanbase.
In general, social media influencers have a variety of ways to monetize their online presence. From sponsored content & brand partnerships to creating & selling their own products, influencers can make money while building their personal brand & connecting with their followers.
Building a strong & engaged following is of utmost importance for success in monetizing a social media presence, as it opens up opportunities for influencers to earn money through various monetization strategies.
Meet the Author
Benj Hernandez is not a rookie in the influencer marketing industry. He has a proven track record of creating successful influencer campaigns for a wide range of clients, from small businesses to large corporations. He has a deep understanding of the ever-evolving influencer market & is well-versed in the latest trends and strategies. Benj is passionate about helping businesses connect with their target audiences through the use of influencer marketing & is dedicated to helping his clients achieve their marketing goals.