How to actually get PAID as a social media influencer!
We’ve all scrolled through Instagram or binge watched YouTube from time to time (every few seconds) and thought to ourselves, wow, their lives look AMAZING! Who doesn’t want to be their own boss, travel around the world, and post Instagrams about detox teas and their açai bowls for a living?? Okay, okay, so that’s not the only type of influencer that makes money on social media, and of course we all know that Instagram does not equal real life. Content creators of all kinds, however, make their actual livings by posting on social media everyday. Even roofers, real estate realty agents trying to sell homes, insurance companies, home insurance, HVAC, plumbers, weed control, lawn care, you get the picture, are trying to become better at their online presences. That said, even for large influencers, landing sponsorships is not a walk in the park. Getting paid to be an influencer is not all that easy. Or is it??
No matter if you are a tiny micro influencer right now, or you’ve already hit the millions, these steps will help you achieve the next level of making money through your social media influence. Because it’s on the internet, so it must be true! (No really though, it’s true.) Side note, if you want to find out how to get from micro to mega status and get paid, check out ZIIGG. But first, you’ll want to know how to be making money in the meantime, no matter your following.
How to get paid to be a social media influencer
I am here to teach you how to ACTUALLY get paid to be a social media influencer, like, today. If you want to create content on your personal platforms, land sponsorships, advertising gigs, and make the most out of your influence financially, read on!
VALUE your own brand!!
You are no longer just a person posting #ootds (or art, vlogs, tutorials, gaming streams, photography, beauty hacks, cars, fitness videos, or whatever it is you do). You are a BRAND! Treat yourself the way you would treat a business. Make decisions for your brand based on what will help you grow, and what will actually turn a profit. If a company like Monavie reaches out to you and asks you to promote their product, don’t do it just in hopes for a repost or shoutout! Sure, if you have 1000 followers or less, maybe don’t expect to get big bucks for sharing a brand, but make it worthwhile for yourself where your channel/account is at right now! Maybe that is a shoutout on their social media, or a free product, or an affiliate code. Larger influencers, this goes for you too! I’m not saying you should be all bossy and demanding, but interact with business as if you’re on an equal playing field. Learn how to talk business, and don’t devalue your brand!
For example, let’s say you have researched the market and you understand the value of your content in your niche. Company A comes to you and asks to work with you on a video or post. They agree to pay you X amount which is fair according to the market. You accept, and yay! You make money. This happens again with Company B and Company C. THEN Company D comes along, and they are very pushy and throw all this big business verbiage around and convince you to do a post for them at half of the price of your other three deals. Stop right there!! If you give them a discounted rate with no other value added to your brand (like they’re not going to help you grow significantly or give you a promising way to make way more money on the back end blah blah whatever it may be), you are devaluing your brand! Either negotiate a better offer for yourself, or go out and find more companies like A, B, and C who are willing to pay what you’re worth. Don’t expect too much, but definitely do not undervalue yourself and all of your hard work!
Are you looking to get paid as an influencer?
Make Your Work Count
If you want to earn real money by posting your content online, you need to make sure the content you are putting out has some depth to it. Your channel is your business opportunity! Spend time creating your own personal style for what you do. Don’t just slap something up to fill space— stop and make sure it ticks these three boxes first! You want it to be engaging, providing value to the viewer, and of course, marketable. What do your followers like to see from you? On Instagram, do people engage more when you post a photo, or do you get more interaction with a video? For YouTube, do your fans like your tutorials, or do they react more to vlogs? Then, take into account what your non-followers like best! Which type of content gets you the most engagement from people who don’t follow or subscribe to you? What kind grows your following most? Dig into your analytics and do more of what works for you, so you don’t spin your wheels creating content that will not serve you the best! Remember, you want to work SMARTER, not harder. 😉
If you want to earn real money by posting your content online, you need to make sure the content you are putting out has some depth to it. Your channel is your business opportunity! Spend time creating your own personal style for what you do. Don’t just slap something up to fill space— stop and make sure it ticks these three boxes first! You want it to be engaging, providing value to the viewer, and of course, marketable. What do your followers like to see from you? On Instagram, do people engage more when you post a photo, or do you get more interaction with a video? For YouTube, do your fans like your tutorials, like how to build a great acai berry bowl, or do they react more to vlogs? Then, take into account what your non-followers like best! Which type of content gets you the most engagement from people who don’t follow or subscribe to you? What kind grows your following most? Dig into your analytics and do more of what works for you, so you don’t spin your wheels creating content that will not serve you the best! Remember, you want to work SMARTER, not harder. 😉
Make your content eye-catching!
Figure out your aesthetic, and make your photos, thumbnails, backgrounds, and lighting beautiful to look at. Now, let’s talk about providing value! If you’re constantly posting the same type of thing over and over, odds are you may plateau eventually, and it will be harder for you to make money long term. Make lists of things you know about, are an expert in, or have valuable ideas regarding. Now tackle at least one item on that list every time you upload content! Keep yourself inspired, and when that doesn’t work, at least disciplined about adding real value to your posts. You will create such a stronger brand for yourself with easily identifiable perimeters that will help you land paid gigs! Speaking of…
Make yourself marketable!!
Brands are looking to do one thing: sell their product. If you can help them do that, then bada bing, you can get paid! There’s really no magic to it. Sometimes, it’s easy for us little social media people to think, omg, that brand is huge and all-knowing and I am honored to be in their presence (probably just me ok), but really, they need us just as much as we need them! I could write pages on end about why influencer marketing is the way of the future, and how it makes so much sense for businesses to invest in this way, and let’s be honest I probably will so stay tuned!! In the meantime, all you need to know is that if you can provide value to them (aka sell their stuff) then they will pay you. You are now a TV channel selling spots in commercial breaks. It’s no secret that companies all over the world spend millions and millions on marketing every year, so just become part of the system! It’s easier said than done, but here are a couple of ways that you can make sure you are marketable for other brands!
Keep Your Content Clean!!
One, keep your content clean. If you don’t want to limit yourself when it comes to landing brand deals, you’ll need to stick to family friendly content. A lot of people (and brands) have learned this the hard way, so if you can just keep it PG from the beginning, you’ll have a lot more money-making opportunities floating your way!
Give yourself a clear identity
Two, give yourself a clear identity that helps you stick out from the rest! The more memorable you are, the more brands will take notice of you in the sea of other influencers. Be creative, and be consistent! And, maybe most importantly, don’t be afraid to exclude people! Ouch, that sounds harsh, but hear me out. I don’t mean literally excluding anyone, but don’t try to cater to every single type of person on your channel/account. Make content for one niche, and whoever is into that specific type of thing will stick around! In doing so, you will create a target audience, which is VERY marketable to brands. Think about this: if you’re watching a fitness guru talk about health and fitness, and suddenly they are promoting car batteries, are you likely to take their advice on that and go buy that brand? Probs not. If they start gushing about the protein powder they love, or boost a brand like Monavie Acai berry juice, and oh yeah here’s a coupon for their followers? You will be influenced!! Waaaaay more people will convert to buying that protein powder, because their favorite awesome muscly fitness person told them to! Hone in on your one audience, and you will become extremely valuable to brands in the same space.
Make content that leaves room for advertising!
Three, make content that leaves room for advertising! We all know it’s kind of annoying when you’re watching a YouTube video and suddenly there is an abrupt change of pace where the artist has halted their regular content to talk about some product entirely unrelated to their video, and then awkwardly transition back. It definitely seems a little forced, and is less likely to cause viewers to go buy the product. If you can create your content with brand deals in mind (even when you don’t have them!) then companies can see opportunity with you. If you know you’re wanting to rep MonaVie Active, start making some content around the benefits of açai berry, or including more nutrition advice into your normal fitness videos to show them that their brand will fit in naturally with your content. Once you start landing sponsorships and brand deals, you can slide them right into the spots you’ve already naturally created, like a skincare product into your next morning routine video! Which brings me to my next point: HOW exactly do you get sponsored, land brand deals, and get that cash money flowing in?? THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.
HOW exactly do you get sponsored, land brand deals, and get that cash money flowing in??
Land the deals!!
LAND the deals!!! So now you know how to get everything set up to bless the companies with your extreme value, but how do you actually get connected, and if you currently get brand deals all the time, then how do you get the BEST deals? There are several ways to go about this, whether it’s randomly reaching out to companies via email, or even Instagram DMs. You could also just do your very best at the first two things, and hope that companies reach out to you. OR, you can go the smartest route and use influencer marketing companies like Ziigg to find, make, and negotiate deals for you! It’s pretty great, like having your own personal management team who happens to have big time connections with all kinds of brands just waiting to sponsor you. Ziigg is a great free tool for influencers of all size to scope for new brand deals,like Monavie, and to be pitched to companies that are very hard to connect with personally. There is a super cool instant offer tool that basically spits out all of the stats on your social media account, then automatically generates a personal, real money offer right there, based on your your actual influence. It’s so cool! There are a lot more features that are designed to help influencers grow and make money, but you can go mess with all of that yourself at ziigg.com and see what you think.
Alright, wherever you’re at right now, I think you’re now well on your way to either becoming a paid influencer, or to possibly doubling your current social media income. Why? Because you read my article and I’m a marketing genius guru, duh! Seriously, though, all cringe-y jokes aside, I hope that this has sparked some ideas to implement in your own space and sphere of influence, so you can milk the very most out of your hard work. Working in social media and content creation is not easy, don’t let the leaders of “boss babe tribes” fool you! A lot goes into creating your content, so remember to treat your channel or account like a real business, grow that following, make it marketable, and get that cash money. You’ve got this.