Wondering how to make money on social media as a social media influencer?
Making money on social media as an influencer is not as uncommon as it was a decade ago. With more influencers popping up daily, becoming a social media influencer is a viable career path.
With that said, it’s not for everyone and requires a considerable amount of work, patience, and knowledge.
In this article, I will show you the basics of making money on social media, as well as 17 ways to make money on social media as an influencer.
What Are the Basics of Making Money on Social Media as an Influencer?
Before we get into the details of how to make money as a social media influencer, let’s talk about what will get you there.
How can you establish your value as an influencer?
Getting these basics right can help you gain more credibility and win the trust of potential partners. Some of the basics will also make it easier for you to get into the radar of brands that are looking for influencers.
So what should you start with?
#1. Produce High-Quality Content
The quality of your content can determine the kind of impression you’ll make on potential partners. And of course, high-quality content is crucial if you want to make a good first impression.
When brands look for potential social media influencers to work with, they’ll look at the influencer’s relevance, reach, and engagement rate. But they’ll also go through the influencer’s content just to see how good of a content creator they are.
So what does this mean when it comes to making money online?
Whatever content you post on social media should be of high quality if you want to make money with social media. Invest in a decent camera if possible so you can produce better images.
To improve your text content, I recommend using ProWritingAid. This content writing tool not only helps correct your grammar but also suggests changes to your style. It can even help you find new words.
And make sure you use witty captions that will appeal to your target audience.
Take The Vegan Vibe for example.
As you can see in the screenshot above, they only have a few thousand followers right now. But their photos are vivid, vibrant, and of high quality. There’s a good chance that vegan food brands would want to work with them.
#2. Engage Your Audience
Brands also look for engagement rate when searching for influencers to work with. That’s why it’s crucial that you build an engaged and loyal audience if you want to make money on social media.
Instead of simply creating content about yourself, you need to engage your followers in a two-sided conversation.
Even if you post a photo of a certain product that you really like, you could ask questions in the post for your followers to comment on.
Some examples are:
- Have you used it before?
- What do you think about it?
- How would you rate it?
- Would you recommend this product?
Or you could encourage them to create content in tune with what you’ve created and ask them to tag you in it.Take a look at how popular micro-influencer Alex Aldeborgh (@daisybeet) engages with her followers in the following post.
Even on her other posts, she normally engages her fans by wishing them a good day or even providing them with useful information.
#3. Join an Influencer Network
Whether you’re just starting out as an influencer or you want to further monetize your influence, joining an influencer network can be a great way to find brands to work with.
It’s especially beneficial for micro-influencers who haven’t yet received a lot of proposals from brands and marketers.
These influencer networks match you with brands that are in search of influencers fitting your characteristics. So, this is one of the best ways to make money with social media and make your mark as an influencer.
In some cases, brands and marketers may also use the network to search for influencers in a certain niche. Some networks may even let you choose brands that you wish to promote.
All of these options will prove to be beneficial for both influencers and brands. And there are plenty of networks and platforms to choose from.
I recommend using Heepsy. This platform is specially geared towards micro-and nano-influencers, so there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to get connected with a brand with ease.
What Are the Best Ways to Make Money on Social Media?
After you’ve completed these basics, you can start implementing some tips to make money on social media.
What types of collaborations should you look for?
Here are some of the most popular and effective ways for influencers to make money with social media:
#1. Social Media Sponsored Posts
Sponsored social media posts are one of the most popular ways for influencers to make money from social media. It’s when brands or marketers pay you to promote a certain brand or product in a social media post.
What can you post about?
The post can either be entirely about the product or it could feature several products at a time. You could create review posts, informational posts, or simply feature and tag the products.
Instagram influencers can charge between $124 and $1,405 per sponsored post. But the cost can vary according to a number of factors such as the number of followers you have and the industry in which you specialize.
The report found that influencers who have fewer than 2000 followers may charge around $124 per post and those with 2000 to 5000 followers charge an average of $137 per post.
It is relatively easier to make money on Instagram. And the cost for one sponsored post increases and by the time you have more than a million followers, you could charge around $1,405 for a single Instagram post.
So, what’s the drill?
Simple, the more followers you have, the more likely you are to make money with social media as an influencer.
What does this mean for you?
It means that you need to try to further increase your following by creating engaging content regularly and hosting giveaway contests that require participants to follow you.
Here’s an example of a sponsored post created by style blogger Chandler Nehrt for Quattro.
She talks about her experience using the product and she addresses her audience’s pain points too.
#2. Become a Brand Representative/Ambassador
You can also make money on social media by becoming a brand representative or brand ambassador.
What’s so good about this form of partnership?
This would normally be an extended contract lasting for at least a couple of months instead of just a one-off partnership. In some cases, the contract may last for several years as well.
When you’re a brand representative or a brand ambassador, you’ll get free products from the brand. In exchange, you’ll have to promote these products on social media.
Some brands may pay an additional fee for every piece of content their ambassadors create. Or there may also be a compensation clause in which you earn a percentage or a fixed sum for every conversion you drive.
You can look for top brands that offer a brand ambassador program and see if those brands would be suitable for you.
You can even check out whether or not some of your favorite brands have an ambassador program you could sign up for. This is a great way to start making money online.
For example, the Lululemon brand ambassador program is currently a very popular program among influencers.
Although there’s no direct link or instruction on their website, you can get in touch with them to see if there are any opportunities for you.
Or instead of conducting a manual and extensive search, you can always sign up for a brand rep network.
These networks will make it easier for you to apply to become a brand representative for some of the biggest brands.
As you can see in the screenshot below, Reppr even allows you to search for opportunities based on specific industries.
Brand rep programs are especially useful for those who are still in the process of building a large following.
Because many brands aren’t necessarily looking for social media users with thousands of followers but rather everyday consumers who are relatable to their target audience.
Brands like Spartan Race have worked with a community of micro-influencers in the sports and fitness industry.
One of their reps is Nick Vitale (@sharpenthesword), who has just over 5,700 Instagram followers.
As you can see in the screenshot above, he’s mentioned in his bio that he’s a Spartan ambassador. And he’s also included a link to his Scoutsee storefront in which he promotes Spartan products.
This is a brilliant way to make money on social media and if you’ve never tried it, you should consider it right now.
#3. Make Money on Instagram and other Platforms with Affiliate Marketing
Another excellent way for influencers to make money on social media is by leveraging affiliate marketing.
What is it all about?
In this type of arrangement, you can approach brands or retailers that offer affiliate programs. And once you’ve been accepted as an affiliate marketer for the brand, you will be provided with a unique affiliate link or code that will be used for tracking your conversions.
You can create posts in which you review, feature, and/or promote their products. Depending on which brand or retailer you’re working for, you might have to buy the product yourself.
Or you may be able to choose from a collection of products that the brand or retailer is willing to provide to you for free.
You will direct your followers to use the affiliate link or code. And for every conversion resulting from your link or code, you will earn a commission.
How much commission?
The commission may be a small percentage or even a fixed amount depending on the program you’ve signed up for.
There are tons of retailers and brands that offer affiliate programs. Look for the programs offered by your favorite brands or conduct a simple Google search for the best programs available.
ASOS is one of the most popular ones. Affiliate marketers can earn 5% commission for every conversion they drive to the site.
However, if you want to sell something through affiliate marketing, you need to create an affiliate campaign yourself.
For this, I recommend using InviteReferrals. This tool will make the entire process simple for you, regardless of whether you want to launch the campaign on social media, website, or even your app. It also provides detailed analytics to help you figure out where you stand.
#4. Share Your Patreon Account
You can also start making money on social media by directly appealing to your followers.
Set up a Patreon account and then share this with your followers on social media. Through Patreon, you can offer exclusive experiences to fans that are willing to pay a small fee.
The experience could be anything from early access to your content or more detailed and in-depth versions of your social media content.
Influential YouTube channel Roomie, for instance, has set up a Patreon account that he regularly promotes through his videos.
By becoming a patron of him, his followers can get extended versions of the new songs he creates and access to Patreon-only streams.
The membership fees range from just $1 per video all the way to $200 per video. The highest tier members can even decide what videos Roomie should create on his main channel.
Through this platform, you’ll basically get paid by your fans for exclusive experiences. This is ideal for those of you who are excellent content creators.
Even if you don’t have tens of thousands of followers, you’ll still be able to make a decent amount of money.
What do you need to start earning? You should be good with just a few loyal fans who truly value your content.
#5. Co-Create Product Lines
You’ve built a significant following and you’ve worked with several brands to generate a steady stream of income. And you might think there are no opportunities anymore to further increase this income.
Do you think that there’s nothing more for you to monetize as an influencer?
That isn’t true.
There are still several ways to make even more money on social media platforms after you’ve become a successful influencer.
One of the best methods is to promote or sell products that you have created in partnership with brands.
Some brands will want to partner with you to co-create products for their brand. And in return, they might pay you large sums along with a percentage of the profits.
But keep in mind:
- The compensation plan may vary according to your contract and your level of involvement in the creation process.
- If you’re a big enough influencer, the brands may benefit from having your name on their products. And you’ll be generating even better income through this partnership. So this type of collaboration is a win-win.
YouTube channel sensation, Bunny Meyer (@grav3yardgirl), partnered with Tarte Cosmetics to create a makeup collection.
She posted photos and videos showcasing the product and encouraging her followers to get the collection.
#6. Promote Your Own Products
Maybe you could ditch the part where you partner with brands and come up with your very own line of products.
Sure, you may need to make a small investment first. But if you want to monetize your influence even better, this type of investment could prove to be beneficial in the long run. You can then promote and sell products on social media platforms.
For example, YouTuber Jack Douglass has set up a merch store in which his followers can get products related to his channel.
The store contains products such as t-shirts with catchphrases and quotes from his popular content.
#7. Sell Your Photographs
This is one of the lesser-known ways to make money on social media but is effective nonetheless. You can actually sell the photographs you took for social media posts if they are of high quality.
Sounds promising, right?
This is a great way to make money on social media platforms, especially, if you are active on Instagram and love photography.
Your Instagram feed can act as your digital portfolio for interested buyers, so it is crucial that you post actively there. Also, make sure that you add personalized watermarks to your pictures so that people can’t just use it for free.
You can wait for people to contact you or you can look for buyers yourself. There are several platforms where you can look for buyers, sell your pictures and make money.
#8. Pick a Platform
Where you’ll be posting the majority of your content is important. Certain social media apps have a larger amount of generation Z’s attention, whereas others have a larger majority of millennials and generation X.
As we can see, the number of Generation Z users on social media applications like Reddit and even Twitter is less than half of the number of users on Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok.
Depending on what your product or service is, it would be best to decide on a target audience and choose the social media platforms the largest majority uses.
#9. Join a Network of Influencers
Joining a network of influencers might take a while since most won’t work with you if you don’t already have a following to some degree.
The reason you need a following is that most influencer networks won’t work with an influencer unless they have at least 1,000 followers.
Influencer networks help brands and influencers who share similar interests get in touch with each other. These networks will also help negotiate terms between the two.
One of the best influencer networks is Upfluence.
Networking with brands as an influencer will help build trust and authority within your field much faster than going about it alone.
#10. Boost Your Engagement Rate
A strong engagement rate means your social media content is of good quality and keeps users interested.
The higher your engagement rate, the more likely users are to follow your social media pages, which in turn grows your following.
Here are some things you can do to boost your engagement rate:
- Created targeted content.
- Share valuable/informational content.
- Make relevant content.
- Be conversational and don’t forget to ask questions.
- Respond to comments.
#11. Give Away Free Stuff
It might seem like a strange strategy, especially if you are trying to make money. The fact is, you’ve got to spend some money to make more money, especially on social media.
One of the largest influencers on YouTube, MrBeast, has become quite famous for giving away free stuff.
His pinned video is even a giveaway video.
Now, you don’t have to go as far and wild as MrBeast. But a free giveaway will definitely boost engagement on that post and you can even require users to share the post to be eligible for the prize.
#12. Use Multiple Hashtags
Although it’s been shown that hashtags don’t really boost engagement much, it’s still important to use the correct hashtags for your posts.
Hashtags are used by the social media platform to understand what the post is about and which other posts are similar or have the same hashtags.
This is so that when users search for a hashtag on a social media app, it can provide them with related posts.
On TikTok for example, data has shown that adding up to 10 relevant hashtags can increase engagement from TikTok’s average 5.47% to 6.41%.
#13. Partner With a Mobile App
In 2021, the mobile gaming industry generated $180.3 billion, a growth of 1.4% over the previous year.
It’s a massive market, and partnering with a mobile app or game can get you a lot of exposure, especially if that’s your target audience.
A lot of mobile apps and games do sponsorships and affiliate marketing with gaming influencers. But there are plenty of other niches that you can target as an influencer.
The fitness mobile app is one example.
Plankk Studio is a mobile fitness app that uses Instagram Fitness influencers to create diet and workout plans for the app.
#14. Find Your Niche
Finding your niche will help you focus better on your target audience. It will also help you create content that will engage more with your audience, instead of creating random content hoping someone watches or engages with it.
It’s also important that whatever subject(s) you decide to post about, that you actually like them and are knowledgeable about the topic.
Once you start putting out content and gain a small following, you won’t be able to course correct or change your niche without alienating your current fanbase.
The best way to avoid this is to have a firm grasp of what type of influencer you want to be and what you want to talk, write, and, post about.
From there, you can create a roadmap to make sure you don’t lose sight of what your channel is about, and what your followers expect from you. This should help you keep you growing your channel as long as your content is of high quality.
#15. Post High-Quality Photos
According to HubSpot, photos get 53% more Likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click-throughs on Facebook than a post without a photo.
Offering high-quality pictures on your social media posts shouldn’t just be about the statistics though.
The fact is that photos are some of the first things that will catch a user's eyes when they go to your social media account. This is especially true about your profile picture.
Pictures show the care you put into your work, and make readers feel like you’ve put the effort and time in to make the post as engaging as possible for them.
#16. Promote Your Services
A lot of influencers like to create and sell products, or team up with brands to collaborate on a product.
Thing is, for some influencers, it might not be a viable option. It could be that the niche they chose just doesn’t have any suitable products that they could sell.
Instead, they might be able to use their influence to promote a service. This is seen a lot among business influencers. It’s also a viable option for fitness influencers.
Q1. Who is the highest-paid social media influencer?
A. Christiano Ronaldo is currently the highest-paid social media influencer with over 400 million Instagram followers. He gets paid between $800,000 and a million dollars for a sponsored post.
Q2. How much does a social media influencer make?
A. There is a lot of ambiguity when it comes to determining what an influencer should be paid. In fact, influencers can make anywhere from $10 per post to even a million dollars for a single post. However, in general, it depends a lot on how popular the influencer is.
Q3. How do Facebook influencers make money?
A. Facebook influencers can make money by creating and posting sponsored content for brands that they collaborate with. They can also sell their own products on Facebook to earn money or become an affiliate and promote other brands’ products on Facebook.
Q4. Can you make money being an influencer?
A. Yes, you can not only earn money but can make a living being an influencer. Many social media influencers are doing it as a full-time job.
Q5. Who is the highest-paid Instagrammer?
A. Christiano Ronaldo was the highest-paid Instagram influencer in 2020.
Q6. Which social media platform is best for earning?
A. All social media platforms have their own pros and cons, but all are good for earning money.
Still, people believe that YouTube is the most profitable as there, you get paid for the ads shown on your videos and the earning potential is unlimited. It is more difficult to become an influencer on Instagram, but once you do have a substantial following, it is also quite profitable.
Q7. How can I become a social media influencer and earn money?
A. To become a successful social media influencer, you first need to pick your niche and platform and build a significant following. Once you have that, you can then start reaching out to brands and pitch your services to them.
It is also important to build organic relationships with brands by engaging with their social media content and mentioning their products for free if you like them.
Q8. How many followers do you need to get paid as an influencer?
A. There is no minimum requirement on the number of followers, as anyone can be an influencer as long as they have a loyal audience and expertise in their niche. Still, anywhere over the 1000 follower mark is a good place to start.
Ready to Make Money on Social Media as an Influencer?
These are some of the best ways to make money on social media platforms.
So, what are you waiting for?
You should start using these ways to make money on social media and monetize your influence. And, don’t forget the basics of posting relevant and good-quality content to keep your followers engaged and loyal.
Do you know of any other ways to make money on social media platforms? Please share them with us in the comments section. We would love to hear your thoughts.