You’ve been at work for nine hours, and you see a dog with 2 million followers on Instagram generating more income than you. Yep, the social media has gotten to a place where influencers are not even limited to humans anymore. So, how do influencers make money nowadays?
Understanding the ways in which you can generate money as an influencer gives you a definitive direction to market yourself on social media. If one of your dreams is to travel and make money around the world, then you should definitely consider the influential world of Instagram.
Social networking has evolved from a fun activity to a necessity for many people and businesses, making it easier than ever to generate money online. When you’re your own boss, you can work anywhere and whenever you want. However, if your only target is to make money from your social status, then you might be getting into the wrong field.
This lifestyle is undeniably lucrative, but it takes more than a few Instagram reels and stories to get there.
Who Can Be an Influencer?
Anyone! Anyone who actively engages with their followers and has the power and knowledge to influence their decisions.
Influencers vary from the number of followers, kind of content and the level of influence they have.
Whatever platform or niche you use, your authentic voice is what really matters. Then the money-making comes along with that.
Top 6 Ways Influencers Make Money on Instagram
1. Create a Digital Product or Service
There’s no better way to study a market and its demand than using social media. After you have established yourself as a social figure, you can easily engage with your followers, understand what they are looking for, and create the perfect digital product for the market.
Whether you’re a personal trainer giving out fitness plans, a writer promoting your new eBook, or a crypto expert selling downloadable guides. Any influencer can profit from their knowledge and connections.
If you want to go for tangible e-commerce, you may end up with a more expensive production. But selling merch with your own touch and logo will give an awareness boost to your brand, and that revenue stream will end up balancing out your costs.
2. Link your Blog, Vlog or Podcast
Now this is more of an indirect way influencers make money using their expertise.
Don’t expect followers to show up every day just to check out your OOTD or what you had for breakfast this morning. Creating blogs, vlogs or podcasts will give you an eager audience for solid content. Once you lead them to your external website, you can start generating more money from the traffic.
Quality blogs do require effort, but the good news is, that a blog can range from vegan recipes to financial advice to even a diary of a traveling bartender.
3. Join Affiliate Marketing Programs
How many times did you see influencers posting a ‘promo code’ to get a 10% discount on your next purchase?
Obviously, they’re not giving you those discounts free of charge. Every time this promo code is used or that link is clicked, the influencer is getting commission in return.
So, if you’re going for an affiliate program, make sure you’re promoting a product that aligns with your own niche. Keep in mind that this pay-per-sale tactic is unlikely to be your only source of income, but it is an efficient way to make money on the side.
4. Become a Brand Ambassador
Instead of a one-time promotion, you can become a face of the brand. It’s a win-win situation; a company gains more awareness, and an influencer becomes more legit.
Usually, brands hunt down influencers for this job and not the other way around. Because as a brand ambassador, not only will you be posting on your own account, but probably be featured in their ads, websites and other social media channels.
Another fad that you have probably seen on Instagram: watching 10 stories of different local influencers attending the same event or eating at the same restaurant.
Nope, they probably didn’t plan it on a WhatsApp group.
As modern-day celebrities, social media influencers can draw large crowds wherever they go. So, you’ll probably get a free pass to the next big launch, and maybe some free food!
You can also reach out to companies in the same market and offer a collaboration, so both parties can target the right people. But remember, not all events should be attended.
Let’s say you’re an athletic influencer invited to the opening of a new fast-food restaurant, then you probably would like to pass on this one. Your network should not be contradicting with your own values.
6. Get Free Products
Speaking of free things, if you’re new to the influencer world, you will probably start getting gifts before making real cash.
As I mentioned earlier, social media is the perfect place to learn how people respond to certain products. So, companies may use influencers as their pre-launch experiment to see the level of engagement, and then adjust their strategy accordingly.
Real Life-Story from a Real Rising Influencer: KidsNavi
KidsNavi is an example of a genuine gesture turning into a full-time job.
Ghalya Bitar, a mother of three, knew the struggle of finding the right places and products for her kids in Jordan. With the intention of helping other mums in the community, @kidsnavi was created as a family go-to guide on Instagram.
Surprised by the high demand, she took @kidsnavi to the next level, creating her own digital service: the KidsNavi app.
This is where you can find great deals on products, upcoming events for kids, and a direct booking feature. The app is free of charge, but the money-making comes from collaborations with companies and events that want to be featured.
With over 25K followers now, KidsNavi continues to grow with its authentic voice.
What’s the secret to success:
5 Tips for Influencers – From an Influencer
- Solve a Problem:
People are constantly looking for solutions, so be the experienced hand they can reach for.
- Be Genuine:
Create content with your followers in mind, and not the money.
At the end of the day, your job here is to influence.
- Do your Research:
Test products before you promote them and make sure it aligns with your own brand image.
- Focus on Engagement:
And not on the number of followers. Some micro-influencers have better insights than a 100K influencer.
- Be Innovative:
Don’t create another typical fashion or food blog and expect to become an influencer.
KidsNavi was a new concept to the local market with a proper demand.
Yes, the world of influencers is a competitive digital game.
But if you really want to play, then you need to be the MVP of your niche.
When it comes to earning money from your passion, the sky is the limit!
Create something new, different, and most importantly, stay real.