How in the world are so many people making a FULL-TIME LIVING as a social media influencer?
And how can you get a slice of the profits?
Brands are slowly (but surely) moving their advertising dollars towards influencer campaigns. You know how much brands pay for a 30-second local TV commercial? Anywhere from $200-1500. A 30-second spot broadcasted nationally averages around $123,000+. And Super Bowl Ads can go for upwards of $4 million!
So you see, brands have the money to allocate, what you need to do is prove that your channel(s) are worthy of their dollars.
If you prefer to watch this post, click here, but the blog post has a LOT more information.
Before we dive in, we need to cover some basics:
- A social media influencer is someone who has made an online reputation for themselves and works with brands to promote them – after you build your own brand, you should start selling your own products.
- Influencers use different platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest – focus on the platforms you enjoy using the most.
Working as a social media influencer means you’re going to have to commit yourself to working consistently on honing your craft. You need to treat it like having another job.
In order to succeed, you’re going to need to:
- Be able to keep yourself accountable.
- Be disciplined with your time.
- Be able to handle the responsibility of being your own boss.
Mastering these 3 seemingly simple, but not so easy disciplines, has helped me become both a full-time blogger on @ladybossblogger and influencer @elainerau.
How To Become A Full-Time Social Media Influencer
1. Figure Out What Income You Need
Michelle from Linqia suggests making a chart with two columns.
Title one column “Needs” and write the obvious needs underneath it such as rent, food, utilities, gas (if you drive a car), etc.
Title the other column “Wants” and write underneath the things that you could probably live without, but would prefer not to. Things under this category could be makeup, wine, Netflix subscription, etc.
Once you’ve created your chart, write the amount of money that they will cost (Rent = $500, Food = $200, etc.) Looking at your chart, try to earn the money for your “needs” column first as a social media influencer.
Knowing your numbers is one of the most important things you can do because it gives you real tangible goals.
2. Expand Your Following Base
As an influencer, you need to have a decent-sized audience.
Read this post to learn how to grow your audience: 13 Ways To Increase Your Instagram Engagement.
But more importantly, no matter the size of your current audience, you need to be able to INFLUENCE them to take action, which usually means to purchase something because you recommend it, which means they need to trust you.
For example, I posted about how I love menstrual cups, specifically the DaisyCup, and WHY I have been using them for a decade and I made a sale for the company just a few minutes after I uploaded this photo below.
I was honestly just talking about my thoughts and opinions and stating WHY I do what I do and use what I use and because this product is a part of my regular everyday life, people trust my opinion on it.
Normally you’re not going to see the exact transaction, but in this case, my caption urged her to take action immediately and she decided to try it!
3. Decide How Much To Charge
According to recent reports, this is how much influencers charge per social media.
- Instagram: $1,000 per 100,000 followers
- Snapchat: Starts at $500 per campaign in 24 hours
- YouTube: Roughly $2,000 per 100,000 followers
Sign up for SocialBluebook.com to find out what your rates should be – they have a specialized social media calculator that ranks your page based on followers, likes and engagement.
If your engagement is good, you can charge more.
4. Decide On A Niche
You need to decide on a niche or something you want your followers to know you for.
@bresheppard on Instagram has a beauty and fashion niche, so all of her social media has the same focus. The brands that she promotes almost always relate to either beauty or fashion and her followers trust her because she sticks to that.
If you don’t know what your niche should be, read my viral post: 12 Most Profitable Niches.
If you have a business brand, I would keep it separate from your personal brand.
For example, @ladybossblogger is my professional brand and @elainerau is my personal brand – I post completely different things on each. Every account has a different NICHE and audience.
When I started an online e-commerce store for my brand, I created another Instagram account for it: @ladybossblogger.shop. This is how you can get away with having multiple niches on Instagram.
Don’t try to clump a bunch of niches together, unless you’re running a lifestyle account.
5. Hold Yourself Accountable
As a social media influencer, you won’t have a tangible office to drive to every day and you won’t have anyone holding you accountable. There’s not going to be anyone on you about being late or missing deadlines.
A big part of being a successful influencer is knowing the amount of work it takes and putting that work in without having to be told to do so.
Additionally, instead of working with hundreds of different brands, carefully select what brands you want to work with and start building relationships with them – preferably with brands that you currently already use and love.
Only work with brands that you truly love and are passionate about. For example, I use this anti-aging LED Red Light Therapy device daily and I promote it on my Instagram from time to time. The company isn’t telling me to create content for them, I do it myself now.
I signed up for their affiliate program and worked up a good promo code exclusively for my followers. If you use promo code VIPLADYBOSS you get 30% off immediately. You won’t get that deal anywhere else.
I make $3,000+ for this company monthly from affiliate sales – this is PASSIVE INCOME. I created the income stream by being accountable to myself. The company didn’t create it for me, they didn’t ask me to create content, I simply did it myself.
6. Be Patient
Becoming a full-time social media influencer isn’t going to be easy and it isn’t going to happen overnight… your income will come in spurts from different influencer campaigns until you have built a solid following and have locked down the marketing strategies that work for you – this could take anywhere from 6 months to a few years.
Also, the money that you earn from promoting a brand or product sometimes doesn’t get deposited into your account until 1-2 months later, so you must take meticulous notes to ensure you’re paid.
Becoming an influencer honestly shouldn’t be your goal – it should be to INSPIRE, to CREATE, to HAVE FUN, that is what will make creating content sustainable so that you don’t get burnt out.
When I travel, I like to post daily my whereabouts paired with a fun inspirational quote. I am wearing a few sponsored items in my posts, for example in the top left-hand corner I have my Ayanna Joggers on, but the focus is on my travels.
Being an influencer should be fun and relaxing, not a stressful thing.
7. Don’t Depend On One Social Media
Become savvy with Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn – basically all the main social media networks you can think of.
@thisisjessicatorres not only posts sponsored content, but also has a weekly podcast, posts regularly on all of her social media, produces 2-3 YouTube videos and reaches out to different companies to try and pitch herself for new campaigns, products, and promotions.
Being on every social media and getting your name out there will not only increase your income but also your following base.
I can’t tell you how many times I find beauty bloggers on YouTube and instantly look up their Instagram profile and Twitter profile. Your audience wants to be able to know you in all aspects of social media.
Of course, it’s better to focus on 1 or 2 if you can’t handle all 6, but it’s better to grow them all simultaneously than having to start from the ground up after you’ve built a following on other platforms.
For example, I neglected my YouTube channel for 2 years while I grew everything else and I can’t tell you how many paid video opportunities I’ve missed out on. I should have at least put in the effort to post a new piece of video content once a month, but I was simply TERRIFIED of creating videos, plus I didn’t know how to create video content.
Don’t beat yourself up, but DO get started.
If you can only handle one or two channels at the time, get to work on it.
My very first influencer campaign was paid by Intel – they were only interested in my Twitter profile which had about 8,000 followers at that point. The more platforms you have, the more income opportunities you’ll get and most of the biggest brands actually prefer Twitter over other platforms.
8. Know Your Worth And Hustle!
You may think becoming a full-time social media influencer means that you’ll be able to relax at home while working, which couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Your paychecks depend on YOU and how much work you put in!
Trisha Velarmino writes on her blog full-time and works extremely hard as does every other influencer. She gets about 40 emails a day and about 60% of them are asking her to do work for free.
With all of this work being done, you would never want to do all of this for free… BUT there are still advertisers who will try to get you to do so. With the amount of work that you put into this occupation, you shouldn’t be working for free.
KNOW YOUR WORTH!
After you have worked through all of these points, I hope you feel like being a full-time social media influencer isn’t as scary.
Don’t quit your job right off the bat because this is a dream you have, make sure that it’s something you really ENJOY and something that you can FULLY COMMIT yourself to.
Best of luck! You got this!
Written by Elaine Rau, founder of LadyBossBlogger.com and her lovely intern below!
Carly Hancock is a blogging and social media intern at LadyBossBlogger. She’s currently in her senior year at Minnesota State University, Mankato studying Communication Studies and English Literature. She will graduate in the spring of 2019 and is looking forward to a having a future in writing or social media. She enjoys learning new things about beauty products and fashion, and Instagram is her favorite social network!