Is Being An Influencer An Actual Job?
The answer is YES!
Influencers are able to build viable careers and make a sustainable income, by sharing their lives and products they create, on social media. It has been incredible to watch the evolution of the influencer industry and how things have grown and changed over the years. Influencers make money a plethora of different ways, and today we are going to highlight a few for those of you who are just getting started.
How Do Influencers Make Money?
The first thing I want to note here is that almost every successful influencer started their career rooted in passion for what they are sharing. While having an online presence can be very lucrative, chasing the dollar and making money cannot be the only thing that drives you. You’ll lose steam fast and quickly forget why you started. So before we dive in, please know that good things (success, money, partnerships, long term deals, etc.) come to those who hustle, who are consistent and who stay true to who they are.
Now that that is out of the way, let’s chat …
So, how do influencers make money you ask? Well the first thing I tell any blogger/influencer that I connect with is that they have value. Even if your following is less than 10K on Instagram or your engagement has tanked lately (just to name a couple reasons why creators often count themselves out of a check) … you are valuable and deserve to be compensated for your time and efforts. We can dig into how much, how to ask and how to negotiate in a future post.
How Do Influencers Make Money: Affiliate Linking
The first source of income we’ll discuss is affiliate linking. Anytime you see an influencer tell you to “swipe up” or check out his/her shop page for outfit details, they are more than likely using an affiliate link. Affiliate links allow bloggers/influencers to make a commission off of the products that their audience purchases using their links.
Some popular affiliate programs for influencers include RewardStyle, ShopStyle and Amazon. There are TONS more, but these are probably the top 3 that most bloggers who focus on fashion/lifestyle work with. I wrote a blog post about how to shop my looks with rewardStyle/LIKETOKNOW.it, you can read it HERE.
To give you an example, let’s say this post is about sharing items from the Sephora sale. I could link the word SEPHORA with an affiliate link, that way anyone who clicks on it and shops would generate a commission for me. Or with RewardStyle and ShopStyle I can also create a “widget” within the post that shares actual pictures of the items, and if a reader clicks on the image and shops, I would make a commission (see below):
While affiliate linking is a very small percentage of my annual income, it can be very lucrative! The important thing is to be consistent and understand your audiences wants, needs and shopping patterns. I love my Friday pay days from RewardStyle! It’s extra money that I’m able to use for my family or for myself!
How Do Influencers Make Money: Sponsored Posts
Another way influencers make money is through sponsored posts. This includes both blog and social media. Sponsored content is the most lucrative form of influencer income for me. As someone who has signed several multi-figure deals and has built long term relationships with brands over the years, here is my best advice:
- Brands are always watching. They likely won’t engage, it may take months (or longer) for them to reach out, but they are watching. Tag, mention, feature products organically in your feed when appropriate. You don’t have to be obnoxious, but if you truly use something and love it, why not share it with your audience? It’s all about building organic relationships. On top of that, create beautiful content, consistently.
- Understand who represents that brand. Often times when it comes to partnerships and collabs, the brand is working with a PR company. Do a little research and learn more about what PR firms that are out there. Understand who they represent and what initiatives the brand you desire to work with is focused on. You can learn about via social media or the brands website. You can always reach out to the brand directly, however, I’ve found that 90% of my collaborations come from an agency. Get on their list, introduce yourself, send your media kit. That way when they are looking for influencers to fill a certain campaign, you are top of mind.
- Sign up for Influencer Platforms like Whaler, #paid, collectively, revfluence, TapFluence, rewardStyle to name a few. These are great ways to sign up for collaborations with brands.
- Over deliver. Once you land the deal, always over deliver. Give them more than they asked for. Wow them. Trust me, it’ll keep them coming back for more.
How Do Influencers Make Money: Content Creation
When you create beautiful quality content, brands take notice. And sometimes, they’ll just reach out to you for your images. They may purchase images you’ve already taken or ask you to create content for a specific campaign. Often times in this scenario, you would not be required to share on your social feed or blog.
How Do Influencers Make Money: Public Events/Speaking Engagements
I’ll never forget the first time I was asked to speak on a panel. I was so nervous! But I am so glad I did it. It really pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me to grow both personally and professionally.
I did it once and then before I knew it, I was being asked to do several different kinds of events. I was being contacted for both speaking and/or beauty events. I had to learn quickly what I would charge for something like this! You have to factor in time spent, drive time, any required social media shares, etc. into your rate. I love public speaking, even though I always feel like I’m going to faint beforehand! Haha! I love teaching women how to grow their businesses and how to be successful in this field.
Well, I’ve highlighted the top ways that most influencers make money! I hope that you all found this helpful and that you push yourself to try and accomplish some if not all of these this year. Thank you so much for reading, I really enjoyed putting this post together and will work on an upcoming post with more helpful information next week.
Stay safe out there, y’all!