There’s no other way to put it: Social media is big business!
If you haven’t already, now is the time to monetize your following. The right strategy allows you to make money off social media while also engaging with your audience and having the time of your life.
How many followers do you need?
It’s a common myth that you need hundreds of thousands of followers to monetize your following. You can make money off social media as a micro-influencer.
A “micro-influencer” refers to someone with as few as 1,000 highly engaged followers. Although their fan base is relatively small, these people have followers who listen. That includes listening to their recommendations.
They listen because micro-influencers have a strong connection with their audience. They’re active in social media, create a sense of belonging, and build a strong connection with their audience.
According to the State of Influencer Marketing 2020 Report, 77 percent of marketers surveyed prefer to work with micro-influencers. Only 30 percent say they want to work with mega-influencers, and 22 percent prefer to work with celebrities.
You don’t need to worry about how many followers you have. If you have a loyal following, you can make money off social media as an influencer.
How to monetize your following
It’s time to pin down a strategy and take action on how to monetize your social media following. Here are nine proven strategies to monetize your following and boost your income.
1. Create an online course
If you have a dedicated social media following and something unique to teach, it’s time to bring them together by way of an online course. Selling online courses is a great way to monetize your social media following while also delivering value to your followers.
And because social media groups provide private, member-only access, they’re a good platform for live training, support, and networking opportunities. Whether you consider yourself a teacher, trainer, and/or consultant, an online course is one of the best ways to monetize your social media following.
2. Become a paid influencer
With influencer marketing budgets on the rise, now’s the time to double down on this strategy.
As your following grows, there are two ways to get started as an influencer:
- Continue to post high-quality content and engage with your audience, while waiting for brands to reach out
- Actively reach out to brands in your space (especially those with a history of using influencers to spread the word)
Some brands will pay you cash to share their products with your audience. Others will offer you free products in exchange for your service. And some, depending on the brand, may offer experienced-based compensation, such as free hotel accommodations.
Regardless of your niche, there’s an opportunity to become an influencer and monetize your following.
3. Sponsored posts
If you’ve established yourself as an influencer, sponsored posts are a no-brainer.
A sponsored post is exactly what it sounds like. A brand pays you money to create a specific type of post, like a product announcement.
Keep in mind, sponsors typically expect to have full control over the direction of the post. As the influencer, you have the final say in whether or not you publish it. A win-win scenario requires collaboration.
4. Use social media to drive traffic to your website
Rather than selling directly from your social media platform, you can use social media posts to push traffic to your website.
This is especially helpful when you need a more robust platform to share all the details of what you offer. Think high-ticket items or complex offers.
For instance, if you’re selling a six-week coaching program or a three-day virtual event, your prospects will have a lot of questions. A simple Facebook ad won’t be enough to drive conversions.
The key here is to engage your social media audience to the point that they’re eager to stop scrolling and visit your website for more information.
5. Sell a service related to your niche
This is an easy way to make money off social media. Instead of monetizing Instagram or Facebook directly, you use your favorite social media platform to drive sales indirectly.
This strategy involves posting daily or weekly in social media. Talk about your service. Share tips, ideas, and news. Engage with your followers, and start conversations with them.
Because prospects see the types of projects you work on and hear you talking about your work, when a need comes up, you’re top of mind. Best of all, they can DM you right away to inquire about your services.
For instance, if you’re a graphic designer, it makes sense to monetize your Instagram. Share pictures and videos of your work with a caption describing what you’re doing.
Be sure to include to your website so people can learn more about your services.
Tip: Closely monitor how much website traffic comes from social media. This allows you to track conversions, and identify the sites where your followers engage with you most.
6. Build a product to sell
This won’t work for every influencer, but it’s an option you should consider, especially if you’ve already monetized your following through sponsored posts and affiliate offers (more on that in a minute).
It takes some up-front money to build your own product, but it will dramatically boost your influence and profits.
The key is to think about your audience’s needs and desires. You know them, possibly better than anyone else. If you see a need that isn’t being met anywhere else, you’re in the perfect position to meet that need.
For instance, a health and fitness influencer could create their own line of protein powder, energy drinks, or even a clothing line.
If you’re an influencer who has worked with brands in the past, you already have an engaged audience. It may be time to monetize your following by building your own product.
7. Affiliate marketing
As attractive as it may seem to build a product, you don’t actually need your own product to make money off social media.
Affiliate marketing allows you to monetize your following by selling someone else’s product and earn a commission when someone buys through your affiliate link.
Affiliate marketing is a growing opportunity that you can easily step into.
Focus on these three keys to enjoy affiliate success:
- Find reputable affiliate partners
- Find products and/or services that align with your audience
- Don’t be overbearing when presenting affiliate links to your audience.
Tip: You don’t have to share affiliate links directly on your social media profiles to make money. Use social media to drive traffic to your website, where you can display affiliate links to visitors.
8. Create social media shops to sell physical merchandise
Do you sell physical products? You can monetize your Instagram or Facebook directly by selling products through a social media shop.
This is an easy way to monetize your Instagram. There, to set up a shop:
- Confirm your eligibility
- Convert from a personal account to a creator or business account
- Connect your Instagram account to a Facebook page
- Upload your product catalog or integrate with an ecommerce platform
- Submit your account for review
- Turn on shopping after receiving an approval
- Use shopping tags to kickstart your shop.
Doing this eliminates the need to send consumers to your website. As a result, it’s the most direct way to sell physical merchandise via social media.
9. Sell leads to other companies
Selling leads is a little-known but effective way to monetize your following.
A lead is any individual who is interested in what you are selling. As a social media influencer, you may have a large following with very specific interests.
All you need to do is set up a system for collecting leads, and then sell to other companies. For instance, a health or fitness influencer could sell leads to gyms, apparel companies, nutrition brands, and more. A fashion influencer could sell leads to personal care and beauty brands.
It will take a lot of effort to make money selling leads. You must find companies that are willing to pay a fair rate for the data you share. You can use Kajabi Forms to capture leads.
Get the most out of your social media following
With so many ways to monetize your following, it’s time to create a strategy that suits your skillset and audience.
The opportunity to make money off social media is staring you in the face. It’s time to turn this dream into reality!
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