How to Make Money as an Influencer

It’s never been so easy, we’ve seen it all before: Scroll through content on Instagram, TikTok, or Youtube, and a person pops up to talk about their favorite product at the moment. It might be the most delicious salsa from the grocery store, an eyeshadow palette, or a clothing line that hasn’t been made available to the public yet. It used to be that friends just shared recommendations with each other, but not anymore. Now, the art of recommending a product to someone in the hopes of converting them to a customer is called being an influencer.

Influencers on social media might have you thinking that it has never been easier to make money online. And, they would be right – there are multiple ways to do it. It can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re interested in making money as an influencer, here are some specific, actionable ways to do so online.

Partner with Brands
Brands have caught on to the fact their traditional advertising in print, online, and broadcast media isn’t enough anymore. People’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, so a swipe has become more effective than a 30-second commercial. Influencers can leverage their follower count and other selling points about their brand to pitch themselves to serve as brand ambassadors (and even if they have a smaller follower account, there are opportunities for micro-influencers, too). Many influencers pitch themselves to partner with brands for a series of posts to raise brand awareness over a certain time period. This allows influencers to have a long-standing period of time and be involved in multiple campaigns.

Be a Creator…on TikTok
Has your teenage neighbor convinced you that TikTok is only for the younger generation? Think again. As it turns out, recent information shows that TikTok is available in 150 countries and has more than 1 billion monthly active users. Perhaps more than any other platform, TikTok has launched influencer marketing into the stratosphere. Users have the ability to see and discover random people based on what is trending or going viral.

TikTok capitalized on its success by starting the TikTok Creator Fund in March 2021, rewarding the accounts that get a consistently high number of views. To participate, users must be 18, have 10,000 followers, and need to have received 100,000 views in the last 30 days.

The specific payout calculations aren’t 100% clear, but the overall concept is that users will be paid for well-performing videos, looking at views and video engagement.

There are reports that those who have opted into the Creator Fund are paid between two and four cents for every 1,000 views. Either way, it inspires creators to keep on creating, with the hope that each video will catch on and lead to a big payday.

Get Rewarded…on Pinterest
Remember all of those chicken recipes you saved on Pinterest? Influencers will be delighted to know that Pinterest is testing a rewards program that monetizes their idea pins. Creator Rewards is a program that has only been launched to users in the U.S.

It works like this: Pinterest establishes monthly reward goals, and creators are paid for creating original idea pins related to that goal. Pinterest pays its creators for creating organic, genuine, and inspiring content. It’s a great option for an influencer who is just starting out in their niche and considering creating more – the follower requirement is small (250), the person has to have 150 pin saves in the last 30 days when applying, and they have to have created three idea pins in the past 30 days. The door has just been opened on this one, and some of the people who are in the program are already making thousands of dollars.

Sell a Digital Product or Service
The days when we defined education as something that exists solely in a classroom are over! Now, educational opportunities are abundant because of tools like Zoom and Skype. For some influencers, another way to make some extra cash is to share the story of how they became successful at becoming who they are. If an influencer overcame a challenging personal struggle–for example, going from being homeless to making six figures every year–they might create a digital guide or offer one-on-one coaching to share their top tips and insight. Voila – the influencer has created a passive income stream for themselves.

With the importance of influencer marketing growing by the day and the impact of social media showing no signs of stopping, there are plenty of ways to make money by being an influencer online. Companies know that buyers put their trust in influencers who have carefully curated each post, story, reel, and image. Put some time into one, a few, or all of these programs, and you’ll be sure to watch your sphere of influence–and bank account–grow.

Feeling inspired to create as an influencer? Stay tuned for part two in this two-part series. In the meantime check out Influencer Matching Sites: What Are They Good For? for more content to help you thrive!