Social media is here to stay. It's changed our politics, our communication, and our opportunities. Perhaps one of the best things its done is given people an outlet to work from home.
However, it doesn't always get the credit it deserves. Why? Because social media also takes from you. It takes your effort, it takes your time, it takes your privacy. This is why so many people preach against it or try to avoid it all together.
However, what it can give you makes it all worth it.
From marketing to business connections, social media gives us a chance to reach people from different cultures, countries, and industries that we might not have otherwise known about. This helps create connections and fulfill demands. This means it gives us an opportunity to make money.
In fact, anyone can make money with their social media efforts. All it takes is a little bit of education and a lot of determination.
That's why I'm going to tell you about the 5 ways you can make money with your social media accounts (yes, it's entirely possible). Of course, as a bonus, I also include a FREE Instagram PDF (which can be found at the end of this post) detailing exactly how I built up my following to 15,000 +.
1. GETTING COMMISSION FROM AFFILIATE SALES
Affiliate marketing is a popular method for making money online. If you aren't already familiar, affiliate marketing is when you recommend a product to your viewers and receive a commission if they purchase that product. It's well known in the blogging world, but not as well thought of in the social media realm. However, with a loyal social media following, you can really capitalize on affiliates without ever dealing with a blog.
How do you become an affiliate?
In most cases, you have to apply for affiliate programs. To do this, you can think of a product that will fit your social media platform and search for their affiliate program (a simple Google search will do).
For example, I'm an Amazon affiliate. This means that I will receive a commission for recommending (and selling) Amazon products.
When I decided I wanted to be an affiliate, I applied for it right here. Once accepted, they gave me access to "affiliate" links. This link tracks purchases from my site to theirs.
Below is an example of an affiliate list I paste into every YouTube video I make. When people want to know what equipment I use, they can find it in the links below. If they make the purchase, I get small commission.
If you want to learn more about my journey with affiliate marketing, you can also read this post on how I started making affiliate sales here.
Finally, if you want to take affiliate marketing to the next level, and REALLY get serious about it, I recommend the course below. I personally took it and it paid for itself in a month.
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: This course is a bit more expensive but is taught by the infamous Michelle Schroeder, who makes over $50,000 a month from affiliate marketing. This course is considered the "top dog" in the blogging world, and allows you to be in direct contact with Michelle herself through her special Facebook Group "Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing". You can find her course here.
2. SPONSORED POSTS & VIDEO
This is my FAVORITE way to make extra money. Unlike affiliate marketing, sponsored posts allow you to get paid immediately. Many people make upwards of $500 per post (usually the bigger the following, the more money you can make).
How do sponsored posts work?
Sponsored posts are when you get compensated a set amount of money to endorse a product. The bigger the audience usually results in greater pay.
The combination of the two has allowed me to make hundreds of dollars by featuring companies and cross-promoting products. In addition, I've also received thousands of dollars in free gear from companies that have wanted to partner with me. So yes, I know first hand the value of building a following on these platforms.
However, one of the biggest platforms that bloggers can take advantage of is Pinterest. It works more like a search engine than it does a social media platform; therefore being a greater outlet for content creators (versus a popularity contest on traditional social media sites). By building up your traffic and exposure on Pinterest, you can easily build a big enough authority to demand large sums of money in lieu of Pinterest shared blog articles.
Above is an Instagram trick from my Youtube channel!
The bigger my Instagram account became, the more and more businesses noticed. Before I knew it, I was developing partnerships, receiving free gear, and gaining recognition in the industry. However, I still wasn't making actual money and the novelty of "free gear" quickly wore off.
At that point, I knew if I wanted to convert these partnerships into actual money, I would need to provide more value.
It was because of this, that my YouTube channel was born.
YouTube is such a fantastic way to connect with people. It creates a stronger reaction, allows for a higher number of interactions (because it's both a social media platform AND a search engine), and usually results in higher conversion rates. People who watch video are more likely to build trust in you then those who simply read your blog post.
I was able to rapidly build up my YouTube following (much thanks to my Instagram account), which improved my media kit and led to paid sponsorship opportunities.
Finding sponsored posts can seem challenging but it doesn't have to be. Facebook groups for bloggers and entrepreneurs is a fantastic place to start finding sponsorships. Just make sure that you have a high quality media kit with your exceptional social media stats and a short and sweet biography of your brand.
3. YOUTUBE VIDEO ADS
When people think of full-time "YouTubers" they think of people making money from ads. However, for most people, ads are only a small "piece of the pie". Most YouTuber's have numerous streams of income including the ones mentioned in this article.
With that said, you definitely can make extra money with YouTube ads, just like you can with Adsense on a blog or website. It works in a similar way; you get paid for views.
Keep in mind, it takes a LOT of views to make make decent money, but with enough videos (overtime) it can definitely be a nice side income.
You can signup and setup YouTube ads right on your YouTube dashboard.
4. SELL YOUR ACCOUNT
It's called "selling your social influence". Once your account is big enough, you can leave the spotlight as a whole and simply sell your account. This has become a very popular option, especially with Facebook pages. I've seen Facebook accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers sell for tens of thousands of dollars. These accounts were started by normal individuals like you.
Therefore, by taking the time to build up a big enough account, you could walk away with quite the sum of money.
Growing the account is hard but selling the account is easy.
There are numerous sites offering to sell your social account for you; however, I would recommend talking directly to a business you respect. In most cases, your name is tied to that account and you want the transition to be smooth.
Examples of websites that allow you to sell your account include:
5. MARKETING SERVICES
Your hard work spent building up your account won't go unnoticed. In fact, the more followers and engagement you can build on numerous accounts, the better your skill set will look. This means you have an opportunity to sell those skills (and market them on those pages). Whether it be by cold pitching a business, being asked by a company, or starting your own business, have quality marketing stills is desirable in the workforce.
One way you can start advertising your work is through social media. Outside of marketing your skillset on your own pages, also invest in platforms such as LinkedIn.
To find success within the platform, be sure to add your social profiles, experience, and a media kit. Many times, connecting within LinkedIn groups and posting your progress in the blogging section can lead to quite the profitable side hustle.
Social Media Platforms
The more you are on social media, the more valuable you become. I generally like to think that the more eyes on you and your brand, the higher your price tag can be. Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google + are all great platforms to be established in. However, the one platform that can take you to the next level is YouTube.
However, whichever accounts you decide to develop; remember that content is KING. It's better to post high quality infrequently, then poor quality frequently. Engagement is just as important as the number of followers and the best social media entrepreneurs learn how to balance both.
How to Find Brands to Work With
When it comes to sponsored posts, brands will definitely find you. However, nothing says you can't go after the ones you want first.
So how do you go about doing this?
By creating an impressive media kit and finding the brands. You can find an example of my kit by clicking here.
Essentially, you want all of your social media stats on one attractive, easy-to-use page. You want a bio, follower count, engagement, and what you can offer the brand. Also don't forget to add your contact information.
Once this is done, make sure it's advertised on all of your social media channels. I also recommend creating a website (you can start one by clicking here) to host and increase exposure on your brand.
Another option is "cold-pitching". This is where you pitch your idea to a company - no ad needed. Find who you want to partner with, send them an email with the kit, and explain what you can do for them!
One place you can find these opportunities is in Facebook groups. Join as many quality freelance, blogging, and services groups you can find. Then, start participating. Many times businesses will post exactly what they are looking for right in the group!
What to Remember
Remember, building up a quality social media account takes time. It can take years to build up an account the right way. However, your diligence and time will eventually be rewarded. Just remember, content is king; therefore, take time to build up quality content.
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