If you need the motivation to build up your social media following, I'll give you one, it's called money. Most people either love or despise it, but what many people don't realize is the benefit of it. Anyone can make money with their social media efforts. All it takes is a little bit of education and a lot of determination.
I'm sure this sounds fine and dandy, but many people curse at the idea of social media and building their presence on it.
Why? Because it takes from you. It takes your effort, it takes your time, it takes your privacy. However, what it can give you makes it all worth it.
It gives you exposure, new relationships, business connections, popularity, free products, confidence, and even an income. In fact, social media is a GREAT income.
That's why I'm going to tell you about the 5 ways you can make money with your social media accounts in 2018. 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 +.
Getting Commission from Products You Recommend (Affiliates!)
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 an 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 the 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, there are 2 courses I HIGHLY recommend (keep reading below!):
- Master Affiliate Marketing: This is one of the most affordable affiliate marketing courses you can take. It breaks down the basics and teaches you how to start making a profit with affiliate marketing. The best part? It only costs a one-time payment of $34. CHEAP. You can get the ebook here.
- 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.
I have personally used both resources.
Sponsored Posts & Videos
This is my FAVORITE way to make some 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?
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.
Above is an Instagram trick from my Youtube channel!
my first sponsored post
Here is how it all started:
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.
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.
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 BIG bucks to businesses. These accounts were started by normal individuals.
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:
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. Whether it be by cold pitching a business, being asked by a company, or starting your own business, have quality marketing stills is beyond desirable in the workforce.
One way you can start advertising your work is through LinkedIn. To find success within the platform, be sure to add your social profiles, experience, and media kit to it. 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.
Why? Because video tends to build higher engagement and more trust (as previously stated).
The second most beneficial platform is Instagram. It's growing at a rapid rate, has higher engagement and reach than Facebook and Twitter, and is entirely VISUAL. What's the second best thing to video? Pictures (plus you can add video clips to Instagram as well). My Youtube channel wouldn't be growing as fast as it is without Instagram.
Below I have a free Instagram ebook you definitely should take advantage of!
How to Find Brands to Work With
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 connecting with 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.
You can also find plenty of opportunity by simply cold pitching companies. Find who you want to partner with, send them an email with the kit, and explain what you can do for them!
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. Once you get the right following, however, opportunity will be found everywhere!
Interested in starting a blog? Then I recommend starting with Bluehost - It's cheap, easy, and reliable.
For more blogging resources check out:
- 10 Ways to Make Money Online in 2018
- How to Make Your First Affiliate Sale
- 5 Ways to Boost Your Blog Traffic
Also please share, comment, and like!