Social media seems to be growing by leaps and bounds every day. And with it come viable opportunities for individuals and business too.
Just the sheer number of active users on social media can make your jaw drop. Facebook has over 2 billion, Instagram has 800 million and Twitter has about 330 million monthly active users.
This provides a lucrative opportunity for brands to leverage social influencer marketing. In fact, a survey by Bloglovin’ shows that 63% of companies have increased their influencer marketing budgets this year.
With so many brands willing to pay for relevant influence, many of you might be interested in becoming an influencer. However, you might not have thousands of social media followers. Can that be a deal breaker?
Not necessarily. In this article, I’ll show you how to make money on social media, even with less than 1,000 followers.
If you’ve read some of my posts on social influencer marketing, you’ve probably heard this before. But I don’t think I can stress enough the need for authenticity as a social influencer.
In a survey by TapInfluence, 71% of influencers revealed that honesty and humor keep their followers engaged. On social media, your niche and content should be a reflection of your personality. This is the single most important reason people follow you.
If your content is not compelling enough or your passion does not shine through, your audience won’t be engaged. Just because you’ve seen influencers in fitness achieve success, don’t join the bandwagon unless you’re genuinely a fitness enthusiast.
Authenticity is the most effective way to gain a genuinely engaged audience. Genuine influence is way more valuable than paid or fake followers. If you wish to make money off social media, make sure you’re doing what it takes to engage your audience.
Collaborating with brands is the path to making money on social media. But you already knew that, didn’t you? What you probably don’t know is that you don’t need thousands of followers to make a pitch.
Brands are willing to pay for the right kind of influence. A large number of followers alone does not demonstrate influence. Even if you have less than 1,000 followers, you need to show the value you can provide.
Instead of simply offering a sponsored post on Instagram, bundle it with a blog review too. To make it even more appealing, you can provide your own photos using their product. If you have the time and sufficient expertise, you can even offer to do a YouTube vlog review.
Make sure to create an appealing and visually aesthetic media kit before you start pitching. Your media kit will be a representation of the value you can provide. You can use apps like Canva to create attractive media kits.
Not sure how to connect with brands that might be interested? You can leverage platforms like Crowdtap or BuzzSumo to find brands in your niche and connect with them.
Become An Affiliate
Becoming an affiliate is a great way to make money on social media without having a large follower count. As an affiliate, you are responsible for promoting a brand or its products on your social channels. This is usually done in the form of an affiliate link. When one of your followers clicks on it and makes a purchase, you earn a commission from it.
ClickBank, CJ Affiliate and Amazon are some of the popular affiliate marketing programs you can sign up for. Bear in mind that simply sharing an affiliate link might appear pushy. If you truly want to win the trust of your followers, write a product review along with the link.
Also, make sure that you are not selecting products that are irrelevant to your niche. If your niche is beauty and you’re reviewing a new travel backpack, your audience won’t care. You’d run the risk of even losing followers by doing so.
Being authentic also involves telling your audience about your affiliate partnerships. Your followers will appreciate the frankness.
If you’re an active Instagrammer and genuinely enjoy photography, you can make money selling your photos too. And no, you don’t need a DSLR or an expensive photography course to get started.
You could even use your iPhone to take great quality photos if you have a few basic skills. With the availability of Instagram filters and apps like VSCO, you can make your pictures truly appealing.
A few things that you need to keep in mind here is to post consistently on Instagram. This can act as your readymade portfolio for interested buyers. Remember to add your personalized watermark so that your photos can’t be misused. Also, keep the original copies with you. You can sell them when required.
Not sure how to go about selling your photos? Make use of platforms like Snapwire, Mobileprints or Twenty20 to find buyers.
These are just a few ways you can start making money on social media. And more importantly, none of them require a large follower count to begin.
However, there is no easy path to success. As with everything else, you must invest considerable time and effort, whether it is in reaching out to brands with your sales pitch or engaging your followers through regular posts. Even if you do not see immediate results, keep at it. Sooner or later, you’re sure to see success.
Can you think of any other innovative ways to make money on social media with just a few followers? Let me know in the comments below.