Academy Xi Blog

How to become a successful social media influencer and make money from it 2022

By Academy Xi

how to become an influencer

There are more social media influencers than ever before these days. For many, it’s fast becoming a great source of income. Read on to find out how you can start influencing and cash in on your love for social media.

Now more than ever people are looking for ways to earn money that are flexible and adaptable to the lifestyles they want to lead. Social media influencers are their own bosses, can choose their own hours and select the brands and causes they want to work with. It can’t get much more flexible than that.

First up, let’s cover the basics.

What is a social media influencer?

Individuals who have built credibility within a key topic area or industry, have access to a sizable audience via their online channels, and can persuade this audience to take action (for example: buy or subscribe) are known as social media influencers.

There are different types of influencers, categorised by the number of followers they have and the focus of their content.

Some examples of general content areas for influencers include:

  • Fashion
  • Beauty
  • Health and fitness
  • Gaming
  • Travel

When categorised by the number of followers they have, influencers may be referred to by the following titles:

  • Nano influencer: 1k-10k followers
  • Micro influencer: 10k-100k followers
  • Macro influencer: 100k – 1mill followers
  • Mega (or celebrity) influencer: 1mill+ followers

How do social media influencers make money?

There are a range of ways that social media influencers can generate income and it is not uncommon for a number of tactics to be used to create multiple revenue streams. We’ve rounded up the top three approaches for anyone starting out.

#1. Sponsored posts

One of the most common starting points for influencers to earn cash is via sponsored social media or blog posts.

A sponsored post is when a brand works with an influencer to produce a one-off, or series of posts, that feature the products or services of the brand, which are then shared with the influencer’s followers. 

The focus of the posts could be promoting new products and services from the brand, sharing content created by the brand, or perhaps helping the brand to branch out and attract a new audience.

Important to note: the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) has guidelines around the disclosure of sponsored social media posts, particularly when someone is receiving payment for the collaboration. It pays to be across the Influencer Marketing Code of Practice

#2. Affiliate marketing

With affiliate marketing, an influencer will include a link to a brand’s website, usually to a specific product or service that has been highlighted within the influencer’s content (this could be on a social media post or within a blog article). If the reader clicks on this link and then subscribes or purchases via that link, the influencer will receive a financial ‘cut’. This arrangement will be agreed between the brand and influencer and set up as either a pay-per-sale or pay-per-click or lead. 

This can be accurately tracked by both the influencer and brand to see how many sales or leads are being generated on any given day/week/month/year. While it might not be a big money earner for an influencer, having a number of affiliate marketing agreements can quickly add up. 

It is important that the products and services influencers are linking to are genuinely aligned to the content focus, or it will appear to be out of step and forced, reducing the influencer’s credibility with their followers. 

#3. Digital products

Broadly speaking, digital products are relatively cheap to produce and compared to physical products, easier and cheaper to store and distribute. They are often downloadable documents that you receive access to once you have made your payment, or you might receive a login to access online content for a fixed period of time, sometimes including access to any future updates. 

Digital products could include printables such as workout schedules and meal plans, or journal prompts and habit tracking charts, depending on your content focus. Other options might be ebooks, online courses or guides. 

Once influencers gain more of a following, they might embark on other revenue making ventures including:

  • Becoming a brand ambassador (receiving retainer payment from the brand)
  • Creating a podcast (charging a download fee, brand partnership)
  • Running webinars (sponsored by a brand and/or fee to view)

How to become a social media influencer

Find your area of interest

This is a vital step to the success of any social media influencer. If you simply want to earn cash and pick a random topic to focus on, chances are you’ll lose steam pretty quickly and not have the drive, interest or passion to create the content required to engage and build your audience. Think long term strategy. 

Be visible on most popular social media platforms

Depending on your target demographic and which social platforms they tend to use, the general rule of thumb to increase your following is to be present and active on as many of the most popular social media platforms as possible. 

Here’s a quick and simple guide to using some of the most popular channels:

Create a YouTube channel

The second largest search engine after Google, YouTube is the place to be in order to power-up your social media pull. Creating a YouTube channel can have a huge impact on influencer follower count and, eventually, earn you some coin.

How much money can you make on YouTube?

As with any social media income potential, it ranges from nothing to mega bucks. Ultimately, the more subscribers you have, the more eyes will see the adverts and there’s a higher chance of the ads being clicked on. This can lead to the channel owner/influencer being offered sponsorship deals with brands, which means more money. 

Your first focus with a YouTube channel isn’t your income, but building your reputation and number of subscribers. Once that starts looking healthy, you can look at potential earning power. 

68% of Google AdSense revenue is paid out, so every $100 an advertiser pays, Google forks out $68 to the publisher.

Advertiser rates vary, but the average is 18 cents per view.

On average, the YouTube channel can receive $18 per 1000 ad views, which is around $3-$5 per 1000 video views for the influencer. 

More subscribers means more eyeballs on ads. Create engaging content and Bob’s your uncle!

Create an Instagram account

You don’t have to be a member of the Kardashian family to earn money on Instagram, but having a hefty following does help. 

Ultimately, the more followers you have and the more content you post, equates to more money earning potential. 

However, according to digital marketing guru, Neil Patel, engagement with followers is the key. Patel states “even if you have 1,000 followers who are engaged, the potential to make money is there”.

How much money can you make from Instagram?

According to Search Engine Journal, influencers with a million followers can earn around $670USD per post, a content creator with 100k followers can earn approximately $200USD per post and influencers with 10k followers are looking at $88 per post on average. 

Create a Facebook account

There are a number of ways that you can generate income through the channel, including ad campaigns, live stream events, short form videos, subscription services and by collaborating with other influencers and brands. Many use the platform to drive traffic to their ecommerce stores.

How much money can you make from Facebook?

Facebook’s ad campaigns can create $8.75USD per 1000 views.

Be aware that to qualify for earning money via Facebook videos, you do need to have a minimum of 10,000 page followers and 600,000 overall minutes worth of views within the past two months. Full details can be found on the Facebook Creator Studio page. 

Study social media marketing to improve your strategies 

There are many cogs to the machine that is social media influencing and it definitely pays to invest in a Social Media Marketing course

Social media influencers need to be able to think strategically and devise content plans that are tactical and tailored to their audience. They also need the right mix of practical skills to execute that plan and create original content to attract new followers. With these skills at your disposal, there’s every reason to believe that you can turn your love for social media into a legitimate source of income.  

Want to discuss your transferable skills and short course options? Speak to a course advisor today and take the first steps in your Social Media Marketing journey.