Social media has transcended its stage as a way to link friends and is now a global economic behemoth. YouTube vloggers alone can earn $16,800 a year according to a study by Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, and that’s without factoring in sponsored links, images and in-video advertising. For someone with social media reach, there are serious warnings to be made.
Being realistic about your earnings is the first step to making a solid income out of social media presence. A lot can be done passively, but, like those earning from their blog, more money can be made from active participation with your readership. Being savvy, projecting a consistent image and making yourself an attractive proposition to brands is key.
The basics of setting up an online income
The basic key to monetizing your social media presence is by harnessing ads. Ads are absolutely crucial, as it establishes a passive income with minimum effort. You will be sorely missing out by not being in on the advertising market, with AdWeek reports that US digital marketing is worth $83bn yearly. Generating ad revenue is straightforward on YouTube and blogs that you own, as you are able to activate the ads in conjunction with common services like adsense. It’s less easy on Facebook, Instagram, and so on, where you might need to reach out for advertisers on a commission basis, and include such a deal as part of your basic branding on the likes of cover photos. Establishing a background, passive income is a great first step, and as the Offenburg University study showed, can earn you thousands of dollars a year. There are success stories purely from YouTube; Michelle Phan, owner of the Ipsy makeup brand, once was just a hobbyist tutorial artist on YouTube.
Generating an influencer reputation
Influencers are the modern celebrities of the internet age. Whereas previously an actor or actress would be approached following a box-office smash to advertise product, now business personalities with a wide following find business. For example, the most widely followed influencer with 26m total social media followers, Huda Kattan, was initially a false eyelash inventor – her association with America’s Kardashian family brought her social media following to an all time high. What’s the benefit? Well, according to the FT, someone with as relatively little as 100,00 followers can charge $2200 for a photograph. Key to finding this business is portraying a consistent image.
Your online image
If you think about some of the most famous celebrity adverts, you might feel a certain way about the person in front of the camera. Sofia Vergara has long been associated by her hair, and as such advertised for Head and Shoulders. Ellen DeGeneres, reputed to have a warm and honest personality, has found work with Olay’s “Inner Beauty” brand. Social media stars should follow the same track – present a consistent image and this will bring brands to you based on a desire to be associated with those values or personalities. Social media devoted to food topics should perhaps have an adventurous and colorful image; those with haute couture a cool, reserved and standoffish personality.
Monetizing your social media could potentially make you a millionaire. Making a real success of yourself demands more than just a passive income, however, though it is a very good start. Getting the real big money deals requires active participation in sponsorship and generating a brand of yourself.