You browse social media every day. You use it to find out the latest news, check in to see what your friends are talking about, stalk celebrities, and post pictures of your lunch. Yet have you ever thought about using social media as a way to make money?
It might not seem like the most obvious route to earning a living, but plenty of people rely on social media to pay their mortgage, finance holidays, and keep their car on the road. Plus, certain individuals are earning millions every year due to harnessing the power of YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and everything in between.
If you're ready to join them in the journey, you've landed in the right place. Do you want to earn some extra pocket money? Maybe you're searching for a new full-time career? Whatever the situation is, this guide explains how to generate cash with social media.
Build Your Following
Before getting into the methods of making money, it is important you take the right steps to setting up your social media accounts. You want aspects such as a memorable username, eye-catching profile image, and professionally written description. Most vital of all, however, is the process of building your following.
Yes, you can earn money on social media without a large following! For example, on Twitter, you could latch onto the Tweets of other popular accounts and promote your products that way. However, a dedicated and sizeable following is a prominent factor when it comes to earning big with social media.
To build your following, consider the following points:
As cliché as it sounds, this approach can be useful in not just building a following, but also appealing to sponsors. Popular personalities on Instagram, for example, can make six or seven figures due to putting themselves front and centre on their account. Even if you don't want to flaunt your looks or have a noteworthy skill to show, being authentic can go a long way to appealing to other users.
Stay consistent: A successful social media user is one that keeps their account constantly in the public eye. This is done by posting regularly. By sticking to at least one post a day across each platform, you can appeal to the social media algorithms, be seen by more people, and organically grow your audience.
Don't simply stick to your own social media feeds. Make sure you spread out and interact with other accounts. This doesn't just mean replying to popular accounts, either. If other people are commenting on your own posts, talk to them and build a rapport. This will ensure they stick around and promote your content.
Post interesting content for your audience: It's an obvious point, right? However, too many accounts share irrelevant, low-quality content to stick with a regular posting schedule. Always try and stick to posting interesting, humorous content when possible. Also, place a focus on sharing visual content such as videos and images.
It is easy to dedicate your time to just one social media platform. However, you should spread out and sign up for multiple accounts. This will help to maximise your visibility and, in return, build your following.
Promote Affiliate Products
Perhaps the most common way to make money through social media is by promoting affiliate products. Regardless of the industry you're targeting, there are great product options available to advertise.
For a start, you can browse the products found on ClickBank. This is a global marketplace that features thousands of products you can promote as an affiliate. Plus, one of ClickBank's main advantages over other marketplaces is the share of the commission you can earn. With certain products, you can earn up to 90% of the sale price.
A disadvantage of ClickBank, however, is there isn't a suitable product to advertise for everyone. This is where something like the Amazon Associates Program makes a ton of sense. By using this, you have access to essentially every product that is listed on Amazon.
Admittedly the commission share doesn't quite match up to ClickBank, but you can make up to 12% for certain product categories. Plus, Amazon has a number of advantages over other marketplaces - and not just because of the product selection available. One such benefit is its name recognition. Everyone uses Amazon. Everyone trusts Amazon. Nobody will be scared to click on a link to an Amazon product.
Furthermore, it's easy to promote Amazon products without it being obvious you're selling something. When you're advertising a self-help book from ClickBank, for example, others will be aware that you're promoting it for gain. Yet if you do a post recommending, say, a toaster from Amazon, this will look less like a sales pitch and just a recommendation.
Promote Products And Services Directly
Besides the affiliate route, you can also take a more direct approach to promote products and earn some cash. This works by businesses working with you directly, where they agree to pay you in exchange for you advertising their products or services on your social media accounts.
For this to work, you must have a large following in your chosen niche. You're not going to be able to entice businesses and brands when you only have 122 followers, and your content barely gains any visibility.
Plus, while you might be relying on businesses to contact you directly, don't be scared to take the initiative and reach out. When doing this, ensure your statistics are highlighted in full. Show companies the type of viewing figures you receive for your content, the number of followers you have, and so on. You might be surprised at the number of brands that will respond positively and want to work with you.
Advertise Your Own Products
Instead of using your social media platforms to advertise others' products, why not go that extra step and promote your very own products?
Due to the power of the internet and technology these days, it's entirely possible to produce a wide range of digital products and distribute these across social media. Not only that, but you can do all of this without spending a penny - although time is money, of course.
As for what digital products you can produce, there's everything from eBooks to video courses available. As long as you have demonstrated yourself as an expert within your specific field, your followers are going to gravitate towards these products and splash the cash.
You can sell products directly from your website. Ironically, you could even decide to sell through ClickBank. This way, you can let others advertise your product with their websites, and social media feeds. Alternatively, a platform like Amazon KDP makes it simple to upload and sell your books online for free - plus, you get the added bonus of your books showing up in relevant Amazon searches. Paid video courses may even be done through YouTube or another video platform to charge for premium content.
Of course, you may decide to go down the road of creating physical products and advertising these through social media. From screen printed t-shirts to original art pieces, many products have the visual appeal that makes them great for advertising on the likes of Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Build Up A YouTube Channel
If you can combine a great channel idea with patience and dedication, starting a YouTube channel could well be one of the most rewarding ways to earn a living with social media.
When you build up enough of an audience, you can sign up for the YouTube Partner program. This allows you to profit from any adverts that are promoted with your videos on the platform.
You can also combine these ads with other revenue streams. For instance, you can promote affiliate links within your YouTube video descriptions. Fans of your channel may also be willing to directly support your channel by becoming a YouTube member or joining your Patreon account. Brands may also get in touch for you to advertise their products/services with a specific video.
When compared to other social media platforms, YouTube has the added advantage of being more 'shareable'. People share videos across Reddit and similar forums, they create articles based around them; they even share them on the likes of Twitter and Facebook. As a result, it is easier to catch others' attention with your video and strike viral gold.
As you probably know, there are plenty of prominent YouTube channels that earn millions each year. While that target may be a little too far for your own channel, YouTubers with a small yet dedicated fan base can still make enough to live off their earnings made via the platform.
Whether you choose to create your own eBook or benefit from ads on YouTube, there are several ways to make money with social media. Perhaps the most effective strategy of all, however, is to combine as many of these money-making ventures as possible. This way, you can intertwine across multiple social media channels, utilise multiple revenue streams, and maximise your profit margins.