What would you do with an extra $158 a month? I’m sure you wouldn’t have too much trouble finding where that could go.
That’s what I made from Social Media last year, up from $74 a month the year before by working with brands like HRBrew, EmergingTech Brew, Crypto.com, and Alinea Invest. This is definitely not going to become my sole source of income (maybe though if MeUndies needs a new real life model), but it is contributing to my income streams. The best part? I don’t have a massive following, which just means if you put some time into the foundation you can do this too.
How I got started making money on Social Media
I’ve been on social media since MySpace was around. For those of you who don’t know what that was, it was essentially Facebook with a cool profile design and intro music. I ended up jumping on other platforms and eventually was introduced to TikTok in 2018. I started posting once a day using a lot of the trending songs, hashtags, and themes and eventually found myself in the creator program and had two videos go viral (including one that earned me a spot on a Buzzfeed article). This launched me into the creator marketplace (where brands can find you to create user generated content or UGC).
For reference, I started with 0 followers and for a very long time hovered around 5,000 until those two viral videos pushed me above 19,000. I have 1,500 followers on Instagram and just over 300 subscribers on YouTube. I’ve now been approached by brands via the marketplace and other creator marketplaces to create UGC for them at a price.
Where’d the money come from?
The majority of the income that has come from my personal brand has been through creating UGC for brands. All that means is that the brands will give you a script and ask for a couple of variations of that script in video. Once you submit it they approve it and typically have some rights over the content for a set amount of time. The video is posted on their desired accounts (Instagram Reels, TikTok, Instagram Stories, etc.) and you receive your payment. I originally started at $150 a video and ended my last UGC deal at $400 a post. These videos take about 45 minutes for me from memorizing the script, editing, and filming.
I have also received small portions of income from Instagram Bonuses (<$50), TikTok Live (<$1.00), and the TikTok creator fund (<$2.00) all of which you can’t actually withdraw unless it’s over a certain limit.
Tips for getting started
Pick your platform and just get started. I think this is the biggest challenge – people think about what others think of them. You need to just start posting ideally some of the trending hashtags and themes. Keep in mind if you do a quick Google of your name these things will show up so it is important to at least be mindful of what is getting put out there. There’s a reason OnlyFans is subscription only.
The battle for social media supremacy helps us out. Target platforms that are offering incentives to post. An example here is Instagram Reels and YouTube shorts competing with TikTok. Both Reels and Shorts are being prioritized by their respective platforms and based on your follower count you could earn basic bonuses.
Switch your accounts over to a business account. All this does is give you access to profile insights and alerts the platforms that you’re more than just someone posting for ‘fun.’
Start off with some trends for your posts. That will require you to spend some time on the platform to see what you’ve got to work with. Theres definitely a chance to go viral with your unique audio or videos, but that’s typically reserved for the comedians, musicians, etc. The easiest way to get started is to take the trends – if you’d like to start with some original ideas you have go for it.
Be realistic with your starting pay. If you’ve got 5000 TikTok followers and a brand is willing to pay you $60 to $100 for your first video take it. If you believe in the brand then you need the exposure, practice, and some completed campaigns behind your name. You can start raising the rates once you get some data on the click-through rates and conversion.
Accept the brutal facts. You’re going to get discouraged. Some videos are going to get low views. Some posts are going to get no traction. Use the data from the insights above and keep going!
Build a creator ‘resume.’ As you’re growing you should place your data in a resume format so you have total followers, engagement, demographics etc in one spot. Then you can have all your data in one spot for platforms like BackStage, Activate, Twoyay, and Grin.
Just get started and remember your why
The age of creating income out of thin air (technology) is here. It’s been here. The goal of The Investing Circle is to share ways to not just count on your W2 and if you’re hearing it from me I’ve tried it. Using some of these tips are not going to make you a social influencer overnight (I mean you could become the next big hit), but will get you on the road to earning an additional income stream. Remember to keep in mind why you’re doing this (mine is income and impacting others in a positive way) and trust in the consistent process.