Many young people have this career dream to become an influencer and earn money on the internet. But is that even realistic? Yes, absolutely. With exciting content and a good concept, you can make it.
Every year companies increase their marketing budgets through influencers. They know that they can use it for advertising their products very effectively. In 2020, 19% of companies will spend as much as $10,000 each year on influencer marketing. Despite these impressive numbers, your mission shouldn’t be to get rich and famous and lead a dissolute life. Very few can do that. But if you plan on gradually building a loyal following online that will give you a stable income, you have real chances of achieving your goal. In this article, you will find out what options there are to earn money online with your content and how you can best prepare your influencer career.
An essential prerequisite for making money as an influencer is a brilliant idea. It would be best if you had something to tell people. It doesn’t have to be something bizarre. Still, it should arouse interest – and not just for a short time, but if possible, over a more extended period.
You should also know your target audience and speak their language. The secret of many social media stars is that they share their enthusiasm for a topic with their followers and that they can report about it authentically and sympathetically.
Comprehensive technical knowledge, however, is not necessary. Most platforms can be used with simple means. A high affinity for social networks and the joy of trying things out should be enough.
A feeling for trends will help you not to sleep over current developments. Please pay close attention to what is going on in your community and respond to it. In online business, the framework conditions change quickly, and what is in today may not be of interest to anyone tomorrow.
With all your creativity, you shouldn’t forget the financial side of your job. You should have a sense of numbers if you want to earn a living as an influencer. You should always keep track of your earnings and pay your bills and taxes on time.
The secret of many social media stars is that they share their enthusiasm for a topic with their followers and that they can report about it authentically and sympathetically.
Do I have to register a business?
As long as you don’t make any money with your online contributions, the tax authorities won’t care about what you are doing. But as soon as a profit intention becomes apparent, you have to register your activity officially. Strictly speaking, you can’t set a single affiliate link without registering a business. But that’s not a big deal and sometimes even goes online. A little later, the tax office will contact you asking you to fill out a questionnaire on tax registration. It includes, among other things:
- What exactly are you offering?
- How do you earn your money?
- Are you planning to hire employees?
- Which legal form do you choose?
- What sales and profits do you expect?
Based on the information you provide, the type and likely amount of taxes you will have to pay will be determined.
Do I Need a Business Plan?
It always makes sense to write a business plan because you can use it to think through your entire business project from start to finish. You describe not only the content concept of your website but also highlight the financial side: What do you do for your money? What income do you expect? And when will they be enough to finance your living?
How can I make money?
There are several ways to make money as an influencer. They all have to do with marketing and advertising. It is improbable that your followers will pay directly for your content – at least in the start-up phase. It takes a lot of faith to get the following to this point.
Instead, you will mainly work with companies whose products or services address a similar target group to you. They want to use your reach for advertising themselves.
In the following, we present a selection of the most common ways in which you can earn money as an influencer:
Affiliate marketing is widespread, and the principle is simple: you link content from companies on your page and receive a commission for every product that is bought through this link. To increase sales and thus your commissions, you can talk about the linked product and even recommend it to your followers.
This model, known as pay per sale, is the most common in affiliate marketing. With Pay per Click, you receive a small amount for every click on the advertising banner. Pay per lead means that the person who reached the advertising company through you must have made a request there. Regardless of whether the purchase is made afterward, you will receive an agreed amount for this.
A sponsored post is an article or post that a company pays you for. Be sure to mark these posts as sponsored and use them in moderation. After all, your followers are not interested in advertising, but real information. The sponsored articles on your site should also add value to your fans. Inquiries that do not meet this requirement should be rejected.
When you log into YouTube, you can choose to allow the platform to display advertising regardless of the content. Then you get a small share of the advertising revenues that are made around your video. The amounts range from a few cents to a few dollars, depending on how often your video is viewed and how specific the content is. You may not get rich with this income, but it can add up to a basic income.
The most lucrative is to work directly and permanently with companies that fit your target group. Once you have developed a name and a sufficiently large reach, you can start looking for suitable business partners. They will pay you to point out their brand or to place their products in one of your videos (product placement).
You reach the next level when you are bought in as the face of a brand for an entire campaign due to your fame and the reputation that you enjoy with your target group, or when you even become a brand yourself. However, only a few influencers manage to do this and shouldn’t be your goal at the beginning.
Merchandising and own products
Many influencers start marketing their products when they reach a certain level of popularity. Mostly these are merchandising products (shirts, mugs, hats, etc.). Especially in the fashion and lifestyle segment, some stars of the scene even manage to bring their product lines onto the market, such as cosmetic products or collections.
How much money can i earn?
How much money you earn in the social media business depends on your reach. It doesn’t just depend on the size, but also the composition of your following. If you have a small but very homogeneous and unique target group, just a few followers can be enough to be of interest to advertisers. A channel on the topic of pregnancy with 50,000 followers is more likely to find suitable advertising partners than a comedy channel with 500,000 viewers, who share very few similarities.