In 2019, I was selected as one of Tampa’s top women of influence. The title goes to influencers in the area who are… well, influential. I also won ‘favorite business blogger’ by Florida Blogcon. Since then I’ve received so many questions about becoming an influencer and making money online that I’ve decided to start an influencer blog series sharing what I’ve learned over the years. Today, I’m sharing ways to become a paid influencer.
Let me start off by saying that every single one of us are influencers. Yup, that’s right… we all have influence. Our family and friends listen to us. They listen to our recommendations, great experiences, terrible experiences, hates, and passions. We all have the ability to influence others and trigger action.
Just last week I was grocery shopping and struck up a conversation with the lady next to me as we grabbed pears in the produce section. She started telling me how she loves to pair pears with cream cheese to cure her sweet tooth. Guess what? I went and purchased some cream cheese to pair with my pears to tryout. That’s influence and that’s action. Hello, influencer.
There are so many ways I’ve made money leveraging my influence and even months where I had no sponsorships and fell completely off the social map, I’ve still been able to earn $1000 in passive income for the month.
So today, I’m sharing my top seven ways you can earn money as an influencer.
7 ways to become a paid influencer
1. Affiliate programs
Affiliate marketing is basically when you earn a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s product. When I was creating beauty tutorials, I obviously used a lot of beauty products. I leveraged that by adding affiliate links to my tutorials. A viewer watching my tutorial may love the lipstick I’m wearing and when they click the link and purchase the lipstick, I earned a small commission.
The great thing about affiliate programs is that you don’t need a large following to start. My top 4 favorite affiliate programs for influencers: Amazon associates, Magiclinks, Reward Style, and Shareasale,
Majority of affiliate programs are free to join and if you already love the product and rave about it, why not earn commission from it?
Affiliate income is one of the easiest ways to become a paid influencer because anyone can add affiliate links to their blog regardless if they’re new to blogging or been at it for a while.
2. Digital Products
In 2015, I wrote my first book… then I wrote another book…. then I wrote another book.
Five years later and I STILL earn revenue from book sales. Here’s the thing, if you have a skill then you have a way to make money because there’s always someone who is looking to learn that skill. For example, if you’re good at hair then there’s always someone who will want to learn how to become better at doing hair. If you’re great at pivot tables in excel, there’s always someone looking to become better at pivot tables in excel. You can leverage this by creating digital products such as books, courses, templates and guides sharing your knowledge and expertise!
Some examples include:
Creating a course on beginning cooking basics.
Writing a book on how to flirt
Creating a template for those who want to be better at pivot tables in excel.
Creating a cheat sheet guide for photographers who want to learn different camera settings.
Turn your skill into a digital product.
Digital products are one of the best ways to become a paid influencer because you can control how you make money.
Right now I have two digital products:
Influencer with income toolkit – a vault of resources to help influencers pitch to brands and get paid
Ready, set, record– a bundle of resources to help YouTubers create video content
I make over $500 each month from these products. With digital products, you simply create them one time and then continue to promote them each month. Once you have an established audience who sees you as the expert, I definitely recommend creating a digital product to help your audience even more.
I’ve been a digital marketer for over a decade now. I know video creation inside and out so it made sense to create a product to help new Youtubers become better on video. Additionally, I’ve pitched and worked with huge (and small brands). I know a lot about being an influencer so creating a product that shares my exact methods of obtaining paid sponsorships was a no-brainer when it came to creating digital products.
Share what you know and create digital products centered around HOW to do.
Websites you can use to leverage your digital product
Where to publish your book: Simply write your book in word and submit on KDP for publishing your book on amazon
Where to publish your course: Teachable
Where to create your digital product: Canva and/or Adobe Spark
Where to sell your digital downloads: Etsy
The great thing about the recommendations above is none of these even require a website domain! *woot* *woot*
3. Ad Revenue
I make money every single month on YouTube and my blog… even on the months, I don’t publish. I have enough evergreen content that I get still views on old videos and old blog posts. Click here for my blog post where I share how I make $1000 in passive income each month.
To be approved for YouTube Adsense you have to hit a certain amount of followers and watch time but once you hit it, YouTube can be a great passive income stream. On this blog, you’ll notice I have ads. These ads also earn me money. I use Google AdSense but I’m hoping to move over to a more lucrative advertising platform as I grow my page views on my blog.
Last year I hosted my very first event in the area. It was a lot of work but I made a nice chunk of change and I got to connect with other women in the area! If you’re a local influencer, you may be able to leverage your connections to host a practically free event. You can collaborate with a venue, get food and goodie bag sponsorships from local businesses and you can market on your platform to your audience!
Here are a few events you can throw:
– Vision board party
– Networking event
– Paint party
– Fitness event (ie: Yoga in the park)
– Educational class (such as a beauty event where you show attendees how to do their makeup or a photography class where you show attendees how to take better photos!)
If most of your audience is local, I think hosting or being apart of events is one of the best nonconventional ways to become a paid influencer.
5. Physical products
In 2015, I launched my own cosmetics line called Queenie Chic. It did really well and the profit from my lipstick line really helped when it was time for me to purchase a home.
I closed down my beauty line in 2019 (I wanted to focus on other things) but I’m not going to lie… I miss it!! I do plan to launch a different product line in the future because products are such a great way to earn money!
I recommend the product you sell being within or similar to your niche. For example, I had a lipstick line because I was a
beauty influencer. It was easy to create a beauty look and finish off with my lipstick. It made marketing easy.
How difficult would it be to sell lipsticks to my audience if I was a gaming influencer?
I feel like this one is pretty obvious but it’s also pretty substantial. You can get paid to promote products and services through brand deals.
Use influencer marketing platforms and don’t be afraid to pitch to companies. If you’re a new influencer then I recommend starting off local. Reach out to local businesses and restaurants for brand deals. Don’t be afraid to accept free. Free can lead to paid.
Once your audience hits 1000, I absolutely think you can get paid sponsorships. I also think its a good time to start pitching to brands via email.
You can work with brands and get paid to post. If you’re new, you may have to take some free sponsorships but you can also find ways to get paid from free sponsorships as well. I share more on that in this blog post.
If you’re interested in working with brands and getting paid, I have a toolkit that includes plug and play templates you can use to pitch to brands, a media kit that’s fully customizable in Canva, videos to help you determine your rate PLUS more! You can learn about my influencer with income toolkit here.
In my opinion, sponsorships are one of the best ways to become a paid influencer because you can secure 4 and 5 figure deals!
The whole reason I fell into being an influencer is because I was a marketing consultant and had a client who wanted to get into YouTube! Today, I still sell my services (although I’m moving away from being a service provider as my brand grows).
If you’re a business influencer, offer business coaching! If you’re a fitness influencer, offer online personal coaching. Selling services does not require a large audience and you can make a lot of money depending on your pricing.
You can even do group coaching where a group of people pays you each month to be apart of a community! I’ve joined group coaching programs to become a better content creator, to advertise better and to even sell better!
Providing a service is one of the most profitable ways to become a paid influencer especially if you’re a micro-influencer because you don’t need a large audience. For example, if you’re a wellness coach who charges $3,500 for your coaching package, you only need 3 people to join your program to hit $10,000 month!
Here are seven ways I made 5 figures as an influencer last year and ways to become a paid influencer! It doesn’t matter if you have a small audience or a large audience, you can work with brands and make money. Do you have questions when it comes to ways to become a paid influencer? Let me know below!
Photos by Christina Jones Photography
Interested in working with brands and becoming an influencer? Download my FREE influencer cheatsheet checklist!
Photos by Christina Jones Photography
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