Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity in recent years. With social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube making it easier than ever for regular people to build large followings, many are wondering – how can I make money as an influencer?
The good news is there are plenty of proven monetization strategies for influencers. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll explore the 13 best ways influencers can make money in 2023.
1. Join An Influencer Network
Joining an influencer network or marketplace connects you with brands looking to collaborate with influencers. This is especially useful when first starting out or looking to further monetize your influence.
Platforms like Ainfluencer make it easy for micro and nano influencers to find sponsorships based on their niche and interests. Brands can also search for influencers using specific criteria. It‘s a win-win for both influencers looking to monetize and brands wanting to leverage influencer marketing.
Key Takeaway: Influencer networks match influencers with potential brand deals, making it one of the easiest ways to start making money.
2. Become A Brand Ambassador
As a brand ambassador, you endorse a brand‘s products or services in exchange for compensation. This usually means you exclusively use and talk about their products. Common ambassador perks include free products, commissions, and salaries.
Earning potential correlates with audience size and engagement. Even micro influencers can score these lucrative partnerships by showcasing real advocacy and expertise.
Key Takeaway: Brand ambassador deals pay you to exclusively endorse and use a brand‘s products.
3. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate programs pay you commissions for driving sales and sign-ups. As an influencer, you earn a % of the revenue from each new customer acquired through your unique promo code or link. Rates typically range from 5-30%, with bigger names landing 8-12%.
Affiliate marketing is great for monetizing your audience without relying solely on brand sponsorships. The key is motivating action through your posts to maximize earnings.
Key Takeaway: You earn commissions by promoting affiliate links tied to your unique code or URL.
4. Sell Ad Space
You can make money by selling ad space on your website or social channels to advertisers. Average earnings range from $5-$30 per thousand impressions. This passive income adds up, especially for influencers driving lots of traffic.
Many bloggers and YouTubers sell banner ads, sponsored posts, sidebar links, and dedicated videos. Instagrammers often have sponsors pay for single image posts or Stories. Get creative with the ad space you have to offer.
Key Takeaway: Make passive income by allowing brands to advertise on your website and social media.
5. Create And Sell Merchandise
Launching merch gives your fans a tangible way to showcase their love for you while putting cash in your pocket. Everything from apparel to phone accessories can be customized with your unique touches and branding.
Influencers with highly engaged followers tend to do best with merchandising. Passionate fans want to publicly display their support. Consider collaborating with other influencers in your niche to maximize exposure.
Key Takeaway: Capitalize on your influence by letting fans sport gear customized with your branding.
6. Crowdfunding And Tipping
Direct payments from your audience provide influencers recurring "passive" income. Fans can support you through monthly subscriptions for exclusive content or one-time tips and donations.
Platforms like Patreon, Buy Me a Coffee, and PayPal make it simple to accept payments. Offering subscribers-only content and perks incentivizes sign-ups. Thanking one-time tippers creates goodwill for potential repeat support.
Key Takeaway: Enable your fans to directly compensate your work through tips, subscriptions, and donations.
7. Promote Your Own Products Or Services
Many influencers create additional income sources to complement their audience monetization. Offline services, online courses, ebooks, merch, and physical products are all options.
The key is leveraging your expertise and influence to attract paying customers. For example, a fashion influencer could sell styling consultations or launch a clothing line.
Key Takeaway: Convert your sphere of influence into buyers for offerings aligned with your niche.
8. Launch A Product Collaboration
Product collaborations involve working directly with a brand to co-create merchandise. Common examples include athletes collaborating on gear or makeup gurus releasing co-branded cosmetics.
Not only do collaborations move product, but they also keep you top of mind with your audience. Make sure to negotiate a cut of all sales in your agreement.
Key Takeaway: Work directly with brands to ideate and launch products, earning a % of revenue.
9. YouTube Ad Revenue Sharing
If eligible, YouTube shares 55% of the ad revenue generated from your qualifying videos. Rates vary based on factors like a viewer’s region and ad inventory. Top creators easily clear six figures annually from YouTube ads alone.
While ad shares likely won’t fund influencers alone, they provide a lucrative incremental revenue stream from video assets you’re likely already creating.
Key Takeaway: YouTube pays creators over half of the money made from ads running against videos.
10. Video Sponsorships
Similar to sponsored posts, video collaborations compensate you for integrating a brand’s product or service into your YouTube videos or TikToks. Rates vary drastically based on viewership and past campaign performance but easily run $100+ per 1000 video views.
Sponsored video content helps subsidize higher production costs while keeping fans entertained with creative integrations.
Key Takeaway: Brand sponsorships help fund the production of high-quality videos.
11. Sell Your Photos And Videos
As an influencer, you likely have extensive media libraries for your content and campaigns. Tap into passive income by licensing this exclusive footage to publishers, websites, studios, and more.
Seasoned TikTok and Instagram video creators report strong buyer demand, with some clips selling for hundreds per second of footage. Individual photo rates start around $49 on marketplaces like Adobe Stock.
Key Takeaway: Repurpose media assets by selling them as stock photography and video.
12. Paid Live Stream Gifting
Live gifting allows a platform’s audience to tip broadcasters using virtual gifts like animated emojis, stickers, confetti, and more. The coins purchased by gift senders translate into cash earnings for creators.
Top TikTok and Instagram Live influencers easily clear thousands per broadcast between ad earnings and viewer gifts. Fans enjoy feeling involved through digital reactions.
Key Takeaway: Increase live stream income with viewer “gifts" purchased with real money.
13. Resell Free Products And Clothing
One overlooked revenue stream hides in your mailbox. As an influencer, you likely receive free sample products hoping for a positive review. However, you can actually sell many of these items for cold hard cash.
eCommerce sites like Poshmark enable easy resale of beauty products, clothing, electronics, and accessories. Freebies with any demand can pad your pocket without any effort on your end.
Key Takeaway: Generate effortless income by reselling free products online.
As we‘ve covered, several proven and lucrative options exist when deciding how to make money as an influencer. While the core methods are consistent, ample room remains for creativity and customization to fit your unique interests and audience.
The key is experimenting to determine which approaches generate sustainable income over the long-run. Avoid spreading yourself too thin, and instead double down on what moves the needle.
Now you have no excuse not to start monetizing your influence and make serious money in 2023!