How To Monetize As An Influencer (Besides Brand Collaborations)
Updated: Dec 3, 2021
We all love creating content in this industry, right? With content creation being an actual career, influencers are becoming adamant about getting compensated fairly, as they should. So it’s no wonder the most sought out question after “how to become an influencer” is how to make money as one.
There are tons of ways you can monetize your content creation as an influencer. Of course, the first thing that pops into our minds is brand collaboration. It doesn’t stop there, though, which is amazing. In this blog post, we compiled a list of ideas on how to monetize as an influencer besides brand collaborations. Read on!
How to monetize as an influencer besides brand collaborations
Affiliate marketing is the lowest investment method for monetizing your influencer account. You would be promoting another brands’ product, but it wouldn’t be a typical brand collaboration per se.
In its essence, affiliate marketing allows an affiliate (e.g. influencers) to earn a commission for each sale a promoted product or service makes.
For those who are not familiar with how this works, let us give you an example.
Amazon has an affiliate program called Amazon Affiliates. Now let’s imagine you’re a fashion influencer specializing in casual streetwear for girls in their early twenties that live in a warmer climate.
That being the case, you’d opt for clothing that is simple, stylish, and comfortable for hot days. Let’s say your favorite fashion item is a midi skirt. You would browse on Amazon for a midi skirt, and locate the one you would recommend. Then, you would create a unique affiliate link in your affiliate toolbar, and paste it to whatever social platform you use for creating content. Whoever sees clicks on that link and purchases that item earns you a small commission.
What’s amazing about this type of advertising is that you don’t need anything to start. You won’t be storing any physical products of your own because you’re promoting others, and still making money! Besides that, most affiliate platforms don’t require you to have millions of followers to get accepted.
The downside is that the commission is usually super small. So to make a living out of affiliate marketing, you would need to have a high traffic of highly engaged followers that would purchase whatever you promote to them.
All in all, it doesn’t hurt to incorporate this type of income into your monetizing strategy. As we said, it is a low investment and a nice way to, at least, garner a bit of passive income.
We always advise our influencers to niche down and pick a gap in the market that needs coverage.
Imagine having an amazing, niche audience that is highly engaged with your posts. Why not take advantage of the opportunity and introduce a perfect niche product for them?
To paint a clearer picture, we will give you a real-life example of an influencer who came out with a product that perfectly targets her true audience.
Jess Hutt is a fashion & beauty influencer originally from the UK. Her signature look is beautiful, bushy, laminated brows. Since that is a very desired look amongst women nowadays, Jess recognized an opportunity to be one of the first influencers to deliver a specific solution to her audience that wanted to create that look at home. That’s why she came up with REFY beauty - a line of beauty products that will help shape your eyebrows up to perfection. And people seem to love it!
Although in starters physical products require more time, energy & money investment, they can be very lucrative. Knowing your audience, creating a deep connection with them, and understanding what their trigger points are can open all sorts of doors to monetization and success.
Another low investment option for monetizing as an influencer is creating and selling a digital product. Those products can be:
An online course;
Editable templates, etc.
We’ll give you another example. Michael Filipiuk is a UI designer that shares tips with beginner designers that want to test their luck in this creative field. He sells various digital products, like ebooks and design manuals that help junior designers understand and upgrade their design skillset.
Creating a digital product is as time-consuming as crafting a physical one. However, the low investment part refers mostly to the monetary investment as physical products usually require a big chunk of money upfront before there is even a single sale made. While digital products usually require design platforms that, in most cases, come for free or require a minimal amount of investment.
Everybody has something they know how to do. So if that knowledge meets what your niche is about, then think of a way to incorporate a digital product into your side income stream. Who knows, maybe someday it can become your main source of income!
Selling photo rights
Most influencers fail to realize that they are relinquishing author rights when creating branded content for collaborations. Therefore, they are missing out on the opportunity to negotiate the brand deal.
Let’s say a lingerie brand has a new release of silk nighttime gowns. The brand can go about this in two ways - they can either hire a traditional photographer or an influencer.
Recently, hiring influencers has become so much more worth the money. Brands get a real-life person to not just wear and promote their product, but also take professional photographs.
In this case, if you’re a fashion influencer that also has a good sense of photography, you could negotiate more money for giving up your author rights. And you’ll likely still be more worth the investment due to all the aforementioned reasons.
Donations & subscriptions
Influencers who share valuable content should get compensated for their efforts. After all, it’s a lot of time, skills, and knowledge that goes into any type of content creation. That’s why platforms like Patreon and Ko-Fi are amazing for financially supporting creators.
There are two ways to monetize via using these platforms. The first one would be to get one-time compensations from your audience. Consider their tips as a “thank you” for producing amazing content.
Or you can go a step up and set a subscription-based service where your most passionate fans would support your creative work via a monthly membership. For example, you could feature exclusive content, early-bird discounts, access to subscription-only information, products, etc.
As an influencer, it is only natural for you to look for ways to monetize your efforts. We’ve all heard of brand collaborations, so we’re hopeful that this blog post gave you additional insight on how to monetize as an influencer besides brand collaborations.
Every smart influencer has several income streams that help sustain their business and fuel their passion for content creation. That should be you too!