Cash in on your Social Media Cachet

Since you already spend so much time and effort on social media, why not make some money while you’re at it? Here’s how.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Since you already spend so much time and effort on social media, why not make some money while you’re at it? Here’s how.
Corbis, TPG/Click Photos
Corbis, TPG/Click Photos

Blogger Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What almost broke the Internet when she revealed that she gets paid from US$5,000 to $15,000 for a piece of sponsored content. In the same Harper’s Bazaar article, industry estimates stated that brands spend over a billion a year on sponsored Instagram posts. Right. Now, where do we sign up?

The thing about “this new world of social influence”, as Mark Schaefer calls it in his book Return on Influence, anyone with a data connection can get in on it. He writes, “We are entering the age of the Citizen Influencer, in which every person has a chance to get behind the velvet rope… You too can be an Internet celebrity. You too can earn your way into the influencer class. You too can discover the power of your own return on influence. And in fact, many companies already have.” But how do you catch the eye of marketers in a sea of digital natives?

Find your niche

When everyone can snap the same topdown shot of their brunch and use the same filter, the importance of a distinct voice cannot be underestimated. Figure out what you are – and will continue to be – passionate about, and create unique content that will allow you to go beyond merely reporting news, to become a trusted expert in your field.

Consistency – and quality – is key

You wouldn’t start a business without a clear and strict strategy. If your end goal is to make money from social media, why should it be any different? A content calendar will ensure you post quality material several times a day, across various social media platforms. Your feed is your resume, and every post can influence the decision of whether or not a brand thinks you will complement its marketing strategy.

Be genuine

With so many content providers out there, it’s crucial that you put in the effort to grow your own loyal and engaged audience. Community-building comes about when you are clear about what you stand for; and it comes through in your content, the brands and partners you choose to work with, and in how you build up a rapport with your followers through comments and answers to queries. Once brands see that you can communicate their vision to your followers in an authentic, consistent and discerning way, they’re much more likely to want to work with you as an influencer.

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