The good news: There are so many ways to make money on social media!
The bad news: There are so many ways to make money on social media…
Where do you start? Earning a living as a creator is possible with the right strategy and mindset, but it can be overwhelming to figure out how.
And brands… As you know, social media changes constantly. What’s working to drive sales from social media right now? How do you work with creators?
Creators and brands, this article is chock full of strategies for both of you. Bust out your marketing plan and let’s go.
Bonus: Download a free, fully customizable influencer media kit templateto help you introduce your accounts to brands, land sponsorship deals, and make more money on social media.
6 ways to make money on social media as a creator
1. Partner with brands
This is what most people think of when they hear “making money on social media.” The OG method: Becoming an influencer.
Relax. It doesn’t have to mean taking selfies for sponsored posts featuring “diet tea.” Not only should you avoid doing that because you’re gorgeous the way you are, but also because your audience will see right through it.
To maintain your integrity, work with brands that:
Naturally fit your content and personality
Have products you actually use
Offer value to your audience
Whoever you partner with, ensure the content on your social media accounts still feels like you.
Parenting-focused creator Lindsey Gurk creates hilarious Reels, often with her own (amazing) singing. This sponsored Reel feels as authentic as her organic content.
Affiliate marketers share links to products or services and earn commissions when someone buys through that link (or via unique coupon code).
There are three ways to start affiliate marketing:
Join an affiliate network: There are many options, such as Impact and ShareASale, where you can join multiple affiliate programs in one network.
Join a specific company’s affiliate program: Many brands run their own affiliate programs, which often pay better than joining through larger networks.
Pitch a custom affiliate relationship: Established creators often negotiate custom rates and contracts with brands for long-term partnerships.
Affiliate marketing is a snowball effect. At first, if you don’t have a large audience, you probably won’t make very much. (Not always true, though!) Sharing affiliate content over time will pay off, as long as you focus on serving your audience first.
LTK (formerly Like to Know It) is one of the most popular affiliate programs for fashion creators. When people visit the link in this post…
A few important rules to follow for affiliate marketing:
Always disclose your links. When posting content that features affiliate products, be honest and let your audience know you’ll earn a commission if they buy. You can use hashtags like #affiliatelink or #ad. It’s required by the FTC.
Not everything needs to be an affiliate link. Don’t shy away from recommending your favorite items if they don’t have an affiliate program. You’re here to serve your audience first, remember?
3. Enroll in platform-specific monetization programs
Social media platforms need creators to keep users engaged so brands keep running ads. #RealTalk
Because of that, they’re constantly launching creator-friendly features to help you earn more money. I mean, help them earn more money off you…
But since you’re creating content anyway, sign up for every program you can. Why not, right?
TikTok Creator Fund
There are tons of ways to earn money on TikTok, including branded content, tips, gifts, and their dedicated Creator Marketplace. The Creator Fund is simple: TikTok pays you for views.
It’s a no-brainer if you meet the steep eligibility criteria. Earn more with the content you’re already making.
The combination of video view earnings and partial ad revenue means YouTube creators can start earning decent money with an audience of a few thousand (or one really viral video). To sign up for the program, you need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours.
Subscriptions allows you to add a membership to your Instagram account. Followers can pay a monthly, in-app fee to access exclusive content, which can be anything from subscriber-only posts and Reels to group chats, livestreams, and more.
Meta runs ever-changing bonus programs that pay you for either Instagram Reels views, or reaching other achievements on Facebook. Currently, these are invite-only programs available to select U.S-based creators. If you’re eligible, you’ll get an in-app notification to sign up.
Increase your chances of getting in by:
Using Instagram to create your Reels.Instagram hints that creators using “Instagram creative tools” get priority.
Creating positive, original Reels. Instagram wants trend-setters, not trend-followers.
Removing watermarks. Don’t repost straight from TikTok. Remove any watermarks and ensure your upload quality is set to high. Turn this setting on in the app from Settings -> Account -> Data usage.
4. Sell merch
Making decent money from your own merchandise requires a dedicated following. You don’t need a million followers, but may want more than, like, 100.
There’s also the actual making of the merch. What will you make? How will you make it—yourself, or outsource it?
There are lots of ways to outsource the production of apparel and gifts with sites like Printful. And, ways to sell it with an Etsy or Shopify store.
The key, besides loyal followers, is merch that makes sense. Tech reviewer Sara Dietschy’s line of tech accessories tie in nicely with her brand slogan of “rhymes with peachy” and align with her audience’s interest in technology.
Have a skill to teach? Diversify your income by creating your own course or book.
Emil Pakarklis wanted to get better at photography. He grew a following as he developed his skills armed with only an iPhone. He turned his experience into a course. Over 319,000 people have taken iPhone Photography School at about $75 USD.
They require a lot of work to set up and promote if you’re creating something from scratch. But, you can record it and use that content for lots of other things: Chop it up into many social media posts, or turn the whole thing into a course and sell it.
Event ideas to create and launch:
An in-person course or workshop.
An online webinar or livestream presentation.
A charity fundraiser and networking event.
A summit or convention, partnering with other creators or brands.
Alternatively, there are ways to reap the benefits of events without having to create it yourself, such as:
Becoming a paid speaker for conferences.
Podcast and media interviews. (Not always paid, but can be.)
Sponsoring or advertising at someone else’s event.
Note: TikTok’s social commerce solutions are only available in some countries.
Snapchat offers a Shop tab similar to Instagram’s current one: Your followers can browse products from your profile and checkout on your website. Right now it’s only available to verified Business accounts.
Growth = hacked.
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It’s possible to manage your own affiliate program on your website, or an easier option is to offer yours through a network like Impact.
3. Upsell with an AI chatbot
Heyday goes beyond basic chatbots by using advanced AI to adapt tone across sub-brands, learn from past interactions, and offer 24/7 multilingual support.
After Groupe Dynamite launched their custom Heyday chatbot on Facebook Messenger, their traffic went up 200% and 60% of all customer conversations were automated—with detailed analytics to ensure satisfaction remains high.
Plus, Heyday is made by Hootsuite, so you know it’s gonna be awesome, right?
Whether you’re a creator or brand, check out all the ways Hootsuite can help you run your social empire—beyond scheduling and publishing.
Maximize your earning potential by managing all your social media marketing and publishing with Hootsuite. Engage with and find your audience with innovative tools like Best Time to Publish and a unified DM inbox. Try it free today.