How to make money with Social Media
If you haven’t had your head buried in the sand for the last few years, you’re probably aware that there’s a lot of money to be made on social media.
Even if you haven’t heard about the possibilities directly from a social media expert, the profit potential should be painfully obvious. In fact, the opportunities are practically slapping us in the face.
How many examples of insanely rich social media influencers can you think of? How about YouTube stars? How many brands do you know that have a massive presence on social media?
These individuals aren’t just devoting huge amounts of attention to social media for fun. Although the rest of us might see Instagram and Facebook as a way to pass the time, these professionals are in it for the money.
They understand that social media can be an incredibly lucrative business – as long as you approach it as such.
So the real question isn’t whether or not you can make money on social media, but how to reach the same levels of success as some of the wealthiest influencers today.
The good news is that it’s possible. We wouldn’t see as many success stories around the web if it wasn’t.
The “not so good” news is that it’s incredibly challenging to reach the level of top influencers. But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and we aim to show you the path towards great profits with social media.
Get Your Priorities Straight
The first step to success is to take a good, long look at yourself and figure out what you really want to gain from all of this.
What are your priorities? What are your goals? Why does earning money with social media appeal to you?
Are you in it to get famous? It’s totally acceptable if this is your goal, but you need to be honest with yourself and actually accept the fact before you can achieve that dream.
If you’re more interested in getting famous than actually making money, then you can make it happen. But your path to success will be different compared to someone who’s all about the money.
On the other hand, you might be laser-focused on raking in as much cash as possible. If this is the case, you won’t need to worry about becoming a star. You can quietly grow your bank account at a breakneck speed without anyone ever learning your name.
Or maybe you’re just interested in the laid-back lifestyle that social media offers. Obviously, you’ll still have to work in order to make money here. And in some cases, you’ll be working much harder than a typical nine to five job.
But you’ll be working from home, setting your own hours, and being your own boss. This level of freedom is what attracts many people to earning money through social media, and this could be your main priority.
You might want to travel the globe while you work, becoming a so-called “digital nomad.”
As you can see, there are many reasons why someone could be attracted to earning money on social media. All of these priorities are perfectly acceptable.
With that said, it’s always a good idea to figure which goals are most important to you before you set out on this incredible journey.
Get your priorities straight before you start building your plan, and you won’t be disappointed when you finally reach the level of success (and the kind of success) you’re aiming for.
Remember, we all define success in different ways. For some, it’s simply earning more money. For others, it’s having the time to spend with our families, or having the freedom to travel the globe. Figure out what part of life means the most to you.
Now, those are a few examples of broad, somewhat vague goals and priorities.
But when setting goals, it’s also important to make your aims very specific and focused. In fact, many people would agree that specific goals are actually more effective than broad, vague ones.
So what kinds of specific goals will you set?
Here are a few examples to inspire you:
Maybe you’re focusing on Facebook. If so, then you might set a goal to gain 50,000 fans for your Facebook page.
Or perhaps you’ve got your sights set on affiliate marketing – which is one of the best income streams for social media. If so, then you might aim to earn $5,000 in affiliate sales in a single month. This is a great goal for those who are primarily concerned with making money.
If you’re aiming to set up your own line of products, you might set a goal to launch two new products within the course of a single year.
What if you’re focusing entirely on Instagram? Well then, you might aim to break that 10,000 follower milestone.
YouTubers will also set similar goals, and if you’re starting a new channel you’ll probably want to meet the threshold where the algorithm starts actually promoting your content. To reach this level, you’ll need over 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of annual watch time.
As you can see, your specific goals will depend on which platform(s) you’re focusing on, and your more generalized priorities.
You can set all kinds of different goals across different social media platforms and different types of businesses, but there’s always one thing that all goals must share in common:
Without a clear time scale in place, your goals are just ideas drifting in the wind, without any real purpose or urgency.
Attach a time limit to your goals, and you’ll instantly start working towards them and ensuring that they’re actually completed.
This is absolutely crucial.
You should always write down your goals as well. Sure, you could put in your digital calendar and set reminders… But there’s also something concrete about actually taking a pen and writing your goals down on a piece of paper.
Some of the most committed entrepreneurs write down their goals on pieces of paper and place them in a place where they’ll see them each and every day.
Maybe you’ll put your goals above your bed, or taped to your bathroom mirror. The more you’re reminded of your goals, the better.
Find Your Niche
Finding your niche is just as important as setting goals, and in some ways they’re one and the same.
Finding a niche gives your business focus in exactly the same way as setting goals.
Without a clear niche, your business becomes too broad and generalized, lacking focus and direction.
Here’s an example: you might set out to start a hiking Instagram page. But if you only set out to create a hiking page without any specialized focus, you’ll be attempting to access an audience that is much too broad and vast.
Imagine being at a party with other hikers, and trying to start a conversation. Well, you’re not going to just stand on a chair and start shouting out to the entire room, are you?
No – you’d probably find a group of about five people, and join their conversation.
The same rule applies to social media. Trying to scream out a message to a vast audience is almost impossible. You need to target a specific group of people in order to have your voice heard.
So instead of starting a basic hiking Instagram page, you’d instead start a specialized version. Maybe you’ll start a “desert hiking Instagram page,” or a “Canadian hiking page,” or even a “dog-walking hiking page.”
Can you spot the difference?
Each one of these Instagram pages has a specialization, and because of this, there’s a much stronger chance of reaching an audience that you can engage with directly.
Picking a niche is very important when starting almost any business, but it’s especially useful with social media. Using hashtags, keywords, and other methods, you can directly connect with target audiences.
With all that said, you shouldn’t just pick a niche at random. Choosing the right niche is an incredibly important decision as you build your business from the ground up. You need to make sure that you’re actually doing the proper amount of research before deciding on a direction for your business.
Remember, you can’t really change your niche once you’ve made a decision.
So how do you pick the right niche?
Your first step should be to think about the people you want to reach. Once again, it’s best to be as specific as possible here. First off, think about what kinds of products you will sell or promote within your niche.
Then, think about what kinds of people would want to buy these products. Are they old? Young? Male or female? What about their income levels? Where do they live? These are just a few examples of questions you should be asking yourself when you consider your target audience.
If you can build a detailed image in your mind of exactly who your target audience is, you’ll find it much easier to grow your presence on social media and make laser-targeted business decisions that result in higher levels of profit.
The more you think about your ideal customer, the easier it will be to sell them products. You’ll also think of new products that your audience will want to buy.
There are a few tools that you can use to make this entire process easier. You can actually use a few analytics tools to figure out what kinds of people are most interested in certain products.
Although there are many analytics tools available, even the most basic options will show you where certain audiences are located geographically. This alone can be extremely valuable and revealing information.
Using these analytics tools, you’ll also discover the search volume. This is perhaps the most useful information of all because it tells you whether people are actually searching for various types of content and products. In other words, search volume reveals whether or not an audience for your niche even exists in the first place.
As we’ve stated, there are many different options for analytics tools, both paid and unpaid. One free option that is actually quite effective is Google Trends, and we definitely recommend that you give this a shot when you’re planning out your niche for the first time.
This is a crucial part of the planning process that many entrepreneurs skip entirely. But without this stage, you don’t actually know whether or not your plan has a reasonable chance of success.
If you’re using a relatively simple tool like Google Trends, even a few minutes of research can provide you with some seriously useful information. This information could help you make considerably more money down the road.
If you’re serious about treating your social media presence as a business, you need to pay close attention to the analytical data. Trust us, it’s the only way to rake in the cash on social media.
From an outside point of view, it might seem like many of the top influencers are just fun-loving, random people with little business sensibility. But you can bet your bottom dollar that even the most laid-back influencers are very serious about checking the analytical data to create the most profitable content possible.
So how do you make sense of this analytical data? While this process can get seriously complex, let’s focus on one of the simplest and easiest tools, which is Google Trends.
With Google Trends, you’ll search the activity associated with certain keywords. Simply enter your target keyword, and you’ll see a graph associated with that keyword or phrase.
You’ll see a line that represents that keyword’s search volume over time. Obviously, higher search volume is always a good thing… But you should also consider whether the search volume is rising or falling.
If your line is steadily decreasing, it’s a bad sign. This means that while your keyword was once popular, people are starting to become less and less interested.
Ideally, you should aim for a keyword that has a steadily rising search volume. This means that it’s starting to get more and more popular. You could “ride this wave” and cash in when more and more people start to search for this type of content.
On the other hand, a flat line is never a bad thing either. If you see a line that has remained consistent for years, you’ve found a keyword that has real staying power. Sometimes, it’s better to choose these keywords over trendy search terms that will fade away in a few month’s time.
While this information alone should provide you with tons of information, you can also receive even more insights from Google Trends. On a sidebar, you should see tables comprising of “related queries” and “related topics.”
This is a list of things that people also search for when they search for that specific keyword you entered. This information should give you a more accurate idea of who this target market is, and what other things they’re interested in.
In some cases, you might discover that the related queries don’t really match the keyword that you’ve entered. You might also see a number of different ideas for similar keywords that you can explore. Once again, this is all useful information.
And as previously stated, you can also see where the search volume is coming from on a geographical scale. It could be very useful to see which nations are searching the most for certain keywords, especially if you plan on targeting specific countries.
With all that said, Google Trends is only one way to research more into your niche and the market that surrounds it.
By now, you should probably have a pretty good idea of what kinds of products and services you want to sell or promote on social media. The same general approach is needed whether you want to start an online business, create your own line of products, or engage in affiliate marketing.
Simply put, you’re going to spy on your competition.
Here’s what we mean by this: You need to head to a large eCommerce platform like Amazon, and do some research into your niche.
Find products that are related to your niche, and figure out whether people are actually buying them.
How can you do this?
Simple – just search for your products in Amazon’s search bar. If you’ve done some brainstorming, you might have written down an entire page of potential products that you’d like to sell within your niche.
If this is the case (and brainstorming is always a good idea), you can simply go through your list and search for each one on Amazon.
Now here’s the crucial part:
Once you’ve found a product that matches, look at how many reviews it has received. Don’t worry about whether these reviews are good or bad – just focus on the number of reviews.
If hundreds of people are leaving reviews, that obviously means that tons of people are buying the product. And this means that there’s a demand for the product!
You can then feel relatively confident about selling or promoting these products, as you know for a fact that there are people out there who want to buy them.
This exact same strategy can be used for many different platforms, even if you’re not even focusing on selling physical products.
Maybe you’re trying to create a social media presence so that you can promote online courses through affiliate marketing (which, by the way, is an incredibly popular and lucrative idea).
If this is the case, all you need to do is head to Udemy, and search for your target niche. Let’s say you want to focus on promoting traffic generation courses. You should find it pretty easy to figure out whether there’s a strong demand for these courses, and whether or not people are actually buying them.
The same concept holds true with YouTube.
Just type in your niche or topic in the YouTube search bar, and you’ll quickly get a sense of whether there’s an audience out there. Check out the top trending results, and you can see how many views these videos are getting.
This should tell you whether it’s worth pursuing your target niche.
Just copy and paste the exact same strategy for Instagram. With this method, all you need to do is add a hashtag (#) to the start of your niche, and search for it on Instagram.
For example, “#DesertHiking” might reveal a hashtag that has hundreds of thousands of posts. If this is the case, you’re looking at a very active audience and a potentially profitable niche.
Again, these steps should only take you a couple of hours – if that. But invest this short amount of time, and you can really get a sense of your niche and whether or not it’s a profitable investment of your time and energy.
Figure Out How You’re Actually Going To Make Money
So far, we’ve focused on building your niche, targeting your audience, and setting goals.
But what we haven’t talked about is how you should actually make money on social media.
We’ve touched on a few methods, such as affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, and creating your own line of products.
There are many different options out there, and you’d need to refer back to your own personal priorities to figure out which monetization method is best for you.
Some monetization methods focus on passive income, while others are more labor-intensive.
Don’t just pick a monetization method because it sounds interesting or has the potential to earn you a lot of money.
Do the research, and figure out whether or not you actually see yourself spending hours and hours working to make this income stream a reality.
So what kinds of options are available?
Here are a few of the most notable methods you can use to make money on social media:
- Affiliate Marketing
In case you’re not already aware, affiliate marketing is a system whereby you promote other people’s products.
As long as you have a large online following, you can rake in tremendous amounts of cash through affiliate marketing.
Regardless of which social media platform you’re focusing on, you can add affiliate links and promo codes to your content.
When your audience members follow these affiliate links, they’ll be taken to an eCommerce page of the product you’re promoting.
When they purchase these products after following your link, you’ll earn a commission fee. Commission fees can vary drastically, and it’s possible to make a serious amount of cash on each sale.
At the end of the day, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize virtually any type of content on the web. You can even use affiliate marketing to monetize podcasts.
Getting started with affiliate marketing is seriously easy, there’s a thriving community of affiliates and brands who are incredibly active.
Making your first commission is as easy as signing up with an affiliate network such as ShareASale, Commission Junction, Clickbank, and many others.
If you want to work with recognized names and brands, you can also sign up for affiliate programs hosted by Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and many others.
The best thing about affiliate marketing is that it works with virtually any niche or product category. The affiliate world is so massive now that you can promote virtually anything, no matter how obscure your niche is.
With that said, affiliate marketing is no cakewalk. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Research Your Products Before Promoting Them
This is huge. Don’t make the mistake of promoting a crappy product that breaks down or doesn’t deliver results. Your customers will hate you for it, and you’ll quickly lose their trust. And as you’ll discover, affiliate marketing is built on trust.
- Focus On Your Niche
Even though it might be tempting to promote highly profitable products that aren’t related to your niche, resist the urge. Sticking to your niche is essential as an affiliate marketer. Remember, you’re promoting products that you think your customers will be interested in. If products aren’t related to your content, it’s not a good idea.
- Don’t Lose Sight of Your Content
When you really start raking in the cash with affiliate marketing, it can have a negative effect on your content. Become too greedy, and you’ll start focusing too much affiliate marketing, and not enough on creating stellar, top-notch content.
- Sponsored Posts
Sponsored Posts and affiliate marketing are similar, but with a few notable differences.
With a sponsored post, you’re not selling or promoting anything directly. Instead, you’re merely mentioning or showcasing a certain product or service in your content.
Brands will pay you big bucks for the exposure you can deliver with a highly influential social media presence.
In many cases, brands will reach out to you directly once you’ve reached a certain level of influence. They’ll probably target you because of your audience, and the fact that it’s related to your niche.
For example, if you have a hiking Instagram account with over a million subscribers, you might start getting offers from brands that sell hiking boots or backpacks.
These brands understand that they can use your influence to access a very targeted audience that you’ve amassed online. In many cases, sponsored posts through social media can be much more profitable and effective compared to traditional advertising methods.
In the end, it’s a win-win for everyone.
Keep in mind that you don’t need a massive following to get started with sponsored posts. Sure, brands might not reach out directly to you, but you can still contact them and see if they’re interested in some kind of deal.
Although it’s somewhat rare, you can actually start making sponsored posts with just a few thousand followers on Instagram. With that said, you’ll be paid a fee that reflects your following. The more influential you are on social media, the more brands will pay you for social media.
If you only have a few thousand followers, you might be paid in free samples instead of actual cash. In many cases, your “payment” will be the actual product that you’re showcasing in your sponsored post.
But hey, everyone has to start somewhere, right? Cultivate strong relationships with brands early on, and they’ll start to offer you more lucrative deals as you build your online presence.
A solid option is to sign up with networks that can connect you with brand deals that match your following. One example of such a network is IZEA.
Sponsored posts are definitely an excellent monetization route for any social media channel. We definitely recommend looking into this in addition to other options such as affiliate marketing.
- Digital Products
Digital products are some of the most profitable things that you can sell on the internet.
In contrast to physical products, it doesn’t cost you anything to produce more of a digital product.
Invest the time and effort into creating your digital products, and you can sell as many as you need long into the future.
There are almost too many different types of digital products to list.
You could create an app, design an online course, write a eBook, make a PDF guide… The list goes on and on.
While there are many options, all digital products revolve around the same basic principles. You can sell these digital products with little effort, as you won’t have to worry about storing inventory or shipping.
These digital products are also quite easy to promote through social media, and you can easily shift gears to rake in incredible amounts of cash once you’ve reached a certain level of influence on your social media platform.
For convenience’s sake, let’s focus on online courses.
The amazing thing about online courses is that you can create one for virtually any subject. Even if your niche is seriously obscure, you can create an online course without too much trouble and appeal directly to your audience.
Once you’ve created your online course, you can host it on a platform like Udemy without having to set up your own website or educational platform.
Then all you need to do is promote your online course effectively on social media, and you should be able to rake in the cash continuously over a period of many years.
Sure, creating an online course might involve a little more work compared to affiliate marketing or sponsored posts, but that extra effort is almost always worth it in the end.
Keep in mind that while you can create online courses for almost any subject, certain niches are inherently better-suited to online courses than others.
For example, if your social media presence is focused on “how-to” content, online courses are a natural fit.
And you should definitely consider creating an online course if your channel or account focuses on entrepreneurship and online income methods. Online courses that fall into this genre are incredibly popular.
If an online course seems like a bad fit for your content, there are plenty of other digital products you can create. Apps, eBooks, and even mobile games are all viable options.
If you’re serious about making money with your social media presence, we recommend exploring digital products.
- Online Services
Of all the options you have to monetize your social media presence, this one might be the most labor-intensive and demanding.
That being said, the profit potential is also astounding, so you definitely shouldn’t count this one out – even if you want to avoid getting bogged down in some seriously hard work.
Online services are exactly what they sound like: You’ll provide some kind of service for customers in a purely digital environment. In return, they’ll pay you a fee.
In order to figure out what type of online service you’ll provide, the first thing you need to is to think about what skills you have. What do you have to offer your audience?
Once again, you should refer back to your niche. Think about your audience, and what type of services they might need.
You might be especially drawn to this type of monetization option if your social media presence revolves around your personality. Perhaps you’re running a YouTube channel where you’re actively entertaining your audience with commentary and skits.
If this is the case, you can earn even more money by offering more personalized content for audience members who are willing to pay. Perhaps you’ll create custom videos or related content.
There are a number of platforms that can help you achieve this. Patreon and Fiverr both allow you to provide specific content for audience members who are actually willing to pay.
On the other hand, you can provide online services based not on your personality, but rather on the skills and reputation that you’ve earned on social media.
For example, you might have established yourself as an expert on digital marketing. If this is the case, then you could offer direct coaching and consulting services to customers who are willing to pay a fee.
Coaching and consulting is similar to creating an online course, but it’s more direct and involves communication between you and your customers.
In addition, you have to continuously devote effort to coaching and consulting, whereas you only need to create an online course once. It’s definitely something to consider.
Once you’ve built a top-notch social media platform, you can even help other people manage their Instagram accounts and YouTube channels. If you have a track record of success, people could be willing to pay you in order to help them reach the same level of influence.
Online services can blossom into truly profitable businesses.
Just look at Netflix, Slack, Dropbox, Eventbrite, and countless others. These are all examples of an SaaS business model (software as a service), and this system is becoming extremely popular in the current day and age.
There’s no reason why you can’t take your social media influence and direct your audience towards a successful new online service company that could rival even the top dogs that we’ve just mentioned.
It’s definitely something to consider.
- Creating A Product Line
For many internet entrepreneurs, starting a successful product line represents the pinnacle of their digital income dreams.
And make no mistake, it’s a great goal to work towards.
Starting your own product line might be one of the hardest things to do as a digital entrepreneur, but it’s also one of the most lucrative ways to monetize your social media presence.
Branching out into product creation also allows you really carve out your own identity in the digital world, creating a brand that could eventually become much, much bigger than a simple social media account.
In contrast, forging your own identity and brand can be exceedingly difficult through affiliate marketing. In the end, you’re always just promoting other people’s products.
But while there are many advantages of creating a product line, it’s also one of the hardest things to accomplish as an online entrepreneur.
Many individuals spend months or even years in the research and development stages of product development. You’ll need to crunch numbers, assess various costs, analyze trends, and much, much more.
On the flip side, you’ll have one massive advantage that other entrepreneurs would kill for:
As a successful social media influencer, you’ll already have a loyal audience that will be more than willing to purchase your products as soon as they’re released. This makes the entire process much easier, and your chances of success skyrocket as a result.
You’ll also have a specific niche that you can focus on – one that already has a confirmed and active audience.
Creating a product line can be pretty challenging, but it’s also an immensely fun and rewarding process.
As a successful social media influencer, you’re in an excellent position to release your own products, create your own brand, and start making real money instead of promoting other people’s items.
It’s an immensely profitable route that should really be the end goal for all social media influencers.
Choosing Your Social Media Platform
We’ve already gone way into the future with some of these monetization options, and we’ve discussed decisions and actions that you’ll probably only have the make after a few years of building up your audience.
Even though it might seem like we’ve gotten a little ahead of ourselves, it’s important to think about these decisions and possibilities before you select your social media channel.
In some cases, certain monetization options might be much easier (or completely impossible) with certain social media platforms.
So now that you have a general idea of how you want to monetize your social media presence, let’s rewind a little and return to the basics:
Which social media platform should you choose?
Most of our readers probably have a pretty good idea of where they want to devote their focus. But before you jump headfirst into a specific social media platform, you should think it through and consider what each platform has to offer.
But before you think about the various platforms, take a second and consider your target audience. Which platform would they be most likely to use?
This is a very important consideration, and most entrepreneurs forget about it entirely.
Facebook is a platform favored by a slightly older crowd. Today, the platform draws in people from all generations, including the elderly and middle-aged visitors.
In contrast, Instagram is definitely targeted towards a slightly younger crowd.
If you understand the demographic data of your target audience (specifically their age range), it should be easy to choose the right social media platform.
This is only one factor that could help you make your final decision, and there are countless other details to consider.
You might also want to think about what type of content you wish to produce. Remember, certain platforms are geared towards specific types of media. For example, YouTube is obviously intended for video content. If you see yourself filming a ton of videos as a social media influencer, you should probably choose YouTube.
On the other hand, Pinterest and Instagram are both geared towards photographs and appealing images. If you see yourself as more of a photographer in terms of content creation, these platforms might be more effective for you.
Facebook is kind of like a jack of all trades, as it can focus on a wide variety of different media types. If you see yourself producing a range of different content, then Facebook might be a solid option.
With all that said, many platforms are branching out and becoming more diversified – especially Instagram. This platform is slowly placing a larger emphasis on video content, especially when it comes to Instagram stories.
So even if you see yourself posting images for the most part, you can still give yourself the option of creating video content in the future with a platform like Instagram.
As you can see, there are a lot of different factors that you should consider when making your final decision.
Here’s a question that many influencers ask themselves:
“Should I be focusing on multiple social media platforms at the same time?”
The short answer is no… at least not in the beginning.
Becoming successful on social media is no easy feat, and you need to devote your full attention towards one platform in order to see any real results.
Split your attention between multiple social media platforms, and you won’t really experience any results with any of them.
Once you’re established and you have a little extra free time, you can explore other social media platforms and gradually start to branch out.
But when you’re just starting out, we recommend focusing on one platform, and one platform only.
This is why your decision is so important.
Optimizing Your Profile
So, you’ve decided on your platform of choice, and you’re ready to create your account for the first time.
Before you do anything, you should take the time to understand how to optimize your account for the highest levels of profit possible.
These simple steps can put you on the fast tracks towards profit and success with your social media presence. Remember, all your planning and decision-making means nothing until you actually start making money. For best results, you need to optimize your social media account right out of the gate.
Choosing your profile photo is the first and most basic step. But you’d be surprised how big of a difference it can make.
Remember, this is the first thing people see when they check out your account, and it’s also one of the few things that is plastered over all of your content.
While your content might change from day to day, your profile picture always remains the same.
So how do you choose the best profile picture?
It depends on your niche, and whether or not you want your own personality to be the main focus of your social media presence.
If so, then picking the right profile picture is as easy as getting some professional headshots and uploading them.
A neat trick is to actually name your image before you upload it, and choose keyword-friendly words. For example, if you’re creating a hiking Instagram account, you could name your picture “Best hiking instagram account.” This ensures that your image is optimized for SEO, and people will stumble upon your image when using Google Search.
If you’re at a point where you’re expanding into multiple social media accounts, choose the same profile picture for each channel. This ensures brand uniformity.
Of course, your profile picture is only one small part of your profile. Depending on the type of social media platform, there might be all kinds of additional fields and customization options that can help your profile stand out.
But whatever you do, don’t leave any of the fields blank! Every part of your profile is an opportunity to reach and connect with your target audience, so make the most out of it.
And besides, a fully completed profile is more SEO friendly. People are more likely to find your profile via search results if you go the extra mile with your profile.
If there’s one thing we recommend doing with your profile, it’s this:
Add a message that really connects with your target audience. Take the time to think of a few lines of text that you think will grab the attention of that one person who you’re really trying to reach.
This goes back to the very basics of digital marketing:
Your message should be short, but it should also include three key features. First of all, you need to clearly communicate what your channel has to offer. Second, you should state what makes you different from your competitors (or other influencers within your niche).
Lastly, you need a “call to action.” This can be as simple as “subscribe now,” although a little uniqueness never hurt anyone.
Creating A Content Strategy
So now you’ve set up your profile, and it’s completely optimized for success.
The next step is obvious: create content.
Here’s where a lot of social media influencers fall short. Instead of actually planning out a content strategy, they just churn out random posts without any real structure or end goal.
The smartest social media influencers plan out their content long in advance. They might create a string of 10 or 20 posts that are all lined up and ready to go, with the clear goal of driving their audience towards affiliate marketing sales, product sales, or another form of monetization.
Although it’s tempting to simply create content that will focus entirely on sales and profits, this will only spell doom for a social media account.
Instead, focus on creating amazing content.
It’s that simple.
Content is king, and you’ve probably heard that phrase quite a bit in the digital world. It’s an often-repeated moniker because it’s 100% true.
Without excellent content, you’re simply not going to succeed on social media.
So how do you create amazing, intriguing content while still taking a tactical, strategic approach that is geared towards profit?
Once again, it’s time to spy on the competition.
Let’s say you’re creating an Instagram page. In the same way we mentioned previously, search for your niche with a hashtag affixed. This time, instead of just looking at the number of posts associated with that hashtag, go deeper and look at the top influencers within that niche.
Take a look at their content. Take all the time you need, and figure out what type of content is most effective. What posts are receiving the most views? What type of content generates the most engagement? What about the highest number of likes?
Spend the time collecting this data, and you can build a strong content strategy going forward that is geared for success.
It’s worth mentioning that it takes a very analytical mind to spot some of the more subtle patterns. This is why it’s important to spend enough time looking at the top profiles and their best-performing content.
Here’s the crucial point:
You shouldn’t just try to copy the best-performing content that you see.
Remember, you have to carve out your own identity and do things a little different.
Because of this, a big part of your content strategy should be about finding ways to be unique.
You don’t have to go too overboard here. A few simple, consistent details can be enough to set you apart from the crowd.
Once you’ve figured out these important details, the rest is actually quite easy. Simply plan out your content and how you’d like to reach your goals. Because you’ve already thought about monetization options, it should be relatively easy to plan out a content strategy that provides a pathway to your goals.
The Importance of Building an Email List
Ask any veteran digital marketer, and they’ll tell you the same thing:
An email list can be one of the most effective marketing tools ever.
With that said, it’s very important to take the right steps to build and use your email list in the correct way. You can’t simply jot down a few email addresses and start sending out emails at random.
Like every other aspect of your marketing strategy, it’s important to take a strategic approach when it comes to your email list.
You might think that as a social media influencer, you don’t really need an email list. After all, social media already allows you to engage directly with your audience. Do you really need to send them emails in addition?
Yes! An email newsletter gives you tons of unique options and functionality that you simply won’t find anywhere else.
One of the key components of an email list that makes this marketing tool so effective can be summed up in one word:
On social media, your audience can “unfollow” or “unsubscribe.” Once this happens, that potential customer is lost forever.
But if you build an effective email list, you’ll have a permanent record of your most loyal customers. Unless they change their email address, you’ll always have a way to reach them.
And although social media provides you with excellent opportunities to engage and interact with your audience, you can build a much more personal, intimate relationship with your followers through an email newsletter.
And while social media platforms have their own set of rules when it comes to what you can promote and how, you have total freedom with your email newsletter.
Take a strategic approach as you send out your emails, and you could seriously boost your sales and let your profits skyrocket.
And compared to building an effective social media presence, creating an email list is seriously easy.
The process is made even easier thanks to a variety of email management systems, such as MailChimp, MailerLite, and countless others. Some of these email management systems are even completely free.
We definitely recommend using these services, as they really help you streamline the process of designing and implementing effective email campaigns.
You can create chains of emails that slowly push your followers towards a sale. Do a little bit of research, and you’ll find plenty of tips that can help you create a series of emails that are almost guaranteed to result in higher conversions.
You can even find templates for email campaigns that have been used by veteran marketers to generate tremendous sales volumes.
Email lists are effective, but setting them up isn’t a walk in the park. You’ll need to take a couple of important factors into consideration as you build this effective marketing tool.
First off, most of your followers are going to be a little hesitant to sign up for an email newsletter. This is understandable since we’ve been conditioned to associate email newsletters with spam and even viruses.
Winning their trust an convincing them to actually sign up for your email list can be quite the undertaking. Obviously, this process will be much easier if you’ve already cultivated a strong sense of community and engagement with your audience on social media.
If your audience trusts you and respects as a result of your interactions via social media, they won’t worry too much about malicious and predatory emails coming from you.
Even if you have a special, intimate relationship with your followers, it always makes sense to “sweeten the deal” with a few incentives as you advertise your email newsletter.
Sure, people might be a little hesitant to sign up for an email newsletter for no reason… But when you offer them free stuff, people will come running.
You don’t have to go too overboard. Perhaps you’ll offer them a promo code, a special deal, or even a free (cheap) product of some kind.
Even the vague promise of “exclusive content, sneak-peeks, and VIP deals” can be enough to convince most customers to provide that all-important email address.
And while we’re on the subject of content, it’s important to note that your email list still holds true to that golden rule we discussed earlier:
Content is king.
It might be tempting to blast out countless emails that advertise your products and services, but you need to resist the temptation. This approach is totally counter-productive, and it’ll result in customers unsubscribing from your email newsletter.
The most effective email newsletters are entertaining, informative, and creative. When a subscriber sees an email from you in their mailbox, they should be filled with a sense of excitement.
Whatever you do, don’t focus on selling products with every single email. In fact, the majority of your emails should focus solely on providing your customer with value – whether it’s information, entertainment, or something else entirely.
Remember, your customers should feel like they’re getting something for free when they receive your emails.
So make sure that you’re focusing on creating amazing content when you’re building your email marketing strategy – just as you would with your social media platform.
The final piece of the puzzle is to create email capture forms. These are specialized web elements or pages that allow your audience to enter their email addresses and get added to your email list.
You can integrate email capture forms with virtually any social media platform – even if you have to insert a link to a separate page. For some platforms, you’ll have to put this link in the bio section of your profile. Instagram is one example of this.
Other platforms integrate particularly well with email capture forms. Facebook is an excellent example, as you can connect seamlessly with your email management service and easily shepherd your followers towards the capture form on this platform.
At the end of the day, building an email list is actually very straightforward. It won’t require much effort, and the rewards can be tremendous.
An email list also ensures that your brand and your online presence has a degree of permanence and staying power. This is very important in the world of social media, where certain platforms can suddenly become untrendy.
While many entrepreneurs focus on “get rich quick” schemes, the smart option is always to cultivate an income stream for the long-term.
Building a strong presence on social media isn’t easy.
And if anyone tells you that this process is a total breeze, they’re seriously stretching the truth.
You’ll have to dedicate your full attention to this undertaking, applying a wide range of skills and carrying out tons of research along the way.
Just remember – there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. While others might be desperately scrambling to make a quick buck on the web, you’ll be setting the foundation for an income stream that could rake in tons of cash long into the future.
Because at the end of the day, building up a large online following is one of the most intelligent steps you can take towards making real money as a digital marketer.
While the process of building that audience can certainly be challenging, the process of monetizing that audience is exceedingly easy. Follow the steps we’ve outlined, and you’ll be on the right track.
Once you have a strong following on social media, you have tons of different options when it comes to making money. But while the possibilities might be endless, you shouldn’t make the mistake of taking a relaxed, unfocused approach to your monetization strategy.
Pick out clear, specific goals from the very beginning, and you’ll propel yourself directly towards incredible income – without any uncertainty or distractions.
And when you do finally reach the level of success we’ve outlined in this article, you’ll have the opportunity to live a lifestyle most people can only dream of.
Many of the strategies we’ve discussed here revolve around passive income.
Affiliate marketing sponsored posts, and online services can all be examples of passive income if executed properly.
And when you’ve successfully set up your sources of passive income, you’ll have the chance to earn money without actually putting in any effort. With your audience built and your strategies in place, your social media presence can be a source of continuous income.
You’ll have tons of free time to spend as you wish, while the money just keeps on rolling in.
Put in the hard work now, and it’ll seriously pay off later on.
The sad truth is that few people are willing to actually put in the necessary effort from the beginning.
Be the exception.