‘Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’ is a popular aphorism. But what if the thing you love – as so many do these days – is social media?
Many people want to leverage their passions and interests into a lucrative part-time business or side hustle.
The wise advice to find a way to make money doing what you love is a smart, if challenging, pursuit.
The question is, how?
Sure, if you speak French, or like to play golf or the piano, you can give lessons. But what if your passion is fashion, woodworking, or makeup? An emerging trend is to monetize those interests by becoming a social media influencer.
You may be thinking you need to be famous to be an influencer. No, you don’t.
Many influencers like the Kardashians, celebrities, and sports figures ARE famous, but you don’t have to be (and some of them weren’t when they started either).
Celebrities are mega influencers. If you’re an average Joe or Jane, this is not where you fit into the social media influencer picture.
To successfully make money as a social media influencer on YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok? Aim to be a niche influencer.
What Are Niche Social Media Influencers
Average seeming people who know about a subject or topic that differentiates them can build a following and make money.
Beauty and fashion influencer Thalita Ferraz, Editor/Creator of Her Bones, explains. “You need to have a niche – don’t just rely on being beautiful or being really funny. Figure out what your niche is and what your potential audience is going to get out of your stuff compared to others.” Thalita has built 700k Instagram followers, 49k YouTube subscribers, and 180k TikTok followers.
How Niche Social Media Influencing Works
Ordinary people with niche passions build their social media channels by sharing interesting, relatable, consistent information. Then, over time, they’re able to monetize it.
As a side hustle, Mark Winquist built a YouTube channel, Winky’s Workshop. His audience loves tuning in to hear him talk about woodworking and metalworking. “I started my channel to make money and built my following to 1000 subscribers in about six weeks. I post once a week and make money on the ads YouTube runs on my videos.”
Youtube isn’t the only channel for niche social media influencers. Lauren Rudick with Yoga Academy International focuses her energy on Instagram (@Laurenrudick), where she’s created a successful side hustle for her yoga school.
“When Instagram came out, it was a perfect platform to share photos and words. I got into it because I was an early adapter. Yoga pants companies asked me to wear their brands in exchange for posting about them. Eventually, this led to paid work. Today I do travel, yoga, and lifestyle influencing. I work with bikini brands, lingerie companies, yoga retreat centers, and other brands I align with.
How To Become a Niche Influencer
There are several tips that successful influencers employ that separate them from the many who get discouraged and give up.
Discuss Topics You Like
Sal Farzin from Simply Sal Finds LLC, a social media influencer on TikTok (@simplysalfinds), recommends discussing what you know.
“I would suggest spending time figuring out what topic(s) you’re most knowledgeable and passionate about. Develop a content plan/strategy that isn’t too broad and isn’t too specific. Figuring out your “niche” is what you need to aim for so that your content is relevant, relatable, and will help you build a strong relationship with your followers.”
An integral part of building your influencer brand is being authentic to yourself.
Mark recommends showing your true personality. “You have to present yourself realistically. If you’re not an expert, don’t act like one. Don’t be a know-it-all.”
Samantha Erix, a social media influencer who, like Sal, has built a successful influencer business on TikTok (@snerixx), adds “people enjoy watching those who are authentic and passionate about what they’re presenting to the world, and specifically, those who are relatable. You don’t necessarily have to have a “talent” to be an influencer. If you are knowledgeable about a passion of yours or have a funny story to tell, or even if you want to rant about your day… post it! And if it doesn’t work this time, try again!”
Focus On Quality
Spend some energy planning out your posts, photos, and videos. It takes time to create content that interests and informs others.
Thalita explains. “Work on your production value and keep it consistent. Whatever it is that you’re creating or filming, you need it to look as professional as possible. If it’s not professional, it all has to be cohesive so that anyone who looks at all of your stuff can understand it at a glance.”
Throwing up a video or photo now and then won’t gain traction. Instead, make a plan for posting consistently to grow your followers and start monetizing your efforts.
Samantha is encouraging hopeful influencers. “My success on social media has been specifically related to the amount of time and effort I put into my content and the love and passion I have for entertaining others.”
Sal reminds would-be influencers to do more than create content. “It’s also important to be consistent at the beginning to build the foundation for success. Don’t forget to respond to comments (positive and negative) to be part of the conversation. This will help you build a relationship with your audience, so you become a trusted source.”
How Much Can You Make?
While some of the influencers we interviewed weren’t specific with their income, Lauren shared hers. “I make $150-$400 per post,” she says.
Mark elaborates on his income, which he says “varies widely. I control the number of ads on my channel. The more ads, the more money, but you also take the chance of losing views.”
As you can see from the social media influencers we interviewed for this article, a person’s personality, the topic of interest, and type of content can be wildly different and still garner success with their specific audience.
Creating a side hustle as a social media influencer doesn’t require you to be famous or gorgeous. Average Joes and Janes CAN make money this way. It does, however, entail having a distinct point of view or message, being authentic and relatable, engaging with your audience, and not giving up too quickly.
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This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Image Credit: Pexels.