Selling Online
October 18, 2021

2021 Ultimate List - How To Make Money as a Micro Influencer

See the best ways on how to make money as a micro influencer.

Hien Tran

Most people know that influencers can make money from their social media accounts or blogs. It is not just a hobby for them, but a way to bring in an income, and for some, it’s a full-time job. 


However, one of the most popular questions we get is how they make money as an influencer?


The answer can vary widely between influencers, and it is not uncommon for each to have a variety of income streams. As a matter of fact, it’s most prudent to do so - any influencer relying on solely one source of income (say, sponsorships on Facebook) can have their livelihood threatened if there’s any change in the algorithm. 


Therefore, influencers are casting their net wider, dabbing in anything from selling products to affiliate marketing on their blogs. 


If you would like to peek behind the curtain to learn several ways they make money, then keep reading!



Note: Too busy to read our full article? We wrapped everything up into an infographic. Check it out!


How to make money as a micro influencer - Top 11 ways

1. Sponsored posts on social media

This is the most obvious method to make money as an influencer. It happens when brands or marketers pay you to promote a certain product/aspect in a social media post. 


So, what can you post about?


The post actually can either be entirely about a product or feature several products at a time. You could create informational posts, review posts, or simply feature and tag the products.


You might share the product on a Facebook/Instagram post or story, a TikTok or Youtube video, your blog, or all of the above. Generally, the more followers you have, the more you can earn per sponsored post.


Below is a sponsored post created by Chandler Nehrt - a style blogger - for Quattro. 



She addresses her audience’s pain points and then talks about her experience using the product. 


2. Becoming a brand ambassador

Becoming a brand ambassador is another way for influencers to make money. 


What’s so great about this form of partnership?


Normally, this would be an extended contract lasting for at least a few months instead of just a one-off partnership. In some special cases, the contract may last for several years as well.


When you are a brand ambassador, you will get free products from the brand. In exchange, you will have to promote these products on your social media platform. 


Some brands pay an additional fee for every piece of content that their ambassadors create. Or, there is also a compensation clause in which you earn a fixed sum or a percentage of every conversion you drive. 


You can look for top brands that are offering a brand ambassador program and then see if those brands would be appropriate for you. You can even check out whether or not your favorite brands have ambassador programs you could sign up for. This is a good way to start making money online.


For instance, Lululemon was one of the first brands to use long-term ambassadors - and their programs are still going strong.


The brand recruits two types of brand ambassadors, including Global Ambassadors and Store Ambassadors. The first one is for elite athletes and fitness gurus, while the second is for lesser-known fitness experts, local yoga instructors, and other smaller influencers partnered with their neighborhood Lululemon stores.



Ambassadors host classes online, at Lululemon stores and other community locations - all the while demonstrating how Lululemon gear performs in practice. They aim to build authentic relationships through fitness. 


However, even though they prefer to show rather than tell, they must be ready to talk about the brand one-on-one, in authentic, unscripted conversations. Most ambassadors often post workout shots on social media platforms, where they are seen using a range of Lululemon products. 


For example, one of their ambassadors is Hannah Dingle. As you can see in her bio, she mentions that she is a Lululemon ambassador. 

 


Instead of conducting a manual search, you can sign up for a brand rep network, such as PrepReps and Reppr. These networks make it easier for you to apply to become a brand ambassador for some of the biggest brands. 


3. Affiliate marketing

One of the simplest ways to start on, but a tricky one to master, is affiliate marketing.


In this type of arrangement, you approach brands or retailers that offer affiliate marketing programs. Once you have been accepted as an affiliate marketer for the brand, you’ll be provided with a unique affiliate link or code used to track your conversions. 


You can generate posts to review, feature, and/or promote their products/services. Depending on which brand or retailer you are working for, you might have to buy the product yourself. Or, you can choose from a collection of products that the brand/retailer is willing to provide to you for free.


Then, you’ll direct your followers to use the affiliate link or code. For every conversion resulting from the link or code, you’ll earn a commission. 


How much commission?


It may be a small percentage or a fixed amount, depending on the program you have signed up for. 


Tons of brands and retailers offer affiliate marketing programs. Look for the brand ambassador programs offered by your favorite brands by conducting a simple Google search. 


Elementor is one of the most well-known ones. The platform offers a generous 50% commission per sale, an extensive affiliate toolkit of supporting banners and logos, as well as a dedicated affiliate team ready to assist with any issues.



4. Start a Patreon account

You can make money by directly appealing to your followers.


Set up a Patreon account and share this with your followers. Through Patreon, you’re able to offer exclusive experiences to fans that are willing to pay a small fee. 


The experience can be anything from early access to your content or more in-depth versions of your social media/blog content. This way is especially helpful if you have a great engagement and strong following.  


For instance, influential Youtube channel Roomie, sets up a Patreon account that he regularly promotes through his videos. 



By becoming his patron, his followers can get extended versions of his new songs and access Patreon-only streams. 


The membership fees range from just $1 all the way to $200 per video. The highest tier members can even decide which videos should be created on the main channel.


Through this platform, you will basically get paid by your fans for exclusive experiences. This is great for those of you who are outstanding content creators. 


Even when you don’t have tens of thousands of followers, you will still be able to make a decent amount of money. 


What do you need to start doing?


You should be good with a few loyal followers who truly value your content. 


5. Start a paid newsletter

While we haven’t tried this technique ourselves, we have seen a lot of bloggers do it successfully (particularly in the personal finance niche).


So, does your audience love your written content? If yes, you should write exclusive content for your paid followers. 


Instead of having to browse through a website, your subscribers enjoy the content that is directly delivered to them. A paid newsletter also gives your content a more “exclusive” feel which elevates your branding.


You can charge people a monthly fee, yearly fee, or one-time fee. Below are two ways you can use the paid newsletter to make some serious money:


  • Charge a fee regularly. Once you have this in place, you need to share exclusive content with your paid followers. It cannot be a rehashed version of your blog posts or videos. It needs a few notches up in quality. Also, you need to be consistent in sending out your newsletter. It’s best to have a day fixed for it and stick to it. 


  • Charge an onboarding fee to weed out freeloaders. There’s nothing wrong with being a freeloader, but if you really want people who are serious about your niche and are action takers, you should charge some fee to begin with. Once you’ve got a loyal following, you can pitch affiliate products or your own products. 


For instance, Stratechery from Ben Thompson provides analysis of the strategy and business side of media and technology, as well as the impact of technology on society. He offers Weekly Articles for free, while three Daily Updates a week are for subscribers only. 



This paid newsletter covers everything from venture capital to the Big Four to the future of media and business. It costs $12/month or $120/year. 


6. Product collaborations

You have built a significant following and worked with several brands to generate a steady stream of income. And you might think that there are no opportunities anymore to further increase this income. 


That isn’t true.


There are still some ways to make even more money after you have become a successful influencer. 


One of the best methods is to sell or promote products that you’ve created in partnership with brands. 


How? 


You’ll partner with a product business to come out with a product inspired by you. And in return, they’ll pay you large sums along with a percentage of the profits.


However, keep in mind that the compensation plan may vary depending on your contract and level of involvement in the creation process.


If you are a big enough influencer, the brand may benefit from having your name on their products. And you will be generating even better income through this collaboration. So, this type of partnership is a win-win. 


YouTube channel sensation, Bunny Meyer, partnered with Tarte Cosmetics to create a makeup collection. 



She posted photos and videos displaying the product and encouraging followers to get the collection.


7. Start your own product business

Making money as an influencer is not just about promoting other brands, you can up your brand’s head as well. 


You can sell physical products that you make yourself or buy from suppliers. This retailing often requires stocking some inventory, meaning that you’d need to spend some startup capital to purchase products.


If you find it challenging, you can utilize services like private label dropshipping companies to start your own brand online. Let’s say, you’re a coffee lover, and you want to create your own coffee business. However, it’s hard for you to stock inventories, hire a warehouse, and handle shipping.


Private label coffee suppliers can help you with that. Private label coffee is created by one supplier yet packaged and sold under your own brand. Some dropshipping suppliers even ship coffee products to your customers. Dripshipper is an expert in this niche.



Thanks to USA-based facilities, Dripshipper can fulfill orders within the USA in just 3 days. All you need to do is upload your own logo and add coffee products to your store. Then, the platform will handle everything else for you! 


With 40+ different coffees and automatic order fulfillment, Dripshipper ensures to give you the best things to start your own coffee business. 


EXPLORE DRIPSHIPPER RIGHT NOW


8. Start your own service business

You have grown an audience around a specific topic, charge for consulting or other services related to that topic. 


For instance, Shep Hyken is an acclaimed customer service specialist, published author, speaker, and winner of the CPAE hall of fame and Certified Speaking Professionals awards. He started his own service business, named Shepard Presentations. This consulting firm guides companies to create innovative customer experience approaches. 



9. Sell courses

This tactic seems like a service business, but instead of doing something for your audience, you teach them something. Consider building your course once, and sell it for years to come. 


Many people think that you need to be some sort of expert to create and sell courses. 


That isn’t true.


All you need to really sell a course is to know more than the people you are teaching and to be able to present information in a way that they’ll get value from.


Ramit Sethi of IWT makes millions from his courses not because he is a certified financial planner but because he’s helped people eliminate problems in their lives. 


 


More people are taking online courses, and the e-learning industry is forecast to grow to about $325 billion by 2025. 


You don’t have to become an influencer like Ramit Sethi to make a decent income from your courses. 


As a newbie, Joseph Michael made $40K by teaching writers how to use the popular writing software Scrivener. He didn’t have thousands of visitors or a gigantic email list. He created and sold his course by reaching out to influencers and promoting his course on webinars. 


10. Self-publish a book

Perhaps your audience would love a certain book or guide. Write it, publish it, and promote it to your audience.


Taylor Pearson had never written a book before, and he didn’t have any previous experience with self-publishing. However, when he launched “The End of Jobs,” it hit #1 in the “Business and Money” category a week later, then went on to sell more than 5,000 copies that month.



Taylor credits his success to several things:

  • Having fans of his blog become beta readers during the writing stage
  • Creating a Facebook group in order to communicate his book’s progress with core readers
  • Sending the book to people on the Facebook group so they could leave an honest review on Amazon
  • Keeping everyone on his list informed about his book’s progress, which makes them much more involved and likely to buy later on
  • Delivering a personalized email about the book to everyone of his Gmail contacts
  • Synchronizing social media messages during and after launch
  • Doing a giveaway to promote the book


This example shows that with a good book and the right marketing, you can create something magical.


11. Make Youtube videos and share them with your audience

Last but not least, you can make money through ads on your YouTube channel. Use your existing following to grow a Youtube audience and benefit from organic traffic to boost your ads revenue. 


With 1.1 million subscribers, Nate O’Brien, a personal finance YouTuber, earned around $444,000 in ad revenue in a year period. 



But YouTube creators with far fewer subscribers can also make decent money. For instance, nano influencer Jen Lauren earned $195 in a recent month with about 2,000 followers at the time she spoke with Business Insider. 


Conclusion

So, how do influencers make money?


As you can see, they create numerous streams of income!


What are you waiting for?


You should start applying these ways to monetize your influence. Don’t forget to offer relevant and good-quality content to keep your followers engaged and loyal.


Have you used any other ways to make money as an influencer? Please share them with us. We’d love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for reading!




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