I often hear people talk about how amazing it would be if they could get paid to use social media.
The first thing that pops into my mind is, “uhhh..hello, you can?”
One of the incredible benefits to having thousands or millions of followers on social media is that you constantly have a platform of people to sell things to.
The thing is – what I’m about to tell you doesn’t require having thousands or millions of followers.
Even if you’re starting out with just a couple of hundred followers across your social media profiles, there 4 ways below can help you instantly monetize and build upon those numbers.
1. Build your email list
I could write an entire blog on the benefits of email marketing and the impact it has had on countless businesses.
Not only has email marketing been proven to be 40x more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter, but many businesses have seen as high as 3800% ROI, and receive higher click through and conversion rates through email than social media, direct mail and other traditional marketing methods.
There are many different email marketing tools that you can use to start collecting emails, but I recommend going with the free plan* through MailChimp as a starting point. With MailChimp, you can easily set up different lists, as necessary, and design slick lead generation forms to build your list. A great part about using an email marketing platform like MailChimp is the ability to automate your work by scheduling emails and its many integrations with tools you might already use.
*MailChimp is completely free for a database of up to 2,000 subscribers and sending 12,000 emails per month. After that, the price will depend on the number of subscribers you have.
2. Sell Print-on-demand products
Selling your own branded merchandise used to have a ridiculously high cost of entry.
In the past decade, this has changed drastically with the introduction of print-on-demand services like Printful, which allow you to sell products with your own designs on them.
Within minutes of signing up for a Printful account, you’ll be selling t-shirts, hats, posters, and much more to people on the other side of the country in no time.
The best part? You can do this without having to print 100 t-shirts, dealing with the hassle of inventory, or worrying about packing and shipping – all while keeping 78% of the profits.
You can easily connect your Printful account with your website or online store like WordPress, Etsy, Shopify, and more to instantly start adding products covered in your designs.
As soon as someone orders one of the products on your store, the order is automatically sent over to Printful where it gets printed, packed, and shipped.
The entire time this is happening and orders are coming in, you’ll be sitting back in Mexico sipping piña coladas on the beach.
Okay – it won’t happen THAT fast, but with the proper marketing and at least some what high quality designs you can easily build this into a passive income.
3. Offer Coaching or Consulting
With personal brands on the rise, we’ve seen an exponential increase in the number of people selling coaching and consulting services.
At first, you might be confused and question why I recommend this method of monetization, but if you look closely you’ll find that while this market may appear to be oversaturated, there are a lot of under or unqualified people claiming to be “experts” in their industries.
Because of this, there is a wide open lane and high demand for people who ACTUALLY know what they’re talking about and have truly achieved a level of expertise in a particular subject.
You could be a doctor, lawyer, music producer, personal trainer – hell, you could just be someone who has spent hours at home researching and working in their own garden!
Many people don’t realize that their hidden talents, hobbies, or passions can often be turned into high paying opportunities, even if it’s just on the side.
The simplest way to start is to connect with your clients in person, over the phone, through text/email, or through a video chat app like MOTI or Skype.
If you are an iPhone owner, I can’t rave enough about using MOTI as a way to both conduct face-to-face video meetings and collect payments.
Although it’s currently limited to iPhone or iPad users at this time, this revolutionary platform is the perfect way to video chat with your clients, securely take payments, and lastly, you and whoever is on the other end can fully record your conversation for later viewing.
Want a way to easily allow people to book appointments, pay invoices, and manage your customers? I use Square to invoice clients for projects, let people book consultations, and even process payments on my eCommerce websites. Believe me, I’ve tried countless tools that did each of the different features, but finding an all-in-one solution like Square has been a gamechanger for my business – saving me both time AND money!
4. Get Paid to Post
This one is definitely a more viable option if you have a relatively solid following or engagement rate.
The act of paying people to promote and tell people to go follow your page is really something that has taken place long before the invention of the internet and social media.
That says a lot about it’s effectiveness as a marketing tool that has sustained the changes brought on by technological advancements.
In fact, it’s so effective that people are willing to spend massive amounts of money just to get quick attention with the chance of those people following their social media profiles and eventually turning into paying customers.
As you build your following, based on your tastes, personality and the specific content you post, you’ll naturally begin to carve out a specific niche.
There are always brands and businesses wanting to garner the attention of their target demographic, even in the most specific niches.
Honestly, the biggest way of knowing which products and services are relevant to your niche is by taking a look in the mirror.
What are you into? If you’re account consists of content geared around everything you love, chances are you have a lookalike audience.
This means that the people who follow you are probably interested in the same things you are, so it’s very likely that they also use the same products and services – or would at least consider them since such a like-minded, cool person recommends them 😉
Now, the going rate for a shout out isn’t necessarily high for an account with a smaller following (which is a great reason why you should start building your following!) but in the right niche, I’m sure you could see a decent return for the time it takes to post something on Instagram.
Hint: This is also a great way to gain a large number of followers in a relatively short time-span. I’ve seen accounts explode in a matter of days by paying niche-specific accounts to promote their giveaways and free product sign-ups.
As I wrap up this post, I find it important to make it clear that in no way are you guaranteed to make even a dollar with these methods and, to be honest, everything above is going to be much more effective for people who have a solid number of highly engaged followers than it will be for someone who has 50 followers and has no idea what they’re posting.
Since you are competing against others for the attention of your customers, even in the smallest of niche, it will come down to what value you’re offering and even beyond that the quality of what you are posting.
The one thing I can guarantee is that if you put the right content and social media strategies into place and remain patient in the process of building your social media, you’ll open up many opportunities to monetize.
If you have any questions or aren’t sure where to start with your personal brand, I’d love to talk with you and help get you unstuck!