How to Start Monetizing your Followers
YOU'RE AN ENTREPRENEUR
The influencer marketing industry has become very competitive since so many people are realizing the potential benefits of being an influencer. So, if you're going to succeed as an influencer, the first thing you need to do is to start treating this seriously as a business.
From the start, you need to know WHO your followers are because this will determine who your sponsors are going to be. You need to know your niche and think about what makes you different and unique.
KNOW YOUR WHY
One of the best ways to figure this out is knowing your WHY. Why did you want to be an influencer? Why are you so interested in whatever it is that you want to tell your audience? This will help you gain support from sponsors and guide you on the type of content you will produce for them.
You need to investigate your potential competitors or other influencers who are in the same niche. Go find the best influencers in your category and find out what type of content they're posting and how they're interacting with their followers.
This will help you develop your personal branding strategy and help you gain the right sponsors. Communicate with your followers and interact with them as much as possible because brands use engagement rates to evaluate influencers.
YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION
Once you have all that figured out, now you have created a value proposition to present to sponsors. Let sponsors know what kind of value you can provide for them and why they should sponsor you.
It's not just about having a lot of followers. If you can provide any kind of value, then you need to let them know about it. Sometimes they look for influencers because you can provide the content that is more authentic and impossible for them to duplicate.
It could be the type of demographic that you can capture and the creative content that you can produce. There's a reason people are following you but you need to be able to let your sponsors know the reasons they do.
You can offer so many different things that would add value to the sponsors. You can offer to include a podcast or video interview of the founder about their brand, a professional picture on a model if you're a photographer, an edited video featuring a local store if you're a local or just placing a sticker of the brand on the stove if you have a cooking vlog.
As we've mentioned, this is a business and the only way to get sponsors is to find a way to get their attention. Sponsors are your customers, not the followers. It's great if they reach out to you but the best way is to proactively reach out to them.
Currently, the best way for influencers to do this is by simply emailing potential sponsors or sending direct messages on social media. There are influencer marketplaces available but they're mainly geared for sponsors, where you can't maintain a steady flow of sponsors.
You need to provide sponsors with all of the information they need to make a decision. It's very time-consuming but you need to reach out to as many sponsors as possible. Transparency about the details of your promotion and your prices will make a more efficient process.
You need to build trust so be sure to also include any information that can give you credibility because companies are basically taking a risk since there's no accountability for your services.
You can create a very detailed profile on Paid Exposure that allows you to simply send a link to potential sponsors, where they will be able to give you a rating and review after the promotion to maintain accountability.
You must have a business mindset to compete in this competitive industry. By knowing why you do what you do will guide you in finding the right sponsors. The best way to get sponsorships is knowing what kind of value you can provide them. Reach out to as many sponsors as possible with all the information they need to make a decision.
Ricardo J. Zulueta, Jr.