Do you want to monetize your influence without selling others’ products?
Online influencers are often bombarded with requests to work with brands, with these collaborations nearly always taking the form of sponsored content on the influencers’ blogs and/or social media profiles.
Sure, these types of opportunities can bring in a decent and steady stream of revenue for those who are willing to work at it. But many influencers struggle with the possibility of becoming a constant advertisement. If you aren’t careful, you can compromise the relationship of trust that you have with your followers, effectively destroying your ability to monetize influence by over-monetizing your influence.
And besides, it just doesn’t feel right to many of us, working hard to churn out engaging assets that convert, just for a proportionately tiny taste of someone else’s business. Too many promoted third-party products, without enough value, is a recipe for losing an audience.
So, how can influencers still use their status to earn money, without having to peddle other people’s products to pad their pockets? It’s as simple as monetizing your own brand, which can be accomplished in any number of ways.
Not sure where to start as an influencer? Check out these suggestions.
Create and Sell Your Own Online Courses
Think about your niche and the kinds of things your audience would be most likely to want to learn. Then, combine that information with your knowledge and expertise to develop a list of topics you could build out into online courses.
Thanks to the rise of end-to-end DIY course selling platforms like Kajabi, people with limited technical backgrounds can easily leverage their influence with online courses and membership sites, without having to know a bit of code. The platform goes one step further and makes it easy to manage your entire online presence by giving you a built-in blog, an unlimited number of static pages, the ability to offer free webinars, a landing page builder, triggered emails and site themes to give you a professional design.
Sell Your Expertise as a Consultant
Once people learn you’re knowledgeable about something, they often come to you looking for advice and strategy guidance on how to accomplish what you have. And while you may be okay with helping friends and family members for free, you shouldn’t use that approach with everyone.
Your time is worth money, and consulting can become quite the revenue stream. But, starting a consulting firm from scratch can be discouraging, even with the influence you already have. That’s where using Clarity.fm simplifies the process. After you’ve established yourself as an expert on the platform and set your per-minute rate, people can browse to find you and request a call. Customers are pre-charged for the estimated length of the call based on your rate, and are connected with you via a conference line. At the end of the call, the charge is adjusted to reflect the actual length of the call. This is an excellent option for experts in SEO, online marketing, social media marketing, entrepreneurship, web design, business and product development, and many other industries.
Create and Sell Printed Products
If you like the idea of creating your own branded line of physical products, but don’t want the hassle of finding a printer, the risk of having too much inventory on hand, or the stress of shipping orders, then an on-demand service like Printful can be extremely advantageous.
Offer products with your designs on swag such as posters, canvas prints, caps, sweatshirts, socks, t-shirts, phone cases and coffee mugs. Even if you need a little help bringing your concepts to life, Printful has a team for that, too. Everything is printed and shipped to order, so you never have any financial risk of pre-purchasing too much or too little, having a product go out of stock, or even dealing with fulfillment at all.
Monetize YouTube Videos and Live Streams
In 2017, YouTube launched Super Chat to help creators monetize their videos and live streams, with the idea that highly passionate fans will want to pay for highlighted comments and interactions during videos and live streams. YouTube is providing this option so creators can earn more from their videos, while simultaneously deepening their relationships with fans and followers.
YouTuber Jacksepticeye, whose videos focus on video game commentary, does a monthly charity livestream where he asks his fans and followers not to sponsor his channel, but instead to donate to a charity. In January 2018, his livestream raised money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and it’s been viewed 1.6 million times. The original goal was $50,000, and revised to $200,000. By the end of the broadcast, he had raised well over $225,000. Though the revenue wasn’t for him, so this is a perfect example of using influence for the greater good. Throughout the session, he read and responded to comments from viewers while also playing games as usual.
Create and Sell Your Own Digital Products
For influencers who want a little something different, digital products are a good way to go. You can sell anything from eBooks to cheat sheets and videos, audio files – basically any kind of content you want. You can always use these things as lead magnets to build an even larger audience, too.
There are tons of options out there to help you sell your digital products, but Podia keeps things especially simple for the consumer, which is a plus for you when it comes to providing a positive user experience. They don’t have to create an account or sign in – all they have to do is enter their payment information and email address.
Freedom to Build a Stronger Brand That Earns
When influencers go beyond using other people’s products to earn an income for themselves, they are strengthening their own brands. As fans and followers see they have their own products and services to offer, they will likely recommend to friends and family just like they did with any previous sponsored content, furthering the growth of your personal brand and its influence.
Plus, it shows the audience that you as an influencer have been paying attention, because now you’re offering things that are customized specifically to them.