Models and pretty faces alike are making a lot of money these days through social media… but what is a social influencer? Can you become a social influencer, too? We recently wrote a quick overview of Instagram Models. But today we will delve much deeper into the topic of models and social influencers as a whole.
By the way – being an influencer in the niche of ‘modeling’ is highly lucrative. In fact, models earn the MOST money per post than all other influencer categories. Check out this article from Adweek and see for yourself. Here is an infographic Adweek included to drive the point home:
Pretty crazy, right? Can you imagine snapping a selfie, posting it, getting paid $400+ for that one photo… all while sitting on your couch and drinking a lemonade? It seems too good to be true. But it is the reality of many social influencers/models. In fact, many insta-celeb models make much more than that per post. SO, you’re surely wondering by now: what is a social influencer anyway?!
Social Influencer definition: A person with a loyal audience/following online, who receives compensation in exchange for leveraging their platform to influence said audience. Basically, people who get paid to promote stuff online. That is not a dictionary term, we just made it up, but it should give you the gist. A social influencer’s large following can be based on one platform, or on many combined platforms. Examples of platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube, Pinterest, their personal Blog/Website, etc.
Whether you are an aspiring model, a pro model, or somewhere in between- you’ve surely seen others in your industry promoting products online. You see models hawking diet teas on Instagram. You see models squeezing into waist-training corsets on Snapchat. You see models shouting out random meal prep services you’ve never heard of on Facebook. The list goes on and on. With the help of social media, models who would have never had a chance to rep huge brands ordinarily (too short, too heavy, too augmented, too old, etc) are welcomed with open arms. Yes, there is competition. But the reality is, almost anybody can become a social media influencer these days (with the right following). Bonus: many freelance models can now get scouted and signed by big-name modeling agencies… just by having a presence online. The modeling agents come to THEM, not the other way around. Modeling agencies have acclimated to the changing times. This means that many top modeling agencies now have a division specifically for “Influencers.” (IMG, NEXT, etc.) And guess what? They want to scout you on Instagram before anybody else does!
How do Social Media Influencers make money? There are a variety of ways that models can make money as influencers. But ultimately – it all comes down to engagement. What is the use in having 500,000 followers if only 10 of them comment/interact with your post? No advertiser wants to waste money on a bored, disinterested audience. YAWN. If your audience doesn’t care enough to engage back with you – they damn sure don’t care enough to buy the products you are recommending. However, it is completely attainable to connect with your followers. Once you have established a large following/a great rapport, you have many options to earn an income. Social influencers make money by:
- Sponsored Posts / Photos
- Sponsored Videos
- Sponsored Product Sampling / Reviews
- Sponsored Tutorials
- Sponsored Blog Posts
- Sponsored Shares / Shout-out’s
- Paid Product Placement
- Content Creation (fitness routines, meal prep plans, guide books, etc)
- Advertisement Units (placed directly on their blog, on their Youtube videos, etc)
- Signing on as an official Brand Ambassador (usually involves contract and signing bonus)
- Affiliate Marketing
- Documenting Experiences/Travel/Events for specific brands
- Creating their own Product Line (generally with the help of a larger brand backing them)
- Selling their own branded merchandise (models in particular can sell a lot of calendars, posters, t-shirts, etc. with their image on it)
- Event Hosting / Workshops (online and in-person)
- Launch Parties
- Public Speaking
- Television, radio, magazine, and podcast appearances
- Consulting / Mentoring
How can I grow my social media / social influence following?
- The first and most obvious strategy is to post really great, eye-catching photos of yourself / your life on a consistent basis. It’s so simple it hurts. Draw ’em in with great photos, keep ’em with great personality. Think of your followers as your FRIENDS. Show them the real you, not just some picture-perfect version of you. What does your life look like day-to-day? Do you secretly play video games? Love playing guitar? Make ridiculous car karaoke videos with your friends? Have a 25-pound cat that the world needs to see? Share behind-the-scenes, silly antics from your photoshoots. Post photos of yourself sans makeup, messy hair, in gym clothes. People want to connect with PEOPLE, not some unattainable Barbie doll.
- Find a niche. Don’t just be a pretty face – be a spokesperson for your passions. Are you a die-hard fitness fanatic? Post some of your fitness routines. Are you the world’s best gluten-free chef? Share your recipes with the world, don’t be stingy! Do you volunteer for a cause? Spread the mission.
- Post consistently across multiple social media platforms. A good rule of thumb is at once a day, give or take. Don’t overdo it (people will unfollow you with a quickness). Don’t UNDER-do it either… nobody will find you by posting once a month. (NOTE: If you are private by nature, and prefer to keep your private life private – then by all means. Don’t even bother with social media. You can absolutely be a successful, well-paid model without having to expose your personal life to anybody. Stick to traditional modeling/print jobs/campaigns instead. No harm no foul!)
This sh*t sounds great!! I want in. How do I become a social influencer?
Social media influencers / models enjoy a lucrative income stream online. In order to throw your hat in the ring, you are most likely looking at 3 options here.
- Get scouted on Instagram (or FB/Twitter/Youtube/your Blog etc etc). If you have a large enough following, this won’t be difficult. As the saying goes, “If you build it, they will come.” Make sure that your contact info is in your bio!! An email address that you check often is essential. But please – don’t say yes to everything that comes your way. For the sake of your brand and audience, be picky – not greedy.
- Seek social influencer representation on your own. We will soon provide a list of social influencer agencies for our readers. Please subscribe to our FREE newsletter to be notified when this list is ready to go! The link to subscribe is at the top of this page! We are working on it as we speak!
- Download social influencer Apps on your smart phone. We will soon provide a list of social influencer apps for our readers. Please subscribe to our FREE newsletter to be notified when this list is ready to go! The link to subscribe is at the top of this page! We are working on it as we speak!
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