How To Monetize Your Social Media: A Guide For Full-Time Students
Times are tough and having a side hustle is rapidly becoming the new norm – especially for full-time students struggling to make ends meet. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to work smarter, not harder to ensure student fees, rent and the bills are all paid.
By leveraging popular platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok along with simple editing tools like the Adobe Express design app, students can unlock ways to monetise their accounts and make money while they are in class and hitting the books.
Sounds too good to be true? More than 200 million businesses have unlocked Facebook for profit while countless more are using Instagram and other platforms to generate income. Here is how you can join them.
Understanding Your Platform and Audience
Remember Field of Dreams? Great movie, however its message ‘build it and they will come’ does not apply here. You are going to need a strong understanding of the platform you are choosing to monetise and the target audience that will be forking over their credit card details to subscribe to your channels.
The audience varies from platform to platform, including demographics, behaviours and values. You will need to know what they are so you can align your branding with them. The best way to understand your audience is to ask them directly. Leverage free survey tools to gather data, use Google Analytics for further target audience insights, jump into online chat groups about the specific platform or demographic you want information about. Soon you will have a great idea of what your target audience looks like, how they will respond to certain content and how to actively engage them.
Building a Strong Presence
You will likely have heard the warnings, that monetising social media is a grind and you have to pay your dues before you can expect to make any actual coin. To a certain degree, this is true. To be able to promote brands or launch successful sponsored posts, you are going to need an audience.
The good news is that you don’t need to grind for years to achieve this. While 10,000 followers is optimal, many Instagram users are earning money with just 1000 followers. This is when you unlock the monetisation features on the platform and influencers with followings between 1000 and 10000 can earn USD $1,420/month on average, which is not a bad start.
Partner With Brands
Once you’ve established a solid following, brands may approach you for partnerships. Sponsored content is a primary way social media influencers make money. Start by reaching out to small businesses or brands that align with your niche and offer to promote their products or services. Remember to disclose any partnership as sponsored content to maintain transparency with your audience.
And in all honesty, the brands you partner with can absolutely be brands whose products or services you use on a regular basis. In fact, your partnerships are definitely going to be more potent if you are advocating for companies whose products you use on a weekly if not even daily basis. For instance, if you use a particular social media API for managing your digital profiles, then give them a shoutout in your content. That’s a surefire way to secure yourself an organic partnership.
You can get paid for promoting products and services through this process. By becoming a brand affiliate, you will share ads and links on your social media platforms which customers will then click on. When they convert (purchase), the conversion is tracked and you are paid a commission.
The most effective way to leverage this strategy is to develop an online reputation as a brand expert. For example, if you are well known for reviewing and analysing cricket products like bats and pads, then you will have more authority when it comes to promoting ads for these products.
When your online reputation starts to generate some serious momentum, you can start to look at platforms like Patreon where you can offer exclusive content to subscribers. This opportunity for exclusive content will naturally prompt more of your loyal followers to start up a monetary subscription that you can then use to fund your digital growth even further.
Marketing your exclusive content to subscribers is also a lot easier than it sounds. All you need to do is showcase the kind of content or footage (i.e. bloopers, behind the scenes footage, interviews, or even alternate takes) that your subscribers could be accessing by simply adding like adverts to your freely accessible content.
Once you have an established and recognisable brand, merchandising is a way you can expand your online empire and generate even more income. There are numerous online platforms and services available for generating catchy slogans, logos and personal branding images which can then be used on everything from mobile phone cases to clothing. Best of all, third party platforms like Teespring will even take care of the production and shipping for you, handing you your portion of the profits.
Create and Sell Digital Products
For students with expertise in a particular area, creating digital products like e-books, courses, or printables can be a lucrative option. Use your social media channels to promote your products. The Adobe Express design app can help you design professional covers and promotional materials to enhance your marketing efforts.
Monetize Video Content
One of the easiest and most effective ways to generate content that pays is through video content. According to Statista, the amount spent on video marketing will reach $92.3 billion in 2024 which highlights just how big this industry has become.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can achieve by monetizing your social media channels while studying. With an established plan, a little creativity and quality video editing software anybody can create income on social media.
Just remember that the competition is fierce and substandard content is not likely to have much of an impact. Take the time to find out what your target audience is consuming, develop a plan that meets that demand and you will be well on your way to success.