The long-standing celebrity endorsement model for brand confidence is starting to erode, replaced by a new kind of credibility booster: everyday influencers who applaud brands, products and services.
But what does it actually mean to be a brand influencer, and can you pull it off from the comfort of home?
Who is a Brand Influencer?
Anyone who receives money or other rewards for talking about a brand in a public way, like on a blog or social media account, is a brand influencer. This can be a one-time mention, or an ongoing relationship between a company and an influencer (this is often referred to as a brand ambassador partnership). In some cases, the influencer simply promotes a brand or product and in other cases, he or she writes an honest review of it. The amount of money paid out to an influencer is largely dependent on how large the following is of the influencer. Someone with a combined social following of 20,000 will earn less as an influencer than someone with 100,000+. In some cases, though, an influencer with a sought-after niche following can earn a lot tweeting, blogging, or posting about a brand.
What are the rules of brand influencing?
There is really only one official brand influencing rule and it comes via the Federal Communications Commission: all paid content must have a disclosure. When a brand influencer posts content that is being sponsored in any way, it must say so. On Twitter, the hashtag #ad before a tweet is enough. The same is true for Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. If a brand is mentioned or talked about in a blog post, a sentence or two at the beginning that clearly states that the content has been sponsored by a particular brand is enough. Influencers do not need to disclose how much they were paid, or what they received in return. Letting readers know about sponsored content is the important point.
How much money can I make brand influencing?
Again, this varies based on your following but top influencers like Logan Paul or Tyler Oakley (Vine and YouTube stars) can net $100,000 for a single post. That’s not typical for all influencers though, especially those just getting started. The great thing about influencing is that you can do it very part-time while you are making a living other ways. Eventually, your influencer income could be enough to take it on full time.
How do I get started influencing?
The best start is to establish an online presence though a basic website or blog, and several social media accounts that are all branded the same. From there, start adding content and engaging with others to build a following. Look for brand influencer networks to join. Do a basic internet search on brand influencing and your area of expertise. You can also approach brands through their official brand ambassador programs or by sending emails of inquiry (this takes a little more work, but can mean higher earnings).
If you already blog, post to YouTube, or have branded social accounts, becoming an influencer only takes some consistency. Build up your audience of people to influence and you could make i