Last Updated on November 17, 2023 by Vic Ray

Ever wondered how influencer marketing work and how social media influencers make money?

Are you interested in becoming an influencer marketer?

Then this write-up is definitely for you.

“Influencer marketing can be defined as social media marketing focusing on specific key individuals rather than the entire target market. The chosen individuals are called influencers.”

These influencers have a large social following and can persuade their followers to purchase products or services through their recommendations.

For example, Kim Kardashian is an influencer. She has over 300 million followers on Instagram. When she posts a photo of herself using a particular product, her followers are more likely to purchase it because they trust her opinion.

There are two main types of influencer marketing:

1. Celebrity Endorsement Marketing

Where a celebrity with a large social media following promotes the brand.

Kim Kardashian is a celebrity influencer.

2. Micro-Influencer Marketing

Where an influential person with a smaller but more engaged social media following promotes the brand, micro-influencers are more relatable than celebrities, so their endorsements are more trustworthy.

wanderphile_77 is a micro-influencer with over 100,000 followers on Instagram. She posts photos of her travels and includes recommendations for products and services she uses on the road.

How Do Social Media Influencers Make Money? – 10 Proven Ways

Brands worldwide are looking to take their products closer to their target audience, and social influencers may be the best way to do it. If you are a social influencer, here is a list of ways to earn from social media.


Earn money through influencer marketing – Infographic

1. Sponsored Posts

In sponsored posts, the influencer earns by promoting the brand on their social media channels. For example, brands may pay an influencer to post a photo of themselves using the particular brand on Instagram with a caption that includes the brand name and a link to the product’s website.

how do social media influencers make money

Rachel Brathen

Social media influencer Rachel Brathen was paid $15,000 to post a photo of herself using Virgin America’s in-flight WiFi on her Instagram account.

how do social media influencers make money

Monique Ceccato

Monique Ceccato has over 10,000 followers in Instagram account. The above picture shows a picture of her in her kitchen. The post is a paid partnership with Woolworths, a well-known grocery chain in Australia.

2. Affiliate Marketing

In affiliate marketing, influencers are paid a commission for every sale they generate. For example, an influencer might include a unique discount code in their post that their followers can use to get 10% off their purchase from the brand’s website. The influencer would then earn a commission on any sales that use their discount code.

how do social media influencers make money

Ashok Chintala

Ashok Chintala has over 33,000 followers. The Instagram influencer has partnered with Daniel Wellington and presents a special code to get a 15% discount on any purchase – a classic example of affiliate marketing.

3. Brand Ambassadorships

The influencer represents a particular brand and promotes its products or services. For example, an influencer can be renumerated to attend events and take photos or videos they post on social media, write blog posts, or give interviews about the brand.

Louis Vuitton appointed several social media influencers as brand ambassadors for its 2017 spring/summer collection.

4. Product Reviews

Companies pay influencers in their industry to review their product. For example, an electronics brand can send its newest version of earphones for an influencer to try out and then post a review on YouTube.

how do social media influencers make money

Marques Brownlee

Marques Brownlee reviews electronic equipment and technology goods. The above image of his YouTube page shows that he has also linked it with his other social pages (top right corner).

5. Sell Your Brand

Another way to earn money with influencer marketing is to create and sell your brand of products or services. You could sell an ebook, online course, or physical products.

how do social media influencers make money?


Beautylish is an online retailer that sells beauty products. They also have a YouTube channel to post videos about beauty tips and product reviews.

6. Payments From Social Platforms

Influencers can also earn money directly from the platform. For example, YouTube has a Partner Program that allows creators to make money from ads on their videos. Similarly, Instagram has recently introduced shoppable posts, which allow influencers to tag products in their photos and provide direct links to purchase the product from the brand’s website.

how do social media influencers make money?

Kozak and Claudia

Fitness trainers Kozak and Claudia have over 1.8 million followers on YouTube. Their videos hit millions of views, and YouTube pays them for the same.

7. Paid Speaking Engagements

Companies may invite influencers to give a talk at an event or conference.

how do social media influencers make money?

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is a social media expert who gives keynote speeches about digital marketing at business events.

8. Consulting Services

Influencers with a solid following are already experts in several social media tactics. With time, they gain experience and learn to identify what works and does not! A start-up or an already well-established brand expanding its geographical reach may hire influencers to improve its social media strategy.

how do social media influencers make money?


When cosmetic brand NARS wanted to enter the Chinese market, it hired famous beauty bloggers from the country as digital consultants.

9. Sell Advertising

You may sell advertising space on your blog page, website or videos if you have a popular YouTube channel. For example, many YouTubers include banner ads on their channel page. The influencer receives a payment every time someone clicks on the ad.

how do social media influencers make money?

YouTube Banner Ad

10. Create Sponsored Content

The influencer is paid to create content that features a particular brand. Sponsored content includes videos, tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, infographics, paid articles, etc. The advertiser pays for the content creation, and the influencer publishes it on their channel.

For example, a restaurant chain might pay a food influencer to create a video about their new signature dish. The influencer may post the recipe on their blog and a video of them making the dish.

how do social media influencers make money

image credit:

BuzzFeed clearly states that the post is paid and indicates who the sponsor is.

End Note

These are just some ways to tell you how social media influencers make money. Many opportunities are available for those with a large social media following.

Influencer marketing is here to stay due to the ease of marketing with every possible option as per your budget, especially for small & local businesses. Influencers help grow the fan following or make sales, and in return, earn good money. To start making money with influencer marketing, research the different options and find the one that best suits your talents and interests.

Start creating your influencer marketing strategy today!

Influencer Marketing FAQ

The highest-paid social media influencer is Cristiano Ronaldo. He charges a whopping $1,604,000 cost per post.


There are many social media influencers but some of them are as follows: 

  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Selena Gomez
  • Kylie
  • Leo Messi
  • Kendall
  • Beyoncé 
  • Billie Eilish
  • Ariana Grande


There are many Affiliate marketers but some of them are -

  • Pat Flynn
  • Finch Sells
  • Missy Ward
  • Shawn Collins
  • Zac Johnson
  • Ian Fernando
  • John Chow
  • Kirsty McCubbin


One can easily find influencers in social media as they all have the same characteristics as follows: 1. Verified blue badge, 2. Active Instagram story, 3. Structured feed or tastefully designed, 4. Many story highlights, 5. A huge number of followers and less following.


You can follow these proven methods that help many people to improve their social media presence.

  1. Posting time: when your audience is most likely to engage
  2. Leverage Videos:- Making reels and publishing them can help
  3. Consistency:- One should be consistent
  4. Engagement:- One should engage with your audience more frequently
  5. Sharing:- Sharing your content to different platforms


Influencer marketing is successful and shows no sign of disappearing. It has robust growth and an evergreen field, one can bet on.


Well, No need to go for tools and sites but if you want to go for this then we recommend using these tools that are as follows:

  1. Hubspot
  2. Upfluence
  3. Linqia
  4. NeoReach
  5. Sideqik
  6. Semrush
  7. Canva


These are as follows:-

  1. You can not easily change your niche
  2. You have to be creative in content 
  3. You will lose your time as you will dedicate your time to  your followers
  4. You can lose your identity 


Yes, marketing companies do help celebrities and brands grow their profiles on social media. One can take their help to grow but you need to be very cautious. Only reliable and trustworthy companies should be chosen.


Anyone can do affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is marketing where affiliates earn a commission every time they generate sales. This can be done by anyone irrespective of one’s status.