Inside the big business of being a social media influencer

According to marketing firm Media Kix, Beyoncé can earn $1 million for a sponsored social media post. Selena Gomez can earn more than half a million and Kendall Jenner gets up to $300,000. But these days, you don’t have to be a household name to be a social media influencer. 

The influencer category is a $1 billion industry and it’s projected to grow to $2.4 billion in just two years. In some ways, it’s just a throwback to integrated content at the dawn of television. But as one expert says, what’s different now is just who can be the pitchman and how much money can they make.

CBS News

With the help of a photographer and a bottle of cologne, Ryan Clark is essentially the head of a one-man ad agency.  

“I think I go by many hats, so I can go by blogger, influencer, brand consultant. I can go by creative director,” Clark told CBS News’ Jamie Wax. 

Clark is paid to post photos and curated videos on social media for brands ranging from Armani to BMW. The Texas native passed up a career as a medical doctor to become a travel and lifestyle influencer. 

“So I was three degrees in, a bachelor’s in chemistry, a masters in healthcare management, second masters in biomedical sciences. And completely stopped, dead set in my tracks and was just, like, ‘I don’t see myself doing this for the rest of my life,'” Clark said. 

It might seem like a hobby, but running two Instagram accounts with nearly three million followers is serious business.  

“We have a set influence over the people who follow us in that regard. They want to aspire to do the things that we’re doing or go to places that we’re going or wear the clothing that we wear,” Clark said. “Managing engagement, managing my followers, managing my brand placement, my partnerships, all of those different things — it’s a full-time job. And I wish there were two of me. I would probably make a lot more money if there were two of me.”             

Clark is one of 17,000 influencers in the database of Fohr Card.      

“Brands want to go where the eyeballs are,” said James Nord. He is the founder and CEO of Fohr Card, which provides detailed analytics on its legion of influencers to brands, and helps with marketing campaigns.

“So my, like, very back of the napkin, if you kinda want to get a sense of what somebody’s making — and this is for the fashion and beauty space – 100,000 followers on Instagram, you probably make…

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