11 Ways to Make a Living on Social Media Without Selling a Single Product

11 Ways to Make a Living on Social Media Without Selling a Single Product

They are social influencers. Even if you don’t have lots of followers right now, this guide will show you what you need to do to make yourself more appealing to marketers and brands. In 2018, more than 82% of social influencers said that Instagram is their number one platform. Respond to your followers. But don’t use only one per post. Let’s take a look at his pictures to see if they fit the description: James shares content related to his fitness journey, and he promotes products that fit that niche. Don’t just post content for brands who offer to send you free products. Just 4% pay up to $3,000 per post. Even if you don’t want to sell products on Instagram, if your photos are good enough, you can make money as a photographer. How are you leveraging your social media followers to make money as a social influencer?

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Do you have lots of social media followers? Want to learn how to turn those followers into dollars?

Right now, there are people making a living on social media without selling anything.

We’ve all seen those profiles of seemingly regular people with tons of followers.

It always seems as if they’re traveling or doing something fun. But what exactly do they do to fund this fairytale lifestyle?

They are social influencers.

Experts predict that in the next two years, global influencer marketing will be a $5-10 billion dollar industry.

5 billion

In 2017, 86% of marketers relied on influencer marketing campaigns at some point during the year.

And 39% of marketers say they have increased their influencer marketing budgets for 2018.

All of this is promising news if you’re interested in making a living on social media as an influencer. Even if you don’t have lots of followers right now, this guide will show you what you need to do to make yourself more appealing to marketers and brands.

In the past, I’ve explained how to use micro influencers to increase your product credibility.

But now I wanted to write an informative guide aimed to help influencers make more money.

With influencer marketing making my list of the top marketing trends to look for in 2018, there is plenty of money to be made in this space if you position yourself accordingly.

These are the top 11 ways to make a living on social media without selling any products.

1. Pick a platform

The first thing you need to do is decide which platform you’re going to prioritize the most.

Ultimately, you’ll want to have profiles set up on as many social networks as possible, but one needs to be your bread and butter.

Research shows that nearly all social influencers work on Instagram.

pick a platform

In 2018, more than 82% of social influencers said that Instagram is their number one platform. Just over 12% responded with YouTube, and less than 2% said Facebook.

That’s probably because 76% of influencers say that Instagram has the best tools compared to other social platforms.

Based on these numbers, I highly recommend picking Instagram as your top priority.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel here. If other influencers are having so much success on Instagram, you should be able to follow in their footsteps.

Your other social profiles should be used to enhance the image of your personal brand and ultimately expand your reach.

But you can use Facebook and Twitter to try to get more followers on Instagram.

2. Join a network for influencers

Another way to make money on social media is by joining networks made for influencers.

These platforms are used to connect brands with people based on their followers and specialties.

Brandwatch is a great place to start.


Let’s say you share lots of content related to yoga and holistic health on your social media profiles.

Your followers are obviously interested in this content as well, which is why they are following you in the first place.

If you join one of these networks, it will be easier for brands to find you if they have a product or service related to your content.

If a brand wants to work with an influencer to sell their newest yoga mat and yoga clothing, it’ll get matched with you through these networks.

You can handle all communication with the brands through these platforms as well.

This can help you stay organized as opposed to using direct messaging through social media. Once you get lots of followers, it’s tough to keep up with all of the messages in your inbox.

I recently wrote about my favorite platforms for effectively managing social influencers.

The post was intended for brands, but it’s helpful for influencers to read through it as well. Go through the list to see which platforms fit your wants and needs the most.

3. Boost your engagement rates

The reason why brands want to work with social influencers is they historically have extremely high engagement rates.

In fact, brands named engagement as the top metric for measuring the success of influencer marketing campaigns.

engagement rates

If you want to make yourself more appealing, you can show brands how high your engagement rates are with your followers.

Start by learning how to write captions that drive engagement.

You want your followers to like, comment, tag, view, and share your content.

Respond to your followers.

I know, this can be tricky, especially for those of you who have tens of thousands of followers. But the key is getting into a habit of making time to respond.

At the very least, like their comment if you can’t respond to it.

Remember, we’re treating this as your job. If you want to make a living on social media, you need to dedicate a certain amount of time each day toward making yourself a more valuable influencer.

If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

Engaging with your followers will help them feel a personal connection with you. When you recommend a brand to them, they will be more likely to act on your recommendation, making your marketing campaigns more successful.

4. Give away free stuff

Everyone wants to get something free.

To increase engagement with your followers, hosting a giveaway is one of your top options.

Once you start negotiating with brands and deciding what kind of content you should be posting, you can suggest a giveaway.

Ultimately, the decision is theirs. They will be the ones paying you for sponsored content.

But you don’t have to commit to anything you’re uncomfortable with. If you think the content they want you to post doesn’t add value to your followers, you can respectfully turn down the offer.

After all, you don’t want to lose credibility by posting everything and anything someone presents to you.

Otherwise, you could see a drop in engagement from your followers.

Take a look at this post from Instagram personality Jen Selter:


Jen has more than 12 million followers on Instagram.

How do you keep 12 million people entertained? Don’t spam them.

Yes, it’s clear that this post is promoting a brand. But she’s doing it in a way that adds value to…