We often discuss about how large social media platforms are making large sums of money through ads, but we almost never think about how us as regular consumers could also leverage these platforms to earn money from corporations who are seeking new ways to promote their brand. In a sense, we as customers have more bargaining power in the world of marketing because we hold certain level of credibility. Whenever you see an ad on TV or posted on the highway, you know that the company has paid a significant amount of money for everyone to see that. However, when we see a regular person making reviews on a product, we tend to think that there is more credibility behind that story because it’s coming from a regular user. In the end, that user might as well be making some money from the review but he will only receive more followers if he depicts on both the positive and negative aspects of a regular product.
Marketing is moving in the direction of outsourcing ads to individuals as we are moving closer to a shared economy of services. One great example of such movement is the Amazon Associate’s program which allows you to use a blog/website to make a review about a specific product. On your blog you are allowed to use a specific link to sell the product and you may earn up to 4% in commissions for those sales. What I have personally noticed is that usually people who are honest receive better responses form the follower. It is easy to see an example in the food industry where the tougher you are making a critique, the more restaurant want you to come and give an opinion. As a matter of fact, they are willing to let you eat for free if you are going to post a review on Instagram or other apps for those foodie customers. Basically, when a reviewer simply gives 5 stars to everything it seems like it is just another marketing stunt.
Got any expertise in a particular area? Coaching or teaching people how to improve in a particular area is definitely a great way to find followers. It is a great opportunity to show your audience how you can help others in a particular area, and it gives you authority to make comments and reviews on products that are related to your hobby. Once you have showed your skills online, you could even have private sessions on social media and charge for your time.
Get on the YouTube Partner Program! Any creator of public content can apply for the YouTube Partner program once your account reaches more than 10,000 public channel views. Even if you do not have enough views, YouTube offers a creator academy where you can get advice from professionals on how to create original content that will help you build your audience and captivate your followers. Once you are accepted into the program, you will have to select what video you would like to monetize and you are all set to start making money with your views.
Spend time on a Twitter conversation! Companies want customers to be aware about their brands and product offerings so they are willing to give prices to those users that spend more than an hour on a Tweet chat. To enter a conversation you simply have to be aware of the hashtag conversations that are currently happening and those can be find on the search bar. These tweet chats offer prizes that include cash, gift cards, clothing, software, jewelry, etc. There are also companies like PaidPerTweet that connect advertisers with influencers, and the influencers are able to set a price for tweeting links, ads, and photos.
Like Fan pages on Facebook! Every day there are companies giving giveaways and organizing contests. It is just a matter of being in the right place at the right moment. Entering the contest is usually something as easy as liking the Fan page of that company and entering your name. If you do the sufficient amount of research you will be able to participate in lots of contests and increase your chances of wining something. In many cases the people participating in these contests is minimal. I can speak from personal experience in this matter since my cousin just won a round trip to ULTRA Miami all expenses covered simply because he uploaded a photo with his friends holding chips of the brand organizing the contest. The contest rules were simple: the person who uploads a photo with more bags of chips and people wins. He realized that nobody was participating so he went for it and won.
Long story short – the world of marketing seems to be moving towards the outsourcing of advertisements. We are staring to see more programs to connect influencers/users with companies. In my opinion, an ad coming from a regular user or from a review is more convincing than mere publicity paid by a corporation. People are fed up of ads saying that every product is perfect, so sometimes it is nice to see someone stating what they think about their product.