You’re a subject matter expert with valuable information to share.
Have you ever thought about getting paid to create content for your audience?
While it might seem like the only way to make money on social media is by dancing on TikTok or having millions of Instagram followers, you could also earn cash by creating educational content focused on your area of expertise.
The best part? You don’t need to have a large following or even know how to dance. You just need to understand how you can effectively join the Creator Economy.
I’ll start by explaining what the Creator Economy is, then walk through how you can get involved. The Creator Economy is defined as a class of businesses built by independent content creators, curators, and community builders including social media influencers, bloggers, and videographers.
As per a report from Influencer Marketing Hub The creator economy is estimated to be worth more than $100 billion with more than 50 million people worldwide consider themselves creators. However, the vast majority are amateurs, which is great news for you.
So how do you get your cut of the money? Sidewalker Daily is here to help. Sidewalker Daily is a team of Influencer Marketing Experts who provide online resources, education and coaching to help influencers, creators and digital entrepreneurs build businesses and monetize their online influence. Since 2016 they’ve helped thousands of clients (some with less than 1,000 followers) land paid content creation deals.
Fortunately, these days, brands need creators now more than ever. As Nina Zadeh – Co-Founder of Sidewalker Daily- explains “With the rise of Ad Fatigue, it’s a no-brainer brands are turning to Influencers to deliver their message in a more organic and authentic way.”
In short. People are sick of seeing ads so brands need better content and that’s where you come in. Let’s walk through how you can make that happen.
Why you don’t need a huge following to get paid
There’s a common misconception that you need a bunch of followers in order to make a bunch of money so let’s clear that up before moving forward. And, we’ll start by exploring the difference between an influencer and a content creator.
Spoiler alert, you’re more likely to find success as a content creator.
Influencers share how they live their lives, promoting the products and services they use – or pretend to use – along the way. Influencers are essentially a marketing channel so they get paid in proportion to their audience size.
Content creators focus on producing content that engages their specific audience based on their area of expertise. They know their audience wants to consume content such as how-to guides, thought leadership, tips and tutorials. Again, you’re a subject matter expert, so this is something you can easily do.
Here’s an example of an Instagram Reel in which I shared four steps to getting almost anyone to respond to you on social media. Notice, this was recorded from my camera phone and is less than one minute long.
You could easily create the same content by reading one of your old social media posts or coming up with a quick tip of your own.
The key to your success is finding brands that align with the same audience and need your content to continue engaging them. We’ll cover how to do that next.
How to win brand deals
So now that you know there’s a place for you in the creator economy, how do you actually land deals? It starts by pitching brands and organizations that have the same audience as you. For example, products and services your audience uses and you feel comfortable representing.
To help you with this process the team at Sidewalker Daily put together a guide, The Ultimate Checklist To Prepare Your Pitch and I’ll provide a brief overview below.
Step 1: Research the brand
If you authentically resonate with the brand voice, aesthetic, mission, and values, you’ll already be a step above the rest when it comes to your pitch.
Step 2: Research their past influencer projects.
When connecting with brands for paid deals, start by determining whether or not they’ve previously worked with influencers and creators. You can best determine this by sifting through social media content and searching for posts also include an #ad #sponsored or #partner hashtag. That said, there’s no reason you can’t be their first partner, so don’t let that hold you back, especially if you’re a big fan of their product or service.
Step 3: Design a media kit
A media kit is basically your creator resume. Check out my media kit so you can get a clear understanding. I should note, the team at Sidewalker Daily created mine but if you’re not ready to invest in custom design services just yet, they have a course available which teaches you how to create a Media Kit from start to finish.
While the team at Sidewalker would strongly recommend having a media kit if you just wanted to get started without spending too much time, you can just share examples of content you’ve created. Even one video or blog could suffice.
Step 4: Prepare a case study
A case study provides measurable evidence that speaks to the impact of your past work and references. Again, this is something you won’t have at first so don’t sweat it. If you’d like, consider initially taking on an underpaid partnership in order to secure your first case study.
Step 5: Draft your pitching emails
Try to keep the email copy relevant and to the point. Tell the contact why you’re interested (you’ve been using the product for x years, you’re the biggest fan because y).
It’s helpful to have a specific content idea that aligns with their audience and fills a gap in their current content strategy. For example “I noticed you don’t have any content about ‘Quiet quitting’, I can create a brief video explaining why it’s happening and what to do about it.” Again, keep it simple but pique their interest.
Step 6: Create your rate sheet
A rate sheet is much more specific and technical than a media kit, and only really addresses your prices. Do not include this in your pitch, only send it after they’ve expressed interest.
Step 7: Brush up on your negotiation skills
As soon as the negotiation part starts, ask for their budget. If you mention your rates first you may lose negotiating power. Try your best to find out their range or budget first so you can craft something around that.
As you’re first starting out you may have better luck asking for free products but there’s no reason not to ask for compensation as well.
Again, this is a super streamlined overview so I highly recommend reading the full checklist as you move forward.
How a creator with less than 10k followers made $6,000 on her first deal
Erin Ates is a licensed esthetician and the founder of The Melanin Method. To build her brand she frequently provides helpful tutorials and reviews on her Instagram profile. And although she was gifted free merchandise at times, Erin decided to take a shot at becoming a paid content creator.
She heard about Sidewalker Daily’s Pitching to Brands Mastercourse, told her mom about it, and her mom said not to do it. But, just like my kids, she decided to take the course anyway and even dipped into her savings to pay for it.
The result? Within two weeks a brand reached out to her for a partnership. And instead of making a one time deal, she was able to secure a six month contract valued at $6,000. At the time Erin had less than 10,000 followers but the brand was more impressed with her content than her audience size.
What does this mean to you? It doesn’t matter how big or small your audience is. You have valuable information to share and brands are willing to pay you for it. Remember, many companies have internal teams or hire agencies to create content for them. All those people get paid, so why shouldn’t you?
And fortunately, you already know how to run a business, so this is just another way to monetize your knowledge. As Clairesse Brogoitti – Co-Founder of Sidewalker Daily – shares “Being a successful creator is so much more than views, likes and posting content – it’s strategy, investing in your business, putting in the work, taking risks, knowing when to ask for help – it’s entrepreneurship at its core.”
If you want to land paid brand partnerships for any industry or audience size, Sidewalker Daily offers free trainings which you can learn more about here.