The IG Effect: Get Social and Make Money Off the ‘Gram  

The typical salary for a social media influencer is about $52,000 a year in the United States.  

Who needs to clock into work when there’s money like this to be made?  

With thousands of social media influencers growing by the day it’s not hard to see why many are interested in perfecting their post, earning more followers, growing in popularity and making a few bucks along the way.  

According to a Forbes article, the latter is possible, and making a nice profit with posts can begin with not only name recognition but also building old-fashioned trust in the increasing digital age.  

Forbes reported that per a recent survey conducted by IZEA Worldwide (an online brand-publisher marketplace for influencers), 63 percent of the survey responders found their favorite influencer content to be more interesting and trustworthy in comparison to traditional, or scripted, advertising.   

The article added that numerous social media consumers can benefit from such influencer trust as 56 percent of survey responders noted they bought an item from a sponsored or paid social media post from an influencer they “know” even if they don’t have a personal relationship with them or met them in real life. added that developing a posting prowess where influence and financial stability meet comes with doing more than just sharing photos and videos.  

“Companies are attracted to dedicated communities on the social networking app, even ones that number in the low thousands,” reported. “If your followers fit the profile of consumers that a brand is trying to reach, you may be able to make some money. Not interested in going the influencer route? Try selling your products.” reported that there are five primary ways to earn money on Instagram:   

  • Earn badges through live videos (money earned directly from one’s audience when the influencer shares real-time videos with Instagram’s Live feature).  
  • Monetize videos with ads   

The article added that the top five Instagram influencers as of April 2021 have over 200 million followers each, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Ariana Grande, Dwayne Johnson, Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez, according to Search Engine Journal.   

What does it cost to be an influencer? One with a million followers can make about $670 per post, the search marketing website says in the article. An Instagram influencer (with 100,000 followers) can make about $200 per post, and someone with 10,000 followers can make about $88 per post.   

“So, the formula is: more followers + more posts = more money,” according to the article.   

Neil Patel, a widely respected digital marketing specialist, says that engagement with followers who like, share and comment is the ticket.  

“Even if you have 1,000 followers who are engaged, the potential to make money is there,” he said in his blog.  

Where’s the fun in it though?   

Local social media influencers gave their two cents on what makes it all worthwhile. 

Lauren Gillon of Detroit, better known as Elle The Foodie (@ellethefoodie and @homegirlkitchen) told the Michigan Chronicle that as a food blogger on multiple platforms she finds her footing by doing what she does best – being herself.  

“Authenticity,” she said, is key. “Don’t change your persona for a following, people notice the difference. Be true to who you are, work hard, and the right people will support and follow your brand.”    

Gillon added that finding someone a social media influencer is passionate about (and sticking to it) goes a long way. “I’ve been sharing my journey for a couple of years now and it’s inspiring to see how many people notice your growth as a creative.”   

He already got a blue checkmark by his name. Detroit-based rapper Kid Jay (@kidjay on IG, YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok) known for being a positive rapper, is a big influence locally and he’s growing in popularity nationally, too.  

The Stellar Award-winning artist (in song collaboration with the Detroit Youth Choir) told the Michigan Chronicle that he raps about good things with a dope beat attached.  

“I make rap music without the violence and the curse words [minus] the negative message that rap has nowadays,” Jay, who has over 50,000 followers on Instagram, said. “I basically teach the kids if they want to do music or do something, they don’t have to follow that narrative — they can be themselves and go about it a different way.”  

Jay is also a big advocate for children with autism and he has big plans soon including a desire to build a high school for students with autism.  

“My little brother is autistic and my ultimate goal (when I’m) big enough with music is to start an autistic high school named after my late grandmother,” he said of the potential Ypsilanti-based high school. “It would be the Shirley C. High School.”  

Jay, 23, who hails from Ypsilanti, said that he hopes to fulfill his big dreams in the next two to three years before his middle-school-aged brother reaches high school. “With all due time and God, hopefully, I get there.”  

Jay, who performs throughout metro Detroit, just dropped a song, “Body Bag” and it’s not what you think.  

“It’s about me going in the booth and pretty much destroying the beat like I always do,” he said. “When I’m rapping, I always feel at home. I’ve always looked at it as a form of expressing myself.”  

Jay said that he inspires others through his multiple platforms so that they can be what they want no matter the obstacle.  

“When I was younger, I had a bad stuttering problem and I got bullied a lot – I never knew how to express my feelings and when I could rap, I put my emotions into music. That is why It means so much to me — my music speaks volumes about me.”  

Elisha Little, 21, of Detroit, who goes by Elisha Antoinette (@elisha.antoinette on IG and TikTok) is a semi-new blogger and told the Michigan Chronicle that she started blogging recently as a way to write out how she feels. Though on TikTok, too, she blogs, as a way to share her daily life with her thousands of followers.  

“I kind of sat on the idea for a few years because I was like, ‘Who still reads blogs other than myself?’”  

She told the Michigan Chronicle that launching her blog site in early August (she posts every Sunday) is going well.  

On her TikTok platform, which she’s had for a year, is where she shares her life as a student at Wayne State University and as an employee at a local mortgage lending firm where she works as a social media coordinator intern.  

She encourages people who are looking to blog to not only think about ways to make money but to “enjoy the journey” no matter the numbers.  

“You may see people with a lot of followers and it can be discouraging if you’re not doing super well all the time. Post your content anyway,” she said, adding to be mindful of what you post no matter how much the topic may be trending. “Always be super careful about what you’re posting and protect yourself.”  




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