Shallow focus photo of a vlogger woman

Social Media Influencing: Side Hustle or Full-Time Job?

Nearly 63% of Americans say they would quit their day jobs tomorrow if they could become successful influencers within six to 12 months, according to a recent study conducted by Passport-Photo.Online.

Can you relate? And the bigger question: can you make a living from social media influencing, or is it better suited as a side hustle?

Social media influencing has undergone a significant transformation, evolving from a mere hobby for teenagers into a well-paid online profession for people of all ages. Thus, at Passport-Photo.Online, we explored this topic and shed light on the following aspects:

12 Keys to Choosing and Building a Side Hustle

Read more for insights if you’re considering becoming a social media influencer yourself or simply seeking a deeper understanding of the influencer marketing world.

The Current State of the Social Media Influencing Career

Can you guess what American and UK kids aspire to be when they grow up? Forget about astronauts; now, they prefer vloggers. Our study revealed that approximately 77% of Americans consider social media influencing a legitimate profession.

Social media influencing has indeed become a relevant career in today’s society.

However, this statistic alone does not reveal whether this is a viable career path. There are other factors that contribute to the perception of social media influencing as a potential profession. One significant factor is the popularity of influencers.

Did you know that over 90% of internet users follow at least one social media influencer? Nearly half of the respondents are subscribed to over 20 influencers across all their social media channels. Astonishingly, 13% of these individuals stay connected to more than 100 creators!

It’s evident that social media influencers have woven their way into our lives. Undoubtedly, the worth of this profession extends beyond its popularity. Just like any business, income plays an equally vital role.

So, how much do social media influencers make?

Earnings can vary depending on the industry, the number of followers, and several other factors. To provide a general idea, here are some statistics from Statista regarding Instagram influencers:

  • Nano-influencers can make $195 per post on Instagram
  • Mid-tier influencers can make $1,221 per post on Instagram
  • Macro-influencers can make $1,804 per post on Instagram supports these findings, stating that micro-influencers can expect around $208 per post, and mega-influencers can expect $1,628 per post on Instagram.

Gone are the days when being an influencer was merely about having fun. Today, it has evolved into a serious profession that requires specific skills and pays accordingly.

So, let’s delve deeper into the characteristics of a successful social media influencer.

Social video, protecting your IP — discover more from Verizon Small Business Digital Ready

Characteristics of a Social Media Influencer Job

Don’t be deceived by the first impression. Being an influencer involves much more than mere having fun and posting cool pictures. In reality, this career involves content marketing work, with both its challenges and rewards.

What does social media influencing entail? Here are some examples of the job’s responsibilities:

  • Connecting with brands and target audiences across various social networking platforms
  • Scheduling content publications on social media platforms
  • Developing and implementing innovative social media strategies
  • Creating and writing relevant content for social media posts
  • Gathering insights and feedback from social media sites and creating insights reports
  • Tracking followers and maintaining records
  • Keeping track of all the clients, their deliverables, and their program start and end dates using agile project management tools.
  • Staying up to date with the latest trends across all social media networks

In the realm of social media, influencers must ride the wave of ever-changing trends and events. It’s an intensive career that demands not only focus and organization but also a creative streak.

Our findings support this claim. In the eyes of our respondents, the vital traits for a thriving influencer are creativity (34.6%), followed by good looks (30%), hard work (26.1%), and charisma (25.8%).

Social Media Influencing as a Side Hustle: Does It Match?

There is a common misconception that people start side hustles solely for the sake of making money. Consider the example of an IT employee who decides to write content for a guest post platform. While it allows him to pursue his passion for writing and network with other professionals in the industry, it might not yield significant financial returns.

A side hustle is an additional employment opportunity outside of a person’s full-time job that provides supplemental income. Starting a side gig is all about fulfilling needs professionals can’t meet in their full-time jobs. Sometimes that need is indeed more income, but often it’s also about socializing or unleashing creativity.

In the case of social media influencing, our study showed that people are driven to consider this profession due to the following factors:

  • money (25%)
  • self-expression (20%)
  • following one’s passion (20%).

This indicates that social media influencing is seen as a way to fulfill the need for self-expression that is not satisfied by one’s regular job. Combined with the potential for lucrative income and no degree requirements, it becomes an attractive career path for creative individuals.

However, the side gig route may not always be the best choice. Here are some factors to consider when deciding between a side hustle and a full-time job:

  • Responsiveness: When social media influencing is a side gig, you may not be able to react immediately to new internet events. This can lead to missed opportunities or harm your online reputation due to a lack of timely response.
  • Stability: Working as a full-time influencer does not guarantee a steady source of income. Even with strategic planning, the market can be capricious, resulting in lean years after months of fruitful collaborations.
  • Motivation: During the initial stages, you’ll have to invest considerable effort into shaping your social media profile and patiently await the fruits of your labor. When you dedicate only your spare time to it, it’s easy to become demotivated.
  • Stress: Working full-time as an influencer requires constant vigilance to avoid mistakes that could harm your reputation. Even a minor error can result in a loss of followers. This career puts a lot of pressure on you and rarely allows you to rest.

Considering these points will help you navigate the decision of whether social media influencing is best suited as a side hustle or a full-time job. It will also provide you with a deeper understanding of the social media influencers you work with during your marketing campaigns.

The SuN Takeaway

Why does social media influencing seem like an attractive career?

This profession appears to offer the opportunity to earn money while having creative fun and sharing your thoughts openly. Also, creating your own online community can be incredibly rewarding.

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