Cracking open the personal finance classics from Rich Dad Poor Dad to The Automatic Millionaire, you’ll consistently hear one advice – diversify your sources of income. This advice can’t be truer for influencers. The sources of revenue for influencers aren’t as secure as other vocations – you can get banned from Instagram or face a copyright strike on Youtube, and because most influencers fail to think long term and restrict themselves to only one or two platforms they know best, they are extremely vulnerable to risks. This article will help you consider a few ways you can increase your income, future-proof your business, and come out on top.
Offering Merchandise Works
Although merchandise has a bad rep for being an old way of generating revenue, and some of the younger influencers even find it corny, reality doesn’t justify these views. Analyzing data from a range of influencers has shown the revenue generated from selling merchandise almost rivals Patreon, and small and upcoming influencers should definitely not avoid it.
It all comes down to the execution, however. Most people don’t want just another generic T-shirt or hat, but rather they want something special that symbolizes the connection between you and your fans. That’s why merchandise that features inside jokes sells so well. Your fan feels like he’s part of your ingroup, and it is something that makes him stand out. That’s why you should try to stay away from putting out generic merchandise and focus on products that accentuate the parasocial relationship the fan has with you.
A Subscription Platform is a No-Brainer, but Do You Know How to Set It Up?
Opening up an account on a subscription platform like Patreon has de facto become a necessity if you want to survive and thrive on platforms like Youtube, especially if you’re creating high-quality content. These platforms have now spread to Twitch streamers, Instagram models, and even bloggers and voice actors. This makes it obvious they are crucial to have in your overall strategy to diversify your income and raise more revenue. What’s important, however, is how you’ll handle your account. There are three key aspects that can make or break your subscription service:
- The Rewards: rewards are what your patrons immediately get after supporting you. It is important for rewards to be relevant to your fanbase and be worth the value.
- The Goals: the goals you set signal where you want your business to head. If it is something that resonates with your base, they’ll donate more or share your account with their friends. That’s why you should choose realistic and incremental goals that keep your base happy but wanting for more.
- Your Attitude: while the rewards definitely matter, at the end of the day, it is your attitude that will determine whether you keep your patrons or not. Patrons feel a sense of ownership and entitlement when they support you, and you have to display constantly that you appreciate their support. You can do this by thanking them at the end of each video, creating unscheduled exclusive content for them to show your appreciation or any other way – you can get creative. What’s important at the end of the day is that you are making them feel appreciated and that their support, no matter how small, really makes a difference.
Expanding to Other Social Networks
Most influencers start from a single platform and then eventually branch off to other social networks. This is a good strategy, overall, and it means you won’t be dependant on a single platform anymore. The decision when to expand, where to expand, and how to expand are complicated questions that every influencer should ask themselves.
- When to expand: The safest option is to expand when you’re starting to gain a decent number of followers but you’re not a household name yet.
- Where to expand: the easiest strategy is to expand to networks similar to the platform you’re on now. This means you’ll be able to carry over some of your experience and followers to your new platform. For example, creating a Snaphat if you’re an Instagram influencer makes sense. If you’re a YouTuber, on the other hand, you’ll be much better off running a Twitch channel.
- How to expand: no two social platforms are the same, and when you’re expanding, ideally, you’d want to expand your fanbase too. That’s why you need to research the quirks of the platform you want to expand to, learn what kind of content is popular, and plan accordingly.
This was a basic primer on the benefits of diversifying and 3 ways of doing it. One of the main reasons many influencers don’t attempt this, even though it is vital, is because managing a dozen accounts and coming up with effective strategies for each is really time-consuming and demanding. This is why new online platforms like fourthwall.com are being developed to reduce the overhead for the creator and help them manage all their accounts in one place.