It’s no secret that influencer marketing offers tremendous potential for brands. From large corporations like Pepsi to small businesses like Kodak Cakes. There’s a reason why companies of all sizes turn to influencers to increase sales; studies have shown that the return on investment is strong. For every dollar spent on influencer marketing, you’ll get $6.50 back on average.
And of course, there are a myriad of other benefits of influencer marketing that make it attractive to marketing departments. It builds brand awareness, cultivates deeper relationships with customers, connects your brand to a wider market, and allows you to reach your targeted audience with better accuracy.
YouTube is a great place to get started as an influencer. Its platform is easy to use and its search engine is the gold standard for video consumption. But just like any other new endeavor, getting started can be intimidating. You might be thinking, “How can I earn income as an influencer doing what I love if I don’t have a follower base? What companies will work with me?”
The truth is, many of them. Numerous studies have demonstrated that microinfluencers tend to have more influence over their domain than their macro and celebrity counterparts. For instance, a study from ExpertVoice revealed that micro influencers saw 22.2x higher conversions per week than their macro influencers. Furthermore, another survey from Influencive learned that 83% of customers were more likely to purchase a product recommended by a micro influencer.
The main point: don’t be intimidated by starting at ground zero. If you want to learn more about how to get paid on YouTube as a microinfluencer, here’s what you need to know:
Build a Consistent Arsenal of Videos
The first step towards becoming a successful microinfluencer on YouTube is undoubtedly content creation. Before you post your first video, take the time to decide how you want to position yourself, what you want your brand to be, and what segment of an industry you want to target. Then, create a list of potential video ideas and build outlines as you hone in on your strategy.
Create a video posting schedule to ensure you remain consistent with your efforts. You can create your own content calendar using tools like Google Sheets or download templates from sites like Etsy.
During the planning process, consider your talking points and keywords for each. Ideally, you’ll start optimizing your video for YouTube search engines right away. This makes your videos more discoverable.
Lastly, be sure to invest in quality production materials, use attractive thumbnail images, and edit video content with viewer intention in mind. This might all be overwhelming, but every non-celeb successful influencer will agree that getting started is no walk in the park.
If you’re a complete novice when it comes to creating and editing video content, take a learn-and-offload approach.
With this approach, you’ll start learning the techniques that are most important to you as a content creator (like filming techniques) and offload more time-consuming parts of the process—like post production editing—to low-cost freelancers. You can find plenty of robust courses on UDemy or watch free tutorials on YouTube.
Posting YouTube videos consistently is step one towards becoming a paid YouTube influencer. It grows your audience organically, helps cultivate your brand, hone your skills, and demonstrates your dedication to your content.
Create a Media Kit
A media kit is a digital file that helps potential clients learn everything they need to know about you. The majority of clients don’t have time to scour your videos to learn who you are, who you attract, and how you create content.
A media kit presents you and your channel in an easily digestible format. A media kit typically includes:
- An introduction
- A statistics page that features some of your key metrics (subscribers, views, engagement, etc)
- Audience demographics
- Collaboration options
If your lack of subscribers and likes is prohibiting you from creating a media kit, highlight other key metrics that you’re proud of, such as engagement. You can also highlight private messages you’ve received from followers who love your channel. Behind-the-scenes social proof is still a strong indicator of influence.
Additionally, you can use your existing metrics to create a growth trajectory chart. For example, if you started your YouTube channel six months ago with 0 subscribers and have reached 500 subscribers, well, that’s a 500% increase.
Your media kit should be well-designed and reflect your brand image. You can find plenty of free online media kit templates or purchase a pre-designed template for just a few dollars from independent designers on Etsy. Here’s a sample of a simple template:
Reach Out to Brands Directly
Once you feel confident about your channel and have created your media kit, it’s time to start reaching out to brands directly. This is called “pitching.” Your goal is to “pitch” companies on why they should partner with you as an influencer.
Every pitch you send should be tailored—not copy and pasted—to the company you’re targeting. Your pitch should highlight key points in your media kit and explain how you plan to generate leads to their business. Think about the following questions as you craft your messages:
- Why am I uniquely qualified to partner with this brand as an influencer?
- What content ideas do I have in mind for this particular brand?
- Does my brand image align with their brand image?
- Am I a part of their target demographic?
- Would I use their services and/or products regardless of a partnership? Why?
Answer these questions to help you create a pitch that’s genuine, straightforward, and organized. If you’re uneasy about the lack of followers, feel free to cite some statistics that demonstrate the bottom-line viability of micro influencers. But be careful not to overwhelm the recipient. A few sentences, bullet points, and any hyperlinked sources will do the trick.
Create an excel sheet that lists brands you’d like to work with and their contact information. As a micro influencer, avoid major brands with hefty budgets. Still to small and medium sized businesses. You can also reach out to local brick and mortar business owners who could benefit from additional traffic via local influencers.
Join Influencer Marketing Platforms
Influencer marketing platforms like Scalefluence connect influencers of all kinds with potential clients. Once you create your influencer profile, the platform will pull metrics from your channel so that you agencies and marketers can view your stats and bio quickly and easily. If your price is within their budget, they’ll reach out to you to discuss a partnership opportunity. If you accept their project scope, funds are held in escrow until the project is complete.
Influencer marketing platforms are a must for microinfluencers because it increases discoverability and allows you to work with brands you may not have otherwise. Take your time creating your profile and set reasonable prices based on current YouTube metrics. One of the biggest appeals of working with microinfluencers is that they charge less or accept free products in exchange for content. As you work with more clients and your portfolio of successful partnerships grows, you can start to charge more.
Rebuttal the “No’s”
Nearly every influencer has been rejected at one point or another. Naturally, this can be very discouraging, particularly when you’re getting rejection after rejection. But just because a brand declined your partnership offer doesn’t mean it stops there. There are two primary things you can do:
1) You can follow up in the future when your audience has grown. This not only proves that you successfully continued to grow your channel, but shows dedication and determination.
2) You can come up with a counter offer. A counter offer can come in a variety of ways; you could lower your price, guarantee X results before you accept a payment, or offer to do the collaboration for free. The latter is highly debated, but at the end of the day, if there’s a brand you really want to work with and believe the partnership will be beneficial to you in the long run, go for it.
Full Steam Ahead
Microinfluencers have plenty to bring to the table, particularly due to higher engagement rates, stronger community, and local influence. Getting paid for your YouTube videos doesn’t happen overnight, but if you commit yourself to consistency and continuing education, your chances of earning money from brands and YouTube are greatly improved. And remember, always have the bigger picture and the endgame in sight. Follow and interact with brands you hope to work with one day and engage with viewers, subscribers, and commenters.