• Amy Lees

Using Social Media For Business | The 3 ways you can build an income through social media

Updated: Feb 19, 2020

There are 9 million reasons why you should use your social media for business to earn an income online in 2020, but let's be honest - it can be scary admitting you want to become an influencer, start coaching, or build a business of your own passions. Where do you even start? What should you pursue?

There is a lot of noise out there. Maybe you have tossed the idea around with someone you cared about and maybe they weren't exactly excited for you.

"That's not for you."

"You mean you're going to be one of those salesy people online?"

"Are you ssuuuuuurree? What about your health benefits?"

Using social media for business is not only SMART, but it is EMPOWERING. And nobody is saying you should quit your full-time job, unless it is killing you inside - for real, get outta there.

To pursue YOUR own happiness in the way YOU see fit - to work towards YOUR dreams - has nothing to do with anyone else or their opinions.

First thing's first, you should NOT feel weird about wanting to earn an income through your social platform of choice.

Money can be a controversial topic because we ALL have a different relationship with money, but it is so important to understand how you react and feel about money as you build your business. You have to understand why your relationship with money might be holding you back from building your dream life.

Whether you grew up with mom and dad fighting relentlessly because daddy didn't like how much more money mommy made, or you had one parent constantly stressing about paying the bills and telling you "no" when you wanted something, or you had parents who taught you that ALL of your money should be saved and never spent,

the experiences you had then will determine your relationship with money now.

If you want to lean into this topic to learn more about how to fix your relationship with money and master your relationship with wealth, I highly recommend this book: You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero. I am reading this book for the 3rd time this month and super appreciate how realistic she is. (No affiliate links here - just genuine love for what this book has taught me.)

Fortunately, there are plenty of people earning an income through social media to provide substantial evidence that it is a legit business opportunity and to show that the potential to level up your income is almost fool-proof. Almost.

Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples of people doing it the wrong way. We are constantly bombarded by people who share sales-y, scammy content for their business that makes you want to run the other way (or never talk to this ever). Does this message look familiar??

The truth is that someone running their social media in this way will only ever attract the same kind of person. This is a message I received on Facebook Messenger recently, and did I respond?? No. The sad bit is that I'm sure the person IS genuinely excited about what she has to offer, but she's going about it THE WRONG WAY.

Don't worry, if you have sent a message like this: it's not the end of the world. But let's clear one thing up before we go on:

Nobody wants to be sold to.

You are here because you are genuinely curious how people earn an income on Instagram or through social media marketing, in a genuine way, so that you can start to do the same. Welcome! Now that we got that out of the way,

Let's talk about a few myths.

1. You do NOT need to have thousands of followers.

2. You do NOT need to post pictures of you in little to no clothing.

3. You do NOT need to send sales-y messages begging random strangers to buy something.

--> What good will buying 100k followers do if none of those "bots" or "fake accounts" care to comment on what you are sharing? The numbers won't matter when nobody cares about your business.

--> What kind of people would you be attracting with the wrong kinds of photos? The superficial attention won't matter in the long run.

--> What would YOUR reaction be to the afore mentioned Facebook message? Did you even read the whole thing? Most of us would react by immediately blocking/unfollowing this person, and that's definitely not good for business.


Bottom line is, and I repeat: Nobody wants to be sold to.


What actually matters:

1. Content

2. Community

3. Consistency

I created this discussion video to explain how each of these play a role in creating a brand on social media in 2020, and include some questions for you to ask yourself as you envision yourself earning online.

And I dove deeper into these 3 topics in this next video to discuss (in more detail) ways to build more authentic engagement with your audience.


There are many examples of people earning a legit income using social media, but we can fit them all into one of the main categories below. This will help YOU identify what the best opportunity for you to start is.

Note: these are not mutually exclusive - meaning that an individual can get paid via all 3 avenues.

1. Brand Deals

This is when a larger company, or brand, will compensate you in exchange for view time with your following. Typically, that includes either cash or product for you posting about said brand. It's very similar to a sponsorship.

What matters to them:

* your niche or target audience (must match who they are targeting)

* your following number (depends on each specific brand, typically 10K+)

* your engagement rate (most are looking for 3-5%, 10% is fantastic)

Your engagement rate is equal to your total likes and comments divided by your total number of followers multiplied by 100.

Brands care more about this rate than the number of following (still very important) because people were trying to "cheat the system" by buying followers, and like we discussed, that does not offer a high ROI (return on investment) for the company.

2. Influencer/affiliate marketing

This is when you partner with a brand to promote specific products to your audience, and in turn, you get compensated by the company when your audience invests in the specific products being promoted.

To keep in mind:

* Your passion

* Your niche

* Your compensation %

* Your investment

* Your work ethic

For (hopefully) obvious reasons, you want to partner with a brand or company that represents something you feel passionate about. If you have never cared about makeup, nor do you have the desire to build a brand around it, then you would NOT want to partner with a company that wants you to promote their makeup products. Capisce? (KAPEESH?!)

Your niche, or what you and your following have in common, is important to identify before deciding on a brand to partner with. Most brands will reach out to you if they feel like you fit their target market. If you feel excited about the brand, then so will your following.

A typical compensation range is from 5-30%, depending on a factor of reasons, including the price of the product, the genre of business, and the value the brand sees in affiliate marketing.

Also, affiliate marketing partnerships require an investment on your part. They will ask you to purchase a specific product (sometimes it is what they are wanting you to promote) from their company, which makes perfect sense. You need to gather your own opinion of the product, goods, or service before talking it up to your audience. What if you actually hate it? The more genuine you are about the company, the more trust you have with your audience, which is good for business.

Imagine promoting a product you know nothing about or have zero experience with: "hey everybody! Company X sent me this cooking gadget. I haven't use it yet, so I don't have a real opinion, but you should DEF go buy one and use my code: YOUAREANUMBERTOME thanks! xo" WHY would your audience trust what you say? Like with any business, you have to invest first to reap the rewards.

There are SO MANY ways to work with brands using affiliate marketing, and so much more that goes into getting the best bang for your buck regarding this particular strategy. Look for a company that will treat you right and one that makes you excited to work with because your income will directly depend on your work ethic.

The only reasons why I have been as successful as I have been with the company I partner with (and have for 4+ years) is because I feel extremely connected to their mission and appreciate the value and quality of their products & services. That, and I have a bomb ass work ethic. #fempreneurlife

3. You own the business

This is when you promote your own specific products, goods, and/or services and get compensated when your audience invests in what you promote.

To keep in mind:

* Your passion

* Your niche

* Your compensation %

* Your investment

* Your work ethic

These aspects are important to consider here, as well. First of all, you have A LOT more to consider in behind-the-scenes in regards to your specific goods, products, and/or services. Obviously, you want to build a business you are passionate about. You will only be successful if you care enough. Period.

Business owners have to invest more than simply buying a product or service, and your compensation rate will depend on how much you need to put back into the business to cover costs. Most business owners will not earn a profit for the first 3 years of business, which is why work ethic and passion are so important to keep in mind if you are considering starting a new business.


The social media DREAM is to have all 3 earning you an income, but we all have to start SOMEWHERE, and trust me, the hustle/grind is not for the feint of heart.

Depending on your skill set and dreams, most of us start earning through social media via avenue #2: Influencer/Affiliate Marketing. Look, we talked about it before - this isn't going to suddenly earn you $100K a year. You start small, and build your way up. That's what being a business builder / entrepreneur is all about.

You are not entitled to success. You have to EARN it.

There are numerous ways to get involved with affiliate marketing, and it can get a bit overwhelming. I want to help clear the way for you to start earning an income through your social media, so I am sharing my best practices to getting started.

I have spent the last 4 years learning about and taking action on affiliate marketing tips, both GOOD and BAD, which is why I am writing this now. Too many of us are implementing shady influencer/affiliate marketing techniques - and it needs to stop. You do not need to feel weird about business online and if you do, take a good look at what you think online marketing looks like or what you are doing yourself.

I now work full-time with affiliate marketing and want to share my BEST advice and practices to jump into affiliate marketing.

Don't make the same mistakes I made - Check out My BEST Tips and Advice For Successful Influencing to monetize your social media and level up your income earning potential by clicking here.

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