SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) Utahns are making thousands of dollars simply by posting pictures on social media. Companies see them as valuable influencers.
Emmy Jones has the power of persuasion. A 20-something wife and mother living in Salt Lake, Jones has more than 100,000 followers on Instagram. She's part of an elite group called Instagram influencers: people paid to share content on social media.
"I was clueless about monetizing. I had no idea that people made money on social media," said Jones.
Jones soon learned the pay-off of being an assertive poster.
"I got an email from a baby blanket company asking for my rates. And that was kind of an AHA moment for me. Like OH!.This could actually be a little business," said Jones.
It's more like big business, if you do it right. Companies will pay thousands of dollars to reach the right customers.
"I mean what's the best form of advertising? It's word of mouth," said Jones.
Social media gives influencers like Jones big mouths
"Right now I'm following over 900 people. And of course I don't know 900 people on Instagram," said Jada Thompson, Instagram user.
"There's a few brands that if I saw a cool picture or a cool promo I'd follow them too," said Davis Johnson, Instagram user.
The more followers you have, the more money you can make. Fashion influencer Brit Allen is mastering the art of securing big money sponsors.
"Right now because it is a business I would say about 90% is sponsored," said Brit Allen.
Influencers are charging about $15 for every thousands followers. So, with 100,000 followers, it's a $1,500 payout per post. What's the secret to attracting followers and advertisers?
"Content. 'I'm all about content right now. Whether its what you're writing about, the images you're posting. The brands you're working with," said Brit Allen.
"I feel like content is king. So no matter how many edits you try to put on your photos if the original image isn't quality I think you're going to have a problem," said Jones.
Like traditional advertising, what you post must look great. These influencers aren't posting images front their camera phone.
Brit's husband, Chase is also an influencer. He says you have to put in the time to reap the rewards.
"Everyday I get home "What are you doing? Doing e-mails. I leave. Doing emails. Doesn't matter. All day long, all night long," said Chase Allen.
"It's like the same as any regular job. You're running a business so the more time you put into it the more you get out of it," said Brit Allen.
Here are a few more tips on how to boost your influence.
"Be really picky with the brands you work with. Be really picky about your style. Establish a style and a vibe. And don't give up. Keep going at it," said Brit Allen.
"Being a person behind the screen is so important. When people ask questions answering them and try not to forget that it's a social platform," said Jones.
Influential words to live by...
There is definitely money to be made in the Instagram business. Some influencers from Utah are charging upwards of $30,000 per post. Across the country Instagrammers making more than six figures is common.
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