Given the abundance of ways to express yourself creatively these days, it is easier than ever to become a content creator yourself. The problem is knowing at what point in your new career you can bid farewell to your regular job and devote yourself to your chosen medium. Many people will tell you that there is no simple method to ascertain how much you need to make or the number of followers you need to have to consider it a viable alternative.
The science behind a successful ‘influencer.’
Social media influencers and content creators are tied to the number of views, likes, and followers they must earn money. The amount of money you can make is proportional to the number of people you can pull in to view your content with every post. For example – to even be part of the YouTube Partner’s Programme (YPP), you will need a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and a total of 4,000 valid public views in the twelve months before joining the programme.
On average, you make $7.60 (approx. Rs 560) per 1,000 impressions on partner ads, but Google takes a hefty 45% cut from that, so really, what you are making is $4.18 (Approx. Rs 308) per 1,000 views. Now, if you factor in the basic cost of living in India, which is about Rs 20,000 on average and can be higher depending on the state you reside in, you start to realise that you would need at least a minimum of 70,000 valid public impressions on your content before you start even to consider making this a full-time job and this is without the costs for the capital you need to invest it for equipment.
The point here is like any business, Social Media is risky, and while there are a few ways to get engagement (hot topics, trends, etc.), keeping that consistency is the key. YouTube can also take away all revenue from a video and demonetize it if you are not following its guidelines.
On Instagram, you need a minimum of 5,000 followers before you can put up sponsored posts that make you money. You also need to factor in that certain niches will pay better or are more ad-friendly than others. It will also be wise to look for long-term partnerships with companies if you hope to have a stable income.
Thankfully, there is an easy way to calculate how many views you need or the subscribers that need to follow your channel without having to do the major number-crunching yourself. You can head over to Lickd.co’s Social Media calculator and input the amount you think you would need to make this a day job. In our case, we took the average cost of living in India.
Now some platforms also incentivise influencers with creator funds. YouTube has recently launched a $100 million (Approx. Rs 735 crore) pay pool from which it will fund creators who use its TikTok competitor Shorts and whose content has the most engagement with people. Snapchat’s new $1-million-a-day programme will pay top creators a collective sum of $1 million (Approx. Rs. 7,35,76,250) whose content drew the most engagement for that one day. Similarly, another TikTok competitor MX TakaTak has a Rs 100 Crore fund for creators with the most popular content.
Regardless of the platform, the idea is the same. You need content that appeals to a broad audience, and you need content that is marketable and can be sponsored. Now that you know all of this, the question is will you take the next step and try your hand at being a social media influencer?