How do nano influencers actually make money?

Where micro influencers boast between 10k and 50k followers, nano influencers sit within the 1,000 to 10k mark. While many assume that monetisation via brand deals, user-generated content, and affiliate marketing is reserved for the micro and macros, many nano creators are making bank in the same way. 

Take Stacy Kim, a third-year student at the University of California, Los Angeles. With around 3,000 Instagram followers, Kim is building a business as a travel and fashion influencer by leveraging her small audience. How exactly? Her engagement is really high. 

Let’s be real, there are nano influencers like Kim who have ‘only’ 3,000 followers but whose Reels get on average 2,200 views. That’s almost a 70% engagement rate. Then there are other micro influencers who have 11k followers but whose Reels get an average 2,000 views. That’s less than a 10% engagement rate. For brands, a higher engagement rate will often guarantee stronger purchase outcome because the creator has built more trust between influencer to follower. 

As of February, Kim had worked with dozens of brands, used a media kit to pitch partnerships, and earned a total of $5,000 from paid partnerships on Instagram. 

In regards to how creators like Kim are attracting these relationships, they’re often bold in their reach out. From media kits to DM templates, these creators are leveraging their smaller audiences to pitch themselves to brands and ink sponsorships. 

Creators also have a plethora of resources available to them, such as creator marketplaces on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, affiliate-marketing platforms, and third-party influencer-marketing companies that connect brands and creators.

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