Influencers have become one of the most significant forces shaping consumer behavior in the digital age. So, how do influencers make money? With a global influencer market valued at USD 7.36 billion in 2021 and expected to reach USD 69.92 billion by 2029, influencer monetization is a lucrative opportunity for those looking to turn their online presence into a profitable business. Many influencers have successfully launched their own brands, capitalizing on the trust and loyalty they have built with their followers.
In this article, we will explore 7 essential tips for influencers looking to start their own brand, using rich data and statistics to support our arguments.
The first step for an influencer to launch a successful brand is to identify products that align with your brand and resonate with your target audience. A study by Influencer Marketing Hub revealed that 61% of consumers trust influencers' recommendations for products and services. Therefore, choosing products that reflect your brand's values and appeal to your followers' interests is crucial.
To identify the right products, analyze your audience demographics and engagement data. Evaluate the types of content that generate the most interactions and consider your followers' values, interests, and preferences. By doing so, you'll be able to select products with a high likelihood of success with your audience. For example, if you're a fitness influencer, consider launching a line of workout apparel, supplements, or exercise equipment.
Sustainability and ethical practices have become increasingly important to consumers. According to a 2020 report by IBM and the National Retail Federation, 69% of North American consumers think sustainability is important when making purchases. As an influencer, you should commit to your followers' values and the environment by incorporating sustainable materials and practices into your brand.
Research sustainable materials and manufacturing processes relevant to your industry. For instance, if you're creating a clothing line, consider using organic cotton, recycled polyester, or Tencel. Likewise, if you're developing a beauty brand, opt for cruelty-free, vegan ingredients and eco-friendly packaging.
Your brand's reputation depends on the ethical practices of your supply chain partners. Collaborating with suppliers that meet sustainable standards and respect human rights is essential for maintaining a positive brand image. According to a 2018 survey by Futerra, 88% of consumers want brands to help them make a difference in the world.
Research potential suppliers' certifications, such as Fair Trade, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), or Rainforest Alliance. These certifications provide third-party validation that your suppliers adhere to ethical and sustainable standards. Also, consider conducting on-site supplier audits to verify compliance and foster a culture of accountability.
Selecting the proper manufacturer is critical for an influencer's brand success. Factors such as cost, minimum order quantity (MOQ), and lead times for product delivery can significantly impact your business operations and profitability. New businesses found production or supplier issues significant challenges in their first year. Therefore influencers should get well prepared for it when starting their own brand.
To find the right manufacturing partner, request quotes from multiple manufacturers, and compare their MOQs, pricing, and lead times. Consider visiting manufacturing facilities to evaluate their capabilities and quality control measures. Additionally, seek recommendations from other influencers or industry professionals who have experience working with manufacturers in your niche. For instance, if you are a fashion influencer who aims to establish an eCommerce store, partnering with a China sourcing agent would help you manage the supply chain with low effort.
Product quality is paramount in building a successful influencer brand. As your followers become consumers, you must offer high-quality products and services to ensure they retain the same loyalty. A robust quality control system will ensure your products meet your followers' expectations and bolster your brand's reputation.
Establish a quality control process that includes pre-production, in-line, and final product inspections. Work closely with your manufacturer to set clear quality standards and guidelines. In addition, consider hiring a third-party inspection company to conduct independent assessments of your products, ensuring unbiased results.
Navigating the complexities of logistics, shipping, and customs clearance is crucial for ensuring the smooth delivery of your products to customers. According to a 2019 survey by Convey, nearly 84% of online shoppers consider shipping options a critical factor in their purchasing decisions. Developing a well-structured logistics strategy can improve customer satisfaction and enhance your brand's reputation. To manage logistics effectively, influencers should:
Effective inventory management is crucial for maintaining healthy cash flow and ensuring product availability, essential for a successful influencer monetization strategy. Poor inventory management makes small businesses vulnerable to cash flow issues. Developing a plan for purchase orders will enable you to balance stock levels and cash flow, minimizing the risk of stockouts or overstocking.
Implement inventory management best practices, such as setting reorder points, calculating safety stock, and forecasting demand based on historical sales data and industry trends. Utilize inventory management software to monitor stock levels in real-time and automate purchase order generation. Additionally, consider offering pre-orders or utilizing a just-in-time (JIT) inventory model to minimize upfront costs and maintain cash flow.
Influencers have become a driving force in the fashion industry, impacting the consumer behavior and creating new fashion brands. Here are some brands founded by fashion influencers that have taken the industry by storm and successfully monetized their traffic.
Amlul, founded and creatively directed by influencer Gala González in 2019, centers its brand around the values of responsible consumption, ethical production, and seasonless fashion while producing high-quality, limited edition but affordable clothing for women. Amlul's unique approach to production involves not producing based on seasons or restocking.
The brand works with 36 suppliers in Italy, Spain, and Portugal, all of whom operate in countries where labor laws and market institutions meet international standards. These suppliers are guaranteed good working conditions, worker representation, and development opportunities, ensuring workers' rights are respected throughout the supply chain.
Butter & Hazel is a brand that caters to women who want to be both fearless and feminine; founded in Amsterdam by influencer Benthe Liem and Isidoor van Esch. The brand encourages everyone to create their unique style, whether pairing their products with heels or sneakers or wearing them casually or fancily. All products are designed in Amsterdam and ethically produced in Europe, as the brand strives to be as sustainable as possible. Butter & Hazel uses biodegradable poly bags made from corn and recycled and recyclable customized bags or cardboard boxes for shipping orders. Most EU orders are shipped with CO2-neutral Responsible Delivery, and some orders in select cities in The Netherlands are delivered by bike (Fietskoerier).
Launching a successful brand as an influencer requires careful planning, research, and dedication. Effective collaboration with suppliers, manufacturers, and logistics partners will enable influencers to maintain high-quality products and seamless customer delivery. Lastly, robust inventory management and planning strategies will promote healthy cash flow and stock availability, contributing to long-term brand success.
As the influencer market continues to grow, the opportunity for influencers to monetize their platforms by launching their brands has never been more promising. By adopting these tips and learning from the experiences of other successful influencer brands, influencers can turn their passion and influence into a thriving business venture, all while staying true to their values and the expectations of their loyal followers. Embrace the challenges, stay committed to your vision, and build a brand that leaves a lasting impact on both your audience and the world.