Military spouses make the perfect influencers. For one thing, being an influencer is all about having a “niche” – and the military spouse lifestyle makes the perfect niche (Army Wives, anyone?). For another, military spouses know a lot about the real issues everyday women, single moms, and families are dealing with – like setting up a household, living on a budget, and homeschooling kids.
It’s a competitive field, and there’s no guarantee you’ll make money. But if you enjoy it, it’s worth seeing if you can grow your brand over time. Here are some tips:
Build your Instagram
You won’t make money on Instagram for a while–until you build a big following. “Micro” influencers have anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 followers and can make up to, on average, $88.00 per post by partnering with other brands. But most micro-influencers don’t charge until they have a bigger following so that they can charge more.
It’s best not to think of Instagram as a way to make money off the bat – but it’s something you’ll need to build if you’re going to have a brand of your own. Make sure you make your “niche” clear – are you going to be focused on motherhood? Homeschooling? Budgeting? Minimalism? Traveling? Make sure you have visually appealing posts – whether that means developing graphics or developing your photography skills.
Start your own YouTube channel
The military spouse lifestyle could be the perfect gateway into becoming a YouTube influencer. YouTubers can make $3 to $5 per 1,000 video views, so there’s more money in this social media platform than in Instagram. You could attract other military spouses, soon-to-be military spouses who want to learn more about the lifestyle, and people who are just curious.
Study successful YouTube videos that you like. Why do you like them? Note how they edit their videos and what their backgrounds are. What will your own hook be? To be successful, commit to posting multiple videos per week (those who post 3x a week when starting out are more successful). Pay special attention to your video thumbnail; “suggested videos” are the top source of organic traffic on YouTube, so you’ll want to create a thumbnail people will click on. You can test thumbnails on Google AdWords.
Create an e-course
If you have a special skill or hobby, consider creating an e-course. You can then find students by building your brand on social media, or by purchasing social media ads for your course. Are you great at couponing? Crafting with your kids? Organizing our home? Be creative, see what else is out there (or not), and create something unique to your lifestyle.
There are all kinds of ways to sell a product online. As you build an influencer brand, consider having something to sell. For example, I recently bought a calligraphy workbook that has since gone viral on YouTube. Do you make art, or jewelry, or clothes? Incorporate that into your social media channels.
Reach out to other brands
As you build your presence, reach out to other influencers and see if they’re interested in partnering on a giveaway or other project. Also, find companies that are relevant to your niche and see if they would be interesting in partnering with you (by offering your viewers a discount on their product, for example). As a military spouse, you’ll at least be able to get the attention of many of these companies – people want to support military families.
It takes a lot of work to build a brand, and there’s no guarantee of success. But if you’re persistent, you have a creative idea, and you keep learning, you’ll have a better shot than most.