Many influencers earn the bulk of their money online by promoting products to their followers on Instagram and name-dropping brands on YouTube.
Katy Bellotte, a social-media influencer and YouTube creator, started her YouTube channel when she was 14 years old on the floor of her parents' bathroom.
For my sixteenth birthday, I asked my parents for a Tax ID Number so I could start earning AdSense, she told Business Insider.
Now, nine years and 470,000 YouTube subscribers later, Bellotte earns money a variety of ways, with brand sponsorships at the top, she said. She earns money by placing ads on her YouTube channel and promoting products on her Instagram page (166,000 followers) and podcast, Thick & Thin.
Bellotte said, on average, she earns between $5,000 and $2,400 for a sponsored Instagram post. For an Instagram Story slide, she asks $500 per frame, she said.
She said it's hard to pin down one exact rate, and that when working with a brand, Bellotte and her YouTube manager will set a rate depending on the sponsorship package. A package will typically include one Instagram post, a Story, and sometimes a 30- to 60-second mention in a YouTube video, she said.
Bellotte noted that this comes before taxes and that she pays taxes quarterly. She said she saves 40% of every sponsorship paycheck for taxes.Bellotte's channel.Hello Katy/YouTubeHow Bellotte got started on YouTube
Bellotte's first brand sponsorship was with the makeup brand BH Cosmetics. They sent her a $40 eyeshadow palette in exchange for a video promoting the product on her YouTube channel, she said.
This was back when a brand could ask you to post something in exchange for a product, she said, but added that today, influencers charge for a video mention and should not accept free products as payment.
Bellotte said she doesn't reach out to brands, and that most sponsorship opportunities come from the brand emailing her, or from her management (Matter Media Group) setting up opportunities for her.
Read more: The top 14 talent managers for YouTube creators and influencers who are shaping the future of digital media
Either the brand will say what it wants and how much it's looking to pay, or pitch a concept. Bellotte and her manager will send back a proposal and cost.
All of this is facilitated through my management, she said. I would not be able to handle the workload of this on my own.
Her management receives a 20% cut, she said.Marina BarhamWhat brands are paying for
Bellotte said in her experience, brands will pay more for a package than a single post.
She said after she posts the sponsored content to Instagram, the company will typically come back and ask for specific performance metrics, like how many views a story got, or for the impressions on a sponsored Instagram post. She said some brands will also ask for saves, or how many people saved the post to their personal account.
You'll notice there are some creators out there who are getting smart about this, she said. Saying, 'to enter my giveaway you have to save the post and then do X, Y, Z.' Then when brands ask for the save numbers, they have an inflated number because they'll do things like that.
For more on how to become a successful influencer, according to YouTube and Instagram stars, check out these Business Insider Prime posts:YouTube creator Natalie Barbu breaks down how much money she earns from a video with 100,000 views: Natalie Barbu, a social-media influencer and YouTube creator with 227,000 subscribers, shared how much money she earns from a video with 100,000 views.An Instagram influencer breaks down how much brands pay for sponsored posts, starting at 10,000 followers: The social-media influencer Jehava Brown spoke with Business Insider about how she determines her rates when negotiating with companies like Disney and Walmart.YouTube star Shelby Church breaks down how much money a video with 4 million views made her: The YouTube creator Shelby Church, who has 1.3 million subscribers, broke down how much she earned in Google AdSense from a video with 4 million views.