There are two types of social media users: Those who use social networks for entertainment and those who see each platform with dollar signs in their eyes.
One of the best social media platforms for making money is Snapchat — and this post explains how to do it.
9 ways to monetize Snapchat
- Open an account
- Build a public profile
- Form a brand
- Develop a content strategy
- Grow your audience
- Become a Creator
- Create geofilters
- Advertise on Snapchat
- Try affiliate marketing
A quick primer on Snapchat
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a leading messaging app for Android and iOS that enables users to send videos, pictures, and messages — or Snaps — to one another over a mobile device.
You can also discover content from other users that appears as suggestions based on Snapchat’s algorithm’s analysis of your interests and connections.
How Snapchat works
What makes Snapchat unique is that the pictures disappear a short time after they are viewed. Users can also integrate fun filters and emojis to augment their appearance, convey their mood, or alter their environment.
Just like any other social network, Snapchat users can build large audiences and engage with them directly. Altogether, there are over 118 million users on Snapchat, which means that opportunities abound for monetization.
Generally speaking, the user demographic tends to skew younger.
How to make money with a Snapchat account
1. Open an account
Start by going to the App Store or Google Play Store and downloading the Snapchat app.
Install the app and go through the registration process. Enter your name and email, create a secure password, and put in a valid email address and birthday.
You’ll also need a solid username that reflects your brand image, which we’ll get to shortly.
2. Build a public profile
To reach a wider audience, you need to create a public profile, meaning that anyone in the world can view and share your Snaps.
Even though Snaps have the reputation of being temporary, this is not the case if you have a public profile. Anything you post is viewable and recordable by a global audience.
That being said, use your best judgment. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your mom or your kids to see 10 or 20 years down the line!
3. Form a brand
Next, think about the message that you want to convey to your Snapchat audience. Ultimately, your Snapchat handle should be a direct extension of your personal “brand” or self-image.
Decide if you want to be funny and goofy, if you are going to showcase products, or if you want to be more serious or instructive.
Many journalists are now using Snapchat to connect with global followers to get the news out. Companies like Amazon and Buzzfeed are doing the same.
People are also creating fun “how-to” and explainer videos about topics like cars, food, and a million other things. Like any social platform, Snapchat has niche audiences and content for just about every category you can imagine.
4. Develop a content strategy
Snapchat content often looks like it’s easy to create. However, many of the videos and Snapchat Stories you see on the platform require careful planning and coordination — even the videos that look like they are done on the fly and with little care usually still tie into a larger strategy.
Above all else, making money on Snapchat requires consistency. You have to treat it like a side hustle and pump out exclusive content and memes on a regular basis if you want to make strides on this platform.
As such, it’s critical to develop a content strategy.
Here’s what you need to do: Form a production calendar and outline various ideas that you want to turn into snaps for your audience.
Use individual snaps to build off previous ones, which can help you attract and retain a healthy number of followers. Take a look at the engagement metrics on Snapchat to see what’s resonating with fellow Snapchatters and create new snaps that mirror your top-performing content.
If you don’t consistently produce content, people will quickly lose interest and possibly unfollow you.
You should also focus on doing something different. Snapchat is loaded with people taking selfies with animal ears. If you do that 20 times per week, you’re probably not going to stand out and build a high follower count.
5. Grow your audience
Followers are like a digital currency on social media. If you want to make money on a platform like Snapchat, you need a healthy user base.
Keep in mind that you don’t need millions of users at first. Start small, and try to reach 100 followers, then 1,000, then 5,000, and keep growing from there.
It helps if you already have solid followings on other social media platforms — like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Announce that you’re posting on Snapchat and invite people to follow your new account.
You can also use small hacks to attract more followers. For example, promote other users and give shoutouts from your public profile, and they are likely to follow you back or recommend your content.
- Check out our post on How to Make Money on the Side
Remember, though, that the key to growing your audience is posting on a regular basis and sharing content that aligns with your brand. If you’re all over the place on Snapchat, people may get confused about your account and what you’re trying to promote.
6. Become a Creator
There are two types of Snapchat accounts. You can have a regular profile and attract friends, or you can be a Snapchat Creator and attract followers who can subscribe to your handle.
If you opt to be a Creator, you’ll receive a subscribe button next to your name, making it easy for people to follow you.
There are two ways to become a Snapchat Creator and attract subscribers.
Snapchat gives users the ability to create Lenses through the Lens Studio. If you’re feeling creative, you can design fun Lenses and share them with other community members. Brands can also make sponsored lenses for loyal fans.
Create steady content
You can also earn Creator status on Snapchat by creating regular content and sharing it with your audience. Snapchat automatically rewards high volume content creators after a length of time, so you don’t even have to apply for Creator status if you’re good enough.
Cash in on Spotlight
Spotlight is a newer feature from Snapchat that pays out up to $1 million each day to top content creators. How much you earn and how much exposure your Snaps get is determined by Snapchat’s proprietary algorithms. The more engaging your Snaps are, the better chance you have of getting picked up.
To qualify, you must live in one of the following countries:
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States
In some countries, you need to be over the age of 16. Also, Spotlight does not feature Snaps that are solicitations or ads. Snaps must be creative, high quality, and completely original. Check out the full Spotlight terms.
7. Create geofilters
Another way to make money on Snapchat is to create custom geofilters.
A geofilter is like a regular Snapchat filter, meaning you can use it to modify your appearance. But it only works in a certain location — like a neighborhood or a park.
For example, you can use a geofilter to celebrate the launch of a new business. Or, you can create a geofilter for a housewarming party or wedding.
You can monetize geofilters by creating custom filters for events. People who aren’t tech-savvy are often willing to pay for expert Snapchat users to create filters for them in order to make their event cool and fun.
8. Advertise on Snapchat
When used effectively, Snapchat can be an excellent brand builder for other products and services and an excellent tool for marketers.
Advertising on Snapchat is a great way to connect with niche audiences and start engaging conversations. The company makes it easy to create Snap Ads on their platform, and you can use them to connect with different users and drive traffic to your website.
For example, suppose you have a T-shirt company. Use Snapchat to extend your brand image and turn your clothing company into a lifestyle brand.
You can feature people skateboarding, doing funny things, eating in restaurants, or hanging out around bonfires. The possibilities are endless.
9. Try affiliate marketing
Yet another way to make money on Snapchat is to engage in affiliate marketing. This strategy involves promoting other products and getting a commission any time someone makes a purchase through your channel.
You can also get paid for the number of views your profiles have. This is a nice feature because it prevents you from having to drive actual sales.
Tips for monetizing Snapchat
As you can see, there are many ways to make money on Snapchat. However, success is not guaranteed. There are some important things to keep in mind if you’re considering a career as a social media influencer.
Use good judgment
Social media is full of people doing funny, goofy, and just plain weird things. Yet, for every successful video you see in your news feed, there is a trove of content that never makes it there.
Be careful when creating oddball content — especially if you’re a professional or someone with a brand image that you want to protect. Otherwise, you could go viral for the wrong reason — and this could cost you a lot more money than you’ll make.
As a best practice, make sure that your Snapchat content is on point by running your ideas by a trusted friend or partner.
Think of Snapchat as a stage
Spend some time watching great comedians on Netflix and watch how they tell jokes. Most of the time, they present jokes in a cohesive series, building off previous ones to set others up.
You can use this same strategy when creating digital content on Snapchat. Think of Snapchat as a stage, and you’re a presenter. If you want to attract followers, use one post to set up another one, and another one, and so on.
If you use this strategy, you can create 10 or 20 videos in a row. This is necessary to keep people laughing and engaged with your content. People are more apt to subscribe to your feed when they see several pieces of quality content in a row.
The real key to developing Snapchat followers is building trust with your audience. Focus on creating content that’s authentic and real, and you’ll have an easier time connecting with users.
For example, suppose you want to try an affiliate marketing strategy. Before you endorse a product or show a sale, people need to see why you personally endorse a brand.
Maybe sustainability is your thing. Or, you might be on the leading-edge of fashion.
Give people a “why” when endorsing products, and they’ll be more apt to take action and see you as a thought leader in a particular area of focus.
Don’t rush into Snapchat
Take your time when developing a Snapchat account and avoid rushing into creating a profile — especially if you’re an established brand or someone who already has a robust social following on other channels.
Learn the platform, get to know how it works, and ask others who have used the platform to show you some tips and pointers.
Rushing into Snapchat and creating content will look haphazard and sloppy and could wind up doing more harm than good.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Snapchat a good platform for making money?
Snapchat can be a solid way to make money. However, the vast majority of users that make money are people who already have influence — like movie stars and athletes.
If you want to make money on Snapchat, spend time developing a creative strategy. Focus on a niche area and run with it. You can rise to fame on Snapchat by creating content that resonates with people and earns their trust.
Once you get a significant amount of followers, brands may approach you to advertise their products — leading to cash rewards and fun freebies, like clothes, electronic devices, and personal accessories.
Should I join TikTok?
It largely depends on what your goal is. You can make money on Tik Tok just like you can on Snapchat — as an influencer or advertiser. Or, you may just want to dance — and that’s okay, too!
Before you join any social channel, have a good reason. Make sure that the platform aligns with your personal brand and that you feel comfortable using it.
Remember that in order to be effective on any social media channel, you have to put time and effort into it. Success won’t come overnight. You’ll have to work for it — and probably very hard, too.
Is Snapchat a good side hustle?
Snapchat can be a good side hustle, but only if you are making money.
Think about how much time you have to spend on it during the course of a week.
For example, suppose you want to use Snapchat to showcase your love of the outdoors. That means you’re going to have to actually head out into the wilderness and create content hiking around, hanging out on beaches, or trudging through the snow.
You may find that what starts as a fun and engaging money-making opportunity quickly turns into at least a 10- to 15-hour per week job.
If you want to use Snapchat as a side hustle, you need to develop a plan first and know what you’re getting into. You may find that there are easier and more reliable ways to make money in addition to your full-time job — like doing social media and SEO consulting or building websites for small businesses.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking to make money on social media, Snapchat is definitely something to explore. You can use this platform to connect with global Gen-Z, millennial, and even Baby Boomer audiences from all over the world.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, form a content and monetization strategy, learn how the platform works, and develop solid content.
With patience and the right approach, you could be getting millions of views before you know it.