There’s no doubt that teaching is one of the most rewarding careers out there. However, most teachers’ salaries are set in stone, with little room for negotiation. If you want to make extra money as a teacher, you may have to look for opportunities outside of the classroom.
While you can certainly pick up an extra job in your spare time, you may want to consider using the skills and content you already have to get paid. Becoming an educational influencer — someone who makes money posting content on social media — can help you do just that.
If this sounds like your dream side hustle, discover what you need to know about helping your fellow teachers improve their craft while making some extra cash as an influencer.
Find Your Niche
As an educator, you’re already acting as a student influencer every day. Consequently, you may think that you’ve already found your influencer niche. Education is, after all, what you specialize in. However, you must be able to drill down further than that to find the specific audience you want to create content for.
Do you want to be a college influencer helping students pursue scholarships for higher education? Are you a master of classroom management or student discipline? Do you know how to gamify any lesson? To carve out your own unique corner of the education influencer space, you need to figure out what special knowledge you hold that can help other teachers. Create content on that topic.
Choose Your Platforms
If you’re an educator still in the classroom, you’ll have a limited amount of time to work on your social media venture. That means you may not have time to engage on every platform, so choose your platforms wisely.
Educational influencers can make money in any number of places, including Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Pinterest. You may start out experimenting with making content for each of them and then evaluate where you get the most engagement or can score the best brand deals. To maximize your social media paycheck, focus on the most popular platforms and the ones that bring you the most significant results.
Grow Your Network
If you want to make money as an educational influencer, you’ll have to work on growing your network so you can get your content out to the masses and others can discover your work. You can accomplish this goal by:
Asking other popular educator accounts to repost your content so their followers can discover you
Engaging in the comments on other influencers’ posts — this can be as simple as cheering on another educator or responding with advice
Figuring out which hashtags the most popular accounts are using and incorporating them into your social media strategy — this helps you show up in searches and allows others to find you
Growing your social media network does take a lot of effort at first. However, the more followers you have, the easier it is to gain exposure and make money.
Understand Monetization Tools
Making extra money as an educational or college influencer means understanding your monetization options. For example, while Instagram no longer pays creators to make video content, the platform supports helping influencers make money in several other ways. For example, you can start a subscription service right inside the app, where you can offer exclusive content to subscribers in exchange for a monthly fee.
The YouTube Partner Program offers similar options for accounts that reach certain milestones. Knowing how your fans and followers like to engage with you will determine the best monetization strategies for your account, so pay close attention to how your followers respond to your content.
Take Your Influence Off of Social Media
As an educator in the real world, it’s important that you don’t forget about growing your influence in the real world. You may want to think about putting together a TED Talk and networking with TEDx event coordinators for speaking opportunities. You can also consider pitching a presentation for a popular teacher conference like “Teach Your Heart Out.”
You may also want to create your own website and use internet marketing tactics to grow your popularity outside of social media. Even though you’re taking action on other platforms, these things will no doubt build your influence on social media, as those who encounter your content elsewhere will naturally want to find and follow you on all platforms.
Don’t Forget to Remember Your “Why”
In your journey to become the ultimate educational influencer, it’s important that you remember why you’re doing it. You understand the importance of obtaining a quality education, and you want to help other educators give students what they need to thrive inside and outside the classroom.
When you can focus on this fact, you’ll have much less trouble consistently creating and posting content and doing the hard work of growing your influence. As a student influencer in the classroom, you have the expertise to share that can help teachers and students far and wide, and that alone makes the journey worth it.