Are you looking to make money with a personal brand? It’s possible to build a brand online that earns you hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. These experts hosted a panel Q&A session to share the best tips for earning money with a brand online.
Keep reading to see what they shared and how you can use this in building your own online business.
Who are the brand experts?
The following list of experts on making money with a brand online have all formed a successful brand that allows them to make a living and even build wealth.
Here are the panelists:
- Sharon Tseung – Digital Nomad Quest
- Jade Darmawangsa – Jade Darmawangsa
- Nate O’Brien – Nate O’Brien
- Alex Nerney – Create and Go
- JJ Buckner – JJ Buckner
- Sean Pan – EverythingREI
- Charlie Chang – Charlie Chang
- Marko – Whiteboard Finance
- TJ Lee – Cup of TJ
- Sandy Lin – Small Business Tips
- Brandon – Investment Joy
- Denis – TruFinancials
- Kelly – Freedom in a Budget
- Chris Winter – Chris Winter
- Suzanne – Arvabelle
- Mary – Pennies Not Perfection
Everyone listed has grown their brands beyond just a single YouTube channel or singular platform.
These panelists make money from their brands via courses, podcasts, websites, digital products, affiliate marketing, Patreon, startup companies and more.
- Memberful.com (creating and packaging products)
- Beacons (mobile website builder similar to linktree)
- Teachable (courses and membership sales)
- Tailwind (scheduling for Pinterest)
- Planoly (scheduling for Pinterest & Instagram)
- Mix Max (email)
- Social Rank (evaluate influencers)
Making Money With A Brand Questions
Below are the questions and answers that the panelists answered.
Passive Income Streams
I own a digital marketing agency and we are trying to add passive income streams like DIY, DIWY and still keep the done for you. Are there any resources to help create these DIY and passive income products? How can we package and develop the curriculum of what we offer our clients into a DIY system with things like courses and access to our team?
Jade: Most people have too many platforms and it can get really confusing so packaging should bring people to your website so there are not too many segmented places.
If you already have a site, check out Memberful.com that connects all the platforms and your paid email list. Memberful allows payment processing for all the platforms so you aren’t utilizing multiple platforms. It could connect to the future products you create from courses to paid newsletter and so many other features.
Sandy: Also check out Beacons, similar too Linktree but offers payments and works with Stripe.
Sharon: Check out Teachable, it hosts courses and also membership options as well.
I would like to know about marketing courses. What do you recommend to try for the first time?
Sharon: We recently launched a course successfully and we used email blasts, Instagram and Facebook groups. We focused on delivering a lot of free content around our topic to deliver value and then if people wanted the step by step they could buy the course. Building the relationship with the audience came first and then that led to course sales.
Once you have sales then you can reach out to customers for testimonials and share those along with answering frequently asked questions and refining your sales page. Then once you’ve got that done just announcing it on your multiple platforms to your existing audience.
Sean: We also did a lot of lives and let people see we were real people and get to know us. This let people know more about us to encourage them to buy from real people doing this and answering their questions. We got sales during each live we did.
Is anyone on Pinterest? I’ve had some brands reach out and I know it’s been good for mommy bloggers long term.
Sandy: Pinterest is great for video and they are pushing it so definitely repurpose your reels and tiktoks as content for Pinterest.
Sharon: I use Tailwind to schedule for Pinterest for my site.
Other notes: Use creator studio and official partner platforms like Planoly for scheduling otherwise sites like Pinterest will lower your reach and cause potential problems.
New Income Streams
What would you suggest for a YouTuber who just reached 100,000 and is ready to reach the next level? We’ve hit the goal of making our income from home but ready for the next level. Next goal is to ratchet that up. We have an MLM business, Youtube, and we are looking for the next income stream to create stability if one income stream disappears. Another group suggested making something I own since I don’t own the other streams. I have home improvement type content with 145k subs on YouTube and 6k followers on Instagram.
Nadya: I feel like Instagram is a missed opportunity here if you aren’t utilizing short form content for your home related content. You can lean into the short form content on all of these platforms (YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat). I’ve seen an influencer with a more engaged audience on Instagram has potential for higher brand sponsorships.
Other easy ways would be to white label into a brand including the tools you need to do home improvement at home since that’s your topic.
Jade: I would reframe this and look at creator longevity. You are a media company that also has a product. We are building a community and making sure you are on the right platforms to build community long term is important. If you don’t want to clog up your main channel then you can start a second for short form content but definitely focus on the audience cultivation and then work on the product.
Create a newsletter or an email or even Facebook messenger (which could be an email replacement with a better open rate since email is not the only option). Creating this will flesh out your overall funnel and help with the multiple platforms leading to a product.
I recommend having multiple platforms at 100k, evening out your followings on all platforms to hit this will lead to a better overall stable income.
There are 3 ways to monetize as a creator – sponsored, affiliate, or white label and be the owner of the brand. Looking into creating your own brand and supply chain by doing something like raising money to create a branded product in the home improvement field.
Recommendations: first even out platforms, even out email list, and then create product and merchandise to grow your brand.
Choosing Your Platform
I’m starting out now as an artist and my focus is an Etsy art business. I’ve also wanted to do YouTube and have so many interests. How do you decide the best platform for your business? Is there a way to figure out the best platform for what content?
Mary: Filtering in people from different areas is great as long as you are doing content that makes sense on each platform. I’ve had success on YouTube showing my products being used in videos since they are printables meant to be used. Seeing the product in use or being created always generates curiosity in potential buyers.
Tiktok is a great platform for Etsy sellers right now especially for art since people enjoy timelapses in addition to behind the scenes content. People love watching these and the extra views can grow your audience and bring in potential buyers who will head to your shop and purchase. Showing off how your product is used on YouTube can be done in a similar way and you can even create longer form content showing the product creation.
Another thing to note is Etsy is it’s own platform that is search based and it’s own beast to learn beyond any of the social platforms. That’s great because it can bring you traffic and potential buyers as well. Definitely learn about the SEO and ways Etsy can bring in traffic to your art for you. There are lots of ways to get your art seen on the Etsy platform itself when you are correctly utilizing SEO, tags, and participating in groups that have sprung up around Etsy with your type of art or style.
How can I use get content creators to use my original music that I’m creating?
Jade: I see you are doing inspired beats and for the jazz type beats so you need to link people by remixing it. Ask yourself how can I make my content link to a relative audience by including things like an artist name and remixing to pull in that audience who is relevant. Doing a Billie Eilish remix with your own music for example.
Also I highly recommend using TikTok and using duets so you make a track for someone to duet that enables them to share your content. Also using stitching when you mesh a popular track with your own beat. So picking a trending song and putting your music in to remix so you tap into the trends and reach more people.
I created a product that has nothing to do with what I do for a living or what I’m known for widely. I’m not sure where the connection is and how to connect with the audience on clubhouse or other platforms that would want this product. How do I reach people when it’s not what I do full time?
Denis: Sometimes you curate a different audience on different platforms. I offer financial videos on YouTube but share about the aspects of making money on YouTube on clubhouse. So it’s ok to work on different audiences in different places.
Jade: Agreed, you can have different audiences on different platforms. On TikTok I have a large audience that loves surfing even though that’s not my main topic elsewhere. It’s brought me sponsorships and new audiences and built my overall business even though it’s not my main topic. It’s helpful to grow an audience and doing something different can bring in new opportunities.
Denis: Shifting your style can help you keep growing and learning because you are trying something new. Nate O’Brien is a great example of this to break through plateaus because he changed up his content in order to keep growing and get to 1 million subscribers.
I’m a new realtor and I thought it would be great to share my journey so I create content about how to do this and how I created a referral business. I have been on TikTok for about a month and made a discord community but my reels are not doing well. There is no engagement beyond my followers and it’s not reaching out. I’ve been posting daily for two months. How can I reach a larger audience with reels on Instagram?
Sean: I did 30 days of short form content and reels did the best but I don’t know why.
Sandy: Don’t give up. It takes reels 3 weeks to a month to catch up on the content you’re creating and start sharing your content.
I suggest posting less on reels instead of every day. Posting every day or posting too much can lose you followers. Sometimes if people see your content too much they get annoyed and unfollow. Post 3-4 times a week and only post content you know will do well. Tiktok and Instagram are very different;
Jade: If people scroll by because you are posting too much they won’t show it to larger groups. Tiktok is different and doesn’t show to the existing audience first but instead pushes it out beyond your followers, so use it to test. Also test different things because it’s all about patience and figuring out what works. It’s just about timing sometimes. Sometimes we see people go viral but there can be years of work behind it.
With Facebook, if you are not advertising and just making posts with your links are they not allowing people to view your content? If you don’t advertise will you get less views? If you share with links will they throttle your views and engagement? What are some tips and work arounds?
Suzanne: Make sure you are posting from your business page to make sure you are getting that reach. Facebook isn’t suppressing posts but they push out organic content rather than links off the site. Facebook doesn’t want to push content that pushes people off the platform. Some people instead directly upload their content to the platform like uploading their Youtube video to Facebook rather than sending people to YouTube.
Sean: Links on my personal page do ok but when I do the same links on my business page they only get 1-2 likes unless I advertise.
Mary: Suzanne is right. Like all platforms, Facebook wants to keep users on their site. You will notice that any of these sites from Facebook to Instagram to YouTube focus on keeping users on their platform for the longest period possible. So they aren’t going to promote things that take people off platform to another site.
I personally don’t have a brand but would like to become an affiliate marketer. What are you looking for when you reach out to people to promote your products? What have you noticed that makes your affiliates successful?
Sharon: You don’t need a huge platform if you create long form content where you are trying to rank for keywords that encourage someone to make a purchase. Creating a bunch of informational content that will rank and encourage someone to buy tends to be successful. Also the most successful are people who actually use and love the product, not just promote things that they can make money from. It’s also easier to make content around this.
Denis: You don’t have to have a big following. I went full time on Youtube with 10,000 subs because of affiliate marketing. The key is you have to give value to people in order to get them to click through and purchase. If you are getting started, get started with things that you are using and once you are better and understand the audience you can move on to things that you don’t use. This is what I’ve done and now I promote things I don’t personally use as long as I know the product is good.
Also keep it relatively the same niche with the products you are promoting. It won’t make sense to an audience if you are promoting all different things from beauty to home to finance and are all over the place.
Nate: You can also have a company make an affiliate program for you if you have the traffic. I’d start with building traffic and use that to go to companies with products if you want to promote.
Selling Physical Products
I’m a personal trainer who created a physical product. How do I continue the success I had with in person events selling products where I sold out in person? I want to reach new customers and clients and I want to build further. Should I send products to influencers? What advice do you have?
Denis: You’re more like the advertiser looking for publishers to create content. As a creator we get a ton of emails asking for promotion from brands with products. I’d look at smaller influencers who usually have more engaged audiences on every platform. Finding those creators with 1,000-10,000 follower audiences will lead to sales and provide a much easier path.
Jade: I would go very local based. Emailing 100 random influencers won’t stand out because tons of companies are doing that so doing something different and local based would stand out. Or going to colleges where college students are becoming influencers and giving them product and they do a once a month zoom workout or something. Doing something different that stands out or is fun and unique or be very hyper specific in location where you work with just influencers from a certain college or city.
Sharon: We are doing influencer outreach right now and we had out interns find accounts they resonate with so it’s not a random list of people. We use a tool Mix Max to automate the outreach and follow up with influencers.
Jade: Use calendly to schedule times for bootcamps so people can give input on times they can make a live class. Build up your email list before hand to make sure you aren’t doing bootcamps or workouts for two people.
Where can you find influencers to help promote your brand? I sent my product to an influencer and go no traction and sales.
Jade: That happens to all of use. She might have fake followers but it actually happens to all of us. Sometimes you share something and no one swipes up. That’s why brands do long term relationships with year long contracts or 4-5 posts because the first few campaigns might not provide much. Longer basis is better. You can also look into YouTubers because it’s harder to fake followings on YouTube.
If you want to see if they have a true following you can check on Social Rank.
Denis: Also consider some people are great at engagement but not great at being a salesman. Not all influencers have this so it is important to make sure you are evaluating whether or not the influencer can sell, not just if they get engagement.
Big brands reached out to me to sponsor a fireside chat after I created a successful ClubHouse community. I haven’t seen anyone monetize here so how would I price it?
Jade: My question would be to find out what their goal is and what their intention is to achieve. Shoot for the stars and then let the negotiation happen until it’s something you can accept. Shoot your shot.
Suzanne: Definitely overshoot on whatever price you think you should get. Ask for more when it’s big companies because they will definitely pay for that.
Sean: Also remember you are setting a standard for everyone on Clubhouse and future monetization.
I have a job, a wedding photography business, podcast, and I made $12 from blogging in December which was the best $12 I’ve ever made. What do you think can help becoming a thought leader and grow this without killing my limited free time? Tips and strategies without spending too much time. I’m overwhelmed with options and feel limited time.
Sharon: It’s about what your are interested in like if you enjoy writing then do blogging. The platform matters less because you don’t need a huge audience to earn money with affiliate marketing. If you are giving a lot of value to the audience then the platform matters less.
Denis: The biggest thing with affiliates is that there are products you need to recommend that you don’t need but can help your audience. I also feel good when I make a sale because I know that will help people long term.
Mary: Double down on what is already working. It’s super easy to get caught up in shiny object syndrome and always start new outlets. But if something like blogging is working for you or your podcast is you main thing, double down on that. You don’t have to be everywhere especially if you have limited time and capacity.
Content Creation Vs Business Operations
I’m documenting my journey as a 20 year old building a business and want to build a sustainable audience that connects with me. I’m getting lost in between when I’m building the operations of the business versus when I’m creating content. I feel like when I’m doing one I can’t do the other as well and would like to know how to manage this?
Jade: You have to manage both. It helps to outsource things where you don’t have to spend the time to do things like editing. Also, ask yourself what kind of entrepreneur you want to be in five years. If you love the talking and videos then maybe you want to be more of the creator type business.
When things get hard and you have less time, when you know who you are and what you want to be then you know which you’ll want to focus on. It’s imperative to do both so delegating can help with accomplishing that.
Also try to use platforms with short form content because that is a lot easier than making long form Youtube content.
TJ: One thing I do is dedicate one day to all the content creation where I film everything and then have that delegated for editing and then the rest of the month you can work on your business. You can do everything but need to be able to focus.
How did you outsource your editing and where did you find those people?
Jade: They are people I know or people that reached out to me. It’s about the culture you want to build. Do you want to be friends with them and in person a lot? I personally choose local and aligned values.
TJ: Ditto about vibes with the person. I have tried upwork and agencies but I feel like the editor should understand your brand and vibes and humor and that’s great.
Mary: I’ve had great success with finding VAs from The Phillipines which was helpful when I didn’t have a huge budget to work with. My editor I found on Online Jobs PH helped me for over two years and now I’m experimenting with editors from my audience too.
I feel like the instagram algorithm has changed for me and I’m getting less engagement. How do I improve it? Should I diversify to other platforms?
Sharon: Reels changed it for me, I grew from 3k to 50k because of reels mainly.
TJ: Reels has great organic reach. I’d focus on that and pump that. You don’t have to post daily and if you great good content it will help grow your views.
For the main Instagram platform would hashtags help?
TJ: yes hashtags help but be careful because anything basic will be very saturated. If you choose hashtags with 100,000 posts or less it has a better chance to be seen.
I started my brand and reached out to 30 influencers and 10 responded. What are some creative offers to offer influencers besides money? I’d like to work with influences that care about me and my brand not just people in it for the money.
Jade: Flatter their ego. If you can’t offer money then flatter their ego, by doing interviews or a creative content series where they are an exclusive guest. As an example a brand reached out to me but couldn’t pay but they offered for me to be in a fashion show and that seemed cool.
Aim for smaller creators below 100k following because bigger creators are going to expect larger payments.
Those are some of the best questions and answers on both growing your brand online and also monetizing it!
If you want to keep growing, these articles can help:
- YouTube Growth Tips From Erika Kullberg
- Free Websites To Start & Grow Your Online Business
- How To Grow A YouTube Channel
Mary is the founder of Pennies Not Perfection where she shares her journey to build wealth through online income. She quit her day job in 2021 after she paid off her debt and doubled her 9-5 salary.
Mary's favorite free financial tool is Personal Capital. She uses their free tools to track net worth and work toward to financial freedom.