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HerMoney Podcast Episode 315: The Economics Of Becoming An Influencer  

Kathryn Tuggle  |  April 20, 2022

Looking to become an influencer? Here’s what it takes, and how much you can really earn, from a top creator on TikTok.

Many of our listeners subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts — and we want to thank you so much for that! — but we also hear from a lot of you who found us on social media. Social media is THE place where so many of us spend time checking out the day’s news or getting updates from friends, and then the next thing you know, we find ourselves engaged with something we didn’t even know existed, but we’re pretty much immediately in love with — maybe it’s a new product we want to try, a book we’ve been wanting to read — or a person we want to follow. 

The competition to be seen and heard on social media these days is fierce. Many companies don’t even advertise via traditional channels anymore — instead of commercials or magazine ads, they simply launch an influencer campaign wherein A-listers are asked to promote their product for payment… And it works. That’s because so much of our lives are on social media now, and we trust the people we follow. (And even if your favorite content creators aren’t trying to sell you anything, we’re are all being influenced.) 

And all this got us to wondering —  what is life really like for an influencer, and if we’re looking to become one, what’s really going on with influencer economics? 

To break all of this down for us is Kris Collins. Her 43.6 million followers on TikTok, her 5.7 million subscribers on YouTube and her nearly 2 million followers on Instagram know her best as “KallMeKris.” She is one of the top 20 most followed creators on TikTok — and get this — she joined less than two years ago, in April of 2020. Since then, her videos, which range from sketch comedy to authentic conversations about mental health, have captivated the world. Some of our favorites include, “If Introverts were honest” “Growing up with a brother,” and her series on “What I imagine it’s like to have a toddler,” wherein she plays the toddler and the parents. (Her range is truly incredible.) Kris’s past brand partnerships include Amazon, Netflix, Lionsgate and Pantene. Last year, YouTube named Kris their #1 Breakout Creator of 2021, and she was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list this year. 

Listen in as Jean and Kris discuss what it really means to be an “influencer” and what it takes to build a brand using social media, to be seen and heard by a wider audience.  We also get real about what to think when we see an influencer promoting a product or service — is it something we should consider for ourselves? 

One of the many reasons we love Kris is because in addition to being an influencer, she’s also an advocate for financial literacy. She tells us about her path to saving and investing and what inspired her, at 25, to get a financial advisor and make sure she was prepared for the future. (She has invested in stocks and in real estate, and in a new platform called able, which is an easy-to-use income management app for freelancers and gig workers.) 

She also gets real about how much influencers really earn — anecdotally we’ve heard that that influencers who can grow their followings to 50,000 can potentially earn as much as $100,000 per year with the right partnerships, and that there’s a formula involved — influencers can charge brands $100 for every 10,000 followers. (Hint: Kris says there is no real “formula” — you’re in charge of being your own advocate, and once you get big enough, ideally you can find an agency that will advocate and negotiate for you.) In Mailbag, we tackle questions on helping a younger family member choose a career, and the financial steps to take after losing a parent.  In Thrive, the best coupon apps to save money when shopping online. 

This podcast is proudly supported by Edelman Financial Engines. Let our modern wealth management advice raise your financial potential. Get the full story at EdelmanFinancialEngines.com. Sponsored by Edelman Financial Engines – Modern wealth planning. All advisory services offered through Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. (FEA), a federally registered investment advisor. Results are not guaranteed. AM1969416

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The HerMoney podcast is supported by      Edelman
All advisory services offered through Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. (FEA), a federally registered investment advisor. Results are not guaranteed. AM1969416

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