We are all used to those ads that have celebrity endorsements, you know the ones, like Nicole Scherzinger tipping her face into a pot of yoghurt or Cheryl Cole telling us ‘We’re worth it’, but I bet you didn’t know that thanks to Twitter, us ordinary folk can also make money through advertising too.
Twitter’s video platform Vine allows you to upload a clip and by mentioning a brand, that company will pay you thousands. Don’t believe me? Ask 21-year-old Ben Phillips, who earns £12,000 in just six seconds.
Phillips started uploading clips and now he has around 1.2 million followers. He has so much interest in fact, that he’s had to give up his job in a shoe shop, and work at his ‘Viner’s’ job full time:
“I saw some lads in America were getting loads of interest on this website, so I began with some comedy scenes,” he added: “I was working at my mum’s shop and hadn’t a clue what Vine would turn into, no one was on it in the UK.”
Phillips started off by filming spots with a friend’s toddler called Harley, in which he called him Dr Harley, and the toddler would then give out spoof medical tips. More than six million people have watched one such clip in which Dr Harley tells Phillip’s followers to ‘If you’ve got a boo boo, wash it, kiss it and plaster it’.
But Phillips didn’t start off with millions of followers, however his popularity soared once he starting posting clips of Dr Harley:
“About two months after I started doing Vines with my ex’s little boy Harley, we got around one million followers.”
It was then that advertisers starting getting interested:
“I had companies saying ‘we want to pay you to promote our product’ and management teams contacting me out of the blue. I’d only really promote products that I would use. But it works when I do because we don’t have that ‘celebrity’ status – we’re just ordinary people.”
Phillips thinks that his success is ongoing because he concentrates on making people laugh, and not on how much money he is making:
“The money side of it doesn’t really phase me because my sole intention is to show people skills and cheer them up. Six seconds is enough to make someone smile. People at work, if they’re really bored, can watch a couple of videos and then get back on with the day.”
Mr Phillips recently returned from a trip to Venice. “Just yesterday I was recording on my phone from a gondola – I’m trying to upload videos from landmarks across the world.”
Phillips is now so prolific that he can command around £2,000 per second, but he says that this is great value for money:
“I can guarantee a company one to seven million loops within 24 hours. What magazine could offer that? I’m giving people phenomenal marketing.”
Phillips knows however, that as soon as his popularity fades, the next media star will be picked up and he’ll be dropped without a second thought. As Rob Fishman, founder of social media company Niche, says:
“Whatever the media platform, anyone with a few thousand followers is valuable to companies.”
And Lon Safko, author of the Social Media Bible, agrees:
“It’s all about the eyes. As a sponsor that’s all I care about. Someone might be hot now, but a year from now, people will be bored and move on to the next shiny object. It’s a fad that changes often,” he said.
So how do you make money from your smartphone?
It is essential to build up followers. You might do this by posting funny clips in the first instance, or by following popular people yourself you may get reciprocal followers. Once you have a solid fanbase, you can approach companies that use social media. If you aren’t sure, look around to spot which ones do and get in touch with them. Remember though, this could be a passing fad so you need to get busy with it!
Source: The Telegraph