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Data Snack

Creators Aren't Salespeople

June 18, 2021
Mae Rice

In the creator economy, it's possible to be a full-time influencer. But... where does the money come from? Not from affiliate links, according to a survey of 2,000 creators.

Table of Contents

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It’s pretty intuitive that brand deals are the main source of income for most creators. 

This Influencer Marketing Hub survey data turns that “most” into a specific number: 77% of 2,000 creators. 

But there’s more to it than that. 

Source: Influencer Marketing Hub


3 interesting implications for brands

  1. The alternatives to brand deals are pretty meager. Creators named brand deals as their main source of money 3x more than all other income sources combined.
  2. Influencers aren’t performance marketers. Despite the profusion of affiliate links and codes and swipe-up stories, 95%+ of influencers make more money selling top-of-funnel awareness than conversions. 
  3. Few influencers can compete with their sponsors. Some of the biggest ones may have launched their own DTC products — like Emma Chamberlain’s Chamberlain Coffee — but that’s still a rarity. 

Our takeaway?

Most creators stay financially afloat by driving awareness to outside brands. 

They can monetize their audiences directly — through courses, DTC launches, and even regular old merch — but it’s not that lucrative. 

Yet.

Mae Rice
about the author

Mae Rice is senior editor at MarketerHire. A long-time content marketer, she enjoys interviewing marketing experts and learning about the weird and wonderful feedback loops that connect marketing and culture. She also loves any ad that makes her say "Huh?!" — especially Tim and Eric's ad for Totino's pizza rolls, which she watches way more often than you would think.

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