Cyrene Quiamco started creating selfies with celebrities, by drawing cartoon look-alikes on snapchat. She makes money through snap chat by selling sponsored doodles to companies, both as single snaps, as well as ‘story’ telling. Chris Carmichael created a huge following online by being one of the first storytellers on snapchat in Iceland and used this platform to get sponsored deals.
It was initially considered challenging to make money from snap chat because there is no user discovery system in place, and you can’t tell how many followers you have. Launched in 2011, snapchat lets users add drawings, doodles, filters and captions to their photos and videos. Snaps can be viewed for a maximum of 10 seconds and then they disappear forever. You need to be at least 13-years-old to use snapchat. It is difficult to get followers because there is no way of people discovering you unless they search for you directly. This makes it hard for non celebs to get a huge following.
“There is no way of people discovering you unless they find out about you through a shout-out, word of mouth, or through some sort of blog post or media coverage. There is no user discovery on Snapchat and it’s impossible to know how many followers you have. I was lucky enough to be one of the earliest and most followed people on Snapchat” says Chris Carmichael.
Cyrene Quiamco started doodling celebrities into selfies and called it her “Celebrity Selfie” series.
“It was always my dream to take selfies with celebrities, and I thought it would be fun — and funny — to make that a reality through the magic of Snapchat doodles. Kevin Jonas Instagrammed my doodle ‘with’ him, and that was my first viral Snapchat.” says Quiamco
She also created a series called The Ele Machine where a cartoon Sidekick called Ele goes on adventures with her in a world she has drawn on snapchat. A year later, she quit her job to make money from snapchat full time. She gained sponsors from Walmart, Disney, Samsung and MTV for her doodles and before long she was taking real life selfies with celebrities.
She took snapchat doodling to the next level where she created interactive games with incentives for players to play and win prizes in the fictional world she was creating on snapchat. These games or episodes could make her up to US$30,000. Her yearly salary is about US$500,000 and she works part time hours.
Chris Carmichael was one of the earliest users of snapchat and word of mouth spread quickly that he was storytelling every day. Months later he collaborated with some internet celebrities and he garnered a huge following with 140k views per snap.
Brands can pay to take over an account to promote their product, but the brands have to appear genuinely appropriate and believed in by the influencer for the viewers to stay. Influencers get paid more depending on how many followers they have.
“Brands pay influencers in a number of ways. They can hire the creator to do an ‘account takeover’ on the brand’s account or hire the creator to promote a message through the creator’s account to their fans. The key here is to find brands that truly resonate with you so you can tell your audience an honest message that you truly believe in” says Carmichael.
Snapchat is the most difficult social media platform for someone who is not a celebrity to use for marketing to make money on.
These examples show you need to be very talented at drawing and have a creative angle or idea, or be in the right place at the right time and create a stir in your community. Photography that disappears quickly is appealing to many users for fun and can be honed for a marketing tool as well.