How many views and followers do

you need to give up the day job?

Teacher. Police officer. Doctor. These are some of the common answers that used to be given by children when asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, but now there’s a new dream job to add to the list: social media influencer.

Influencers are a rapidly growing breed and the top ones are making some serious money, so it’s no wonder that more and more people are looking to give up the day job, with around 22,000 people each month searching for “how to become an influencer” on Google.

So, how much actual influence would you need to make a living this way? There are obviously a whole host of factors that come into play, and you would need some intangible things in your favor too, such as a strong personal brand, a well-defined niche, and an engaged community.

Even with these things in place, social media creators’ salaries can vary massively. Certain niches pay more than others and are more competitive than the next, your own personal branding can also play a huge part in whether you land long-term brand partnerships which often provide a more stable income.

So when it comes to the cold, hard numbers, how many followers, views, and posts would you need to make the wage that you’re currently earning?

Using various industry estimates, we’ve created the following calculators so you can work out just that! Bear in mind, the calculators we’ve created can't include every factor so treat these estimates as an estimated base rate.

Select Currency:

Enter your desired salary...

You need a minimum of 1,000 YouTube subscribers and

xxx

yearly views

or...

You need a minimum of 5,000 Instagram followers and

xxx

sponsored posts a year

or...

You need a minimum of 10,000

TikTok subscribers and

xxx

views a year

To earn your annual salary of

and give up your day job.

Based on the estimates below

Social media requirements to earn the average US salary

Based on the estimates above, this means that to earn the average full-time salary in the US ($34,103), you would need:

8,158,612

views on YouTube

or...

105

sponsored posts on Instagram

or...

93,177,596

views on TikTok

YouTube

YouTube is another hugely popular platform for influencers, with some of the top YouTubers currently earning million-pound salaries.

To get started making money on YouTube you need to be eligible for monetization through YouTube’s Partner Programme (YPP), which will allow you to earn money through ads on your videos.

To join, you’ll need at least 1,000 subscribers and have racked up more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last twelve months.

The average advertiser pays $7.60 for every 1,000 impressions on their ad, but bear in mind that Google keeps 45% of this ad revenue. This means that you can expect to make $4.18 for every 1,000 views.

Did you know?

All of your ad revenue can be taken away if you use copyrighted material in your content. Make sure you understand YouTube’s copyright rules, especially when using music.

1,000

Subscribers required
to start making money

4,000

Hours of watch time
required to start
making money (in the
last year)

$4.18

Estimated earnings per
1,000 views

5,000

Followers required
to start making money

$350

Estimated earnings
per post

Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, and you might think that you have a fairly healthy following, but it’s estimated that you need at least 5,000 followers before you can start to actually make any money from it.

For the calculator above, we’re assuming that you have a following of around 5,000, at which point you can expect to earn about $350 per sponsored post, but that number can very quickly increase, to around $700 per post once you hit 10,000 followers, while larger accounts with followers into six figures can earn over $4,000 per post.

TikTok

TikTok is the new face on the block when it comes to social media, but its rise shows no sign of slowing down, especially amongst younger users.

Like YouTube, TikTok has a partnership program, the TikTok Creator Fund, and to join, you’ll need 10,000 followers and more than 10,000 views in the last 30 days, but as always, the more that you have, the more you can potentially earn!

It’s estimated that users with a notable following can earn between two and three cents per 1,000 views, so it’s clear that to make any serious money here, you’re going to need a viral hit on your hands.

Did you know?

TikTok sensation Nathan Evans landed a life-changing record deal when his video performance of 'Wellerman (Sea Shanty)' went viral. Why not use the track in your next video?

10,000

Followers required
to start making money

10,000

Views required to start
making money (in the
last 30 days)

$0.03

Estimated earnings
per 1,000 views

Methodology

The calculators above are purely estimates based on the following sources, and the actual number of followers, posts and views required to make a living on these platforms will vary a lot depending on a number of individual factors.

YouTube

Based on Influencer Marketing Hub’s YouTube Money Calculator, which estimates that the average YouTube creator received $7.60 per 1,000 views (assuming that everybody watches the ads on their channel), with 45% of this revenue going to Google and the creator taking the remaining 55% ($4.18). Requirements for the YouTube Partner Programme taken from YouTube Help.

Instagram

Based on estimates from Creator agency Seven Six influencers need at least 5k followers to start earning, at which point they can earn around $350/£250 per sponsored post.

TikTok

Based on SocialPubli’s ‘How many followers do you need on TikTok to get paid?’ blog post, which estimates that it’s possible to earn €0.02 to €0.03 per 1,000 views. We used an estimate of $0.03 per 1,000 views. Requirements for the TikTok Creator Fund taken from TikTok.