Social Salaries

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. How to become an influencer: Top tips from the pros – Lickd

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.

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You need a minimum of 1,000 YouTube subscribers and


yearly views


You need a minimum of 5,000 Instagram followers and


sponsored posts a year


You need a minimum of 10,000

TikTok subscribers and


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:


views on YouTube


sponsored posts on Instagram


views on TikTok


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.


Subscribers required to start making money


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


Estimated earnings per 1,000 views


Followers required to start making money


Estimated earnings per post


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 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 this or other TikTok hits in your next video?


Followers required to start making money


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


Estimated earnings per 1,000 views

Monetization requirements for YouTube

YouTube, in particular, needs you to jump through a number of hoops to both enable monetization and then keep it active on your account.

To get monetized on YouTube and start making some serious money, you’ll need to meet the requirements for joining the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). You’ll need to prove you’re following their monetization policies, rack up 4,000 watch time hours within the last 12 months, have over 1,000 subscribers and an AdSense account you can link to your YouTube channel.

Once you’ve ticked all these boxes, and you’re making some money, it’s important to understand how to avoid demonetization on YouTube. Demonetization will see your ads turned off, a suspension from the YPP and potentially a termination or suspension of your whole channel. This usually happens when an account breaches community guidelines, posting abusive or harmful content, but it can also happen for actions a YouTuber makes in the real world.

Follow the guidelines and you’ll have no issue making some serious cash from your YouTube channel.

What Is Lickd?

You may have noticed, most YouTube content creators and influencers only seem to use stock music in their videos. Well, for a long time, this was because stock music was, unfortunately, the only music available to use on YouTube legally (and for a reasonable price).

At Lickd, we think YouTube content creators and influencers deserve better than that! That’s why we made it our mission to make popular chart music available for use on YouTube at an affordable price. As part of our mission, we’re also determined to encourage and educate creators. So, if you’re interested in becoming a creator or influencer, we’re here to help. If you’ve been inspired by our social salary calculator, read our article Learn How To Become An Influencer.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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