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Young Entrepreneurs: Using Social Media to Make Money

Mar 16, 2018

Adults always ask students what they want to be when they grow up. Why can’t we change the question to, “What do you want to be right now?” It is a difficult task to choose a career path to stick to for the entirety of one’s existence. The task becomes infinitely easier when it is possible to take the free trial version of a career. Many students do so by establishing their own businesses – to varying degrees of legitimacy and professionalism – as early as elementary school.

The Role of Social Media

Young entrepreneurs are taking action much more frequently now than ever before. This is because various social media apps provide a large platform for promotion of businesses. For example, many use social media apps such as Etsy to sell their product, and a personal account on Instagram or Facebook to promote their product to their friends.

Social media can be used for more than just being social.Social media can be used for more than just being social.

Selling Clothes

If you have a closet full of clothes you haven’t worn in months, selling them for a profit might be a good idea. If you decide to do so, take out all the clothes you want to sell and look at why you want to get rid of each piece. Does it have holes or a stain? Is it too small? Is it just no longer your style?

If it has holes or a stain, try fixing it before you sell. If the shirt is white, you can take out the stain with a bleach pen. But, if the stain doesn’t come out or if the shirt is not white, you can turn the stain into a fashion statement; like Carrie Bradshaw from “The Carrie Diaries” with her mom’s purse, take a paintbrush and splatter paint it either in one color or many in the style of Jackson Pollock. If there’s a hole, cover it up with an iron-on or stick-on patch, like these cute ones from H&M. If a shirt is truly riddled with holes, turn the holes into a fashion statement by wearing it over an undershirt, like Regina George did in Mean Girls. You can even add some holes of your own to make it look patterned. Who knows, maybe these clothes will look so cute you’ll want to keep them for yourself.

In the digital age, selling clothes is easier than ever.In the digital age, selling clothes is easier than ever.

If your article of clothing is too small, don’t keep it and try to make it work as a crop top. It’s time to move on. Sell it and let someone else have their own adventures with it. If you’re really having a difficult time parting with it, buy it in the next size up.

If it’s no longer your style, make sure you explain that if the selling platform you choose allows you to add captions. Let your potential buyers know that there is nothing wrong with the article of clothing, you just weren’t getting enough use out of it.

As for pricing, charge more for something that’s either brand new, vintage, a high-end brand, or modified. If you hand-painted or added an iron-on to something, you might even be able to get more than you paid for it. Don’t aim too high, though. Getting any money at all for your clothes is better than getting nothing.

Consider how you’re going to display the clothes on your platform. Make sure the photo is high quality and the lighting is good. Include either a picture of you wearing the article of clothing or show it on a hanger to let your buyers know how it lays when worn. If you want to lay it on a blanket or against a wall, make sure the colors of the background compliment the colors of the clothes. Be sure to only photograph one piece at a time.

Once you know what you’re going to sell, how much to charge, and how you’re going to display it, it’s time to pick a platform. Apps and sites such as Depop, Poshmark, and Mercari are accessible, easy to use, and easy to promote. Just create a profile, upload your photos, and link to your profile in your social media bio for your friends to see, and make a Snapchat and Instagram story telling your friends and followers to check out your link. Or, if you want to make it easy, make an Instagram account specifically for selling your clothes and shout it out on your personal. Don’t go crazy trying to sell to people all over the country from the start because shipping can be difficult. Instead, sell locally and hand deliver your clothes by getting a ride to their house.

Making A Product

Ever seen an Instagram account selling slime and thought, “I could do that”? If so, now’s the time. Slime is trending now, but it might not be soon. If you decide to sell slime around your school and hometown, stand out from the many other slime-makers by experimenting. The coolest slimes are the ones with the craziest colors or the most unusual textures. Check out popular Instagram slime accounts to see what slime videos get comments of “cool!” and which don’t. Recreate those slimes and take a well-lit video of the process. Give your slimes fun names and remind your followers to DM you if interested in buying a product.

Making slime is easy and fun!Making slime is easy and fun!

If your creative outlet, like mine, is less through manual artistry but, rather, through creative writing, write something and sell it as a Kindle eBook. This written work can be a novel, a single short story or a collection, a book of poetry, a memoir, or just a collection of thoughts. This is the easiest way to check getting a book published off of your bucket list. Charge about 99 cents per copy, and you’ll get to pocket up to 70 percent of the total profits. Show off your work over Facebook by linking to your eBook, and encourage your friends and family to share the link.

Or, Promote Someone Else’s Product

Many YouTubers or Instagrammers earn money simply by amassing a following, and then they promote various products over their channels or on their feeds. These promoters are called “social media influencers,” and they often flood your timelines with hair and skincare products. If you have a YouTube channel or Instagram with a significant amount of followers, reach out to companies to let them know you’d be interested in promoting their product. The best way to do this is either over direct message or email. Sometimes, you might even get a free product out of it!

Social media makes it easy to communicate a message to potential customers.Social media makes it easy to communicate a message to potential customers.

Or, if you have a friend or classmate who runs a business, offer to promote their product on your social media for a cut of the profits. As for the promotion itself, the best way to successfully gain your followers’ attention is to make the post seem like any of your other posts and not a strategic business move. Make sure the photo is high quality, and keep your captions brief and even add a bit of humor, if you want.

Have Your Say

Comment below to tell us how you feel about this new trend in business, or to share some of your favorite teen-run online shops! Or, if you decide to start a business of your own, share a link.