When Kayla Compton started uploading YouTube videos as a high schooler, it was only a hobby. But in college, Compton suddenly started taking her social-media presence more seriously.
Compton now has about 3,400 YouTube subscribers and almost 2,000 Instagram followers. The 23-year-old is based in San Diego and works a full-time job as a social-media manager.
And what began as a teenage passion is now a fruitful side hustle for Compton.
Most of Compton's income as a part-time "nano" influencer comes from these three sources:
* YouTube's Partner Program (also known as AdSense)
* Affiliate links (which allow creators to earn a commission on sales)
* Brand sponsorships
YouTube is Compton's main focus. Through YouTube's Partner Program (which pays creators a commission from Google-placed ads on their videos), Compton earns now earns about $150 per month since being monetized in July 2020. YouTube creators qualify for this program once they hit 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours.
Since July, she has also earned about $350 through affiliate links, Compton said. (Insider verified these earnings with documentation provided by Compton.)
Then, there are brand sponsorships.
"A lot of people might think, 'Oh, if you have a thousand followers, no one's going to pay you for that,'" Compton told Insider. "But if you have a very engaged audience and you can target people really well and have a good connection with your audience, brands will pay for that."
Over two years ago, Compton landed her first sponsorship as a brand ambassador for Pura Vida Bracelets, she said.
Since becoming an ambassador for Pura Vida, Compton has driven over $15,000 in sales, she said. She earns a 10% commission from every direct purchase.
Compton includes her Pura Vida sponsorship in her 8-page media kit, a document that summarizes and highlights her YouTube and Instagram performance metrics, capabilities, and past brand work. She makes sure to share this media kit with any brands that reach out to her, or that she pitches herself for potential sponsorships.
But it's not as easy as just reaching out to a brand and sending a media kit, Compton said.
"You really want to explain to them who you are and why it makes sense to collaborate with that brand, and what you can create for them," she said.
Nano influencers like Compton often have to illustrate to brands that their smaller audience is valuable, compared to other creators with larger followings. So in her initial emails, she takes the time to introduce herself and pitch the brand.
"You really need to sell yourself," she said.
Once she starts a conversation with a brand, she'll ask about their budget and work with them to develop a package rate for content, which includes both YouTube and Instagram content. Her starting rate for packaged content is $250 and covers one YouTube video, an Instagram post, and a few Story slides, Compton said.
Compton prefers package rates because they are more flexible. For instance, she'll sometimes add or remove deliverables in order to meet a brand's needs. In some instances, she'll also work with brands in exchange for free products.
On average, Compton will do one to two sponsorships each month, she said. But since she still works a full-time job, that limits the amount of pitching and branded work Compton can take on.
Compton introduces herself on the second page and lists out her hobbies and interests. Her media kit is also designed in the same fonts and colors that she uses across her social-media platforms.
She also includes her email early on in the kit.
"I feel like you can never have your email on too many places," Compton said.
Then, Compton shares her two main social-media platforms: YouTube and Instagram. On YouTube, she has about 3,400 subscribers and she has about 1,900 Instagram followers.
Compton breaks down her insights (such as traffic and her audience demographics) for her YouTube channel in more detail here.
With 3,400 subscribers, Compton brings in about 21,000 monthly views and reaches a predominantly female audience (89%). Her audience is also 54% 18- to 24-year-olds and 61% US-based.
On Instagram, Compton has about 1,900 followers and an engagement rate of 5.6%. Her page receives about 1,000 views per month.
Here's a breakdown of her audience on Instagram:
* 81% female
* 44% 18- to 24-year-olds
* 75% US-based
She highlights her past branded content and sponsorships, such as her ongoing ambassadorship for Pura Vida Bracelets. Compton includes that she's driven more than $15,000 in sales since joining.
Other brands she's collaborated with include: Amazon, Time Bloc, and Carfia.
Outside of her part-time career as an influencer and her full-time job, Compton also runs a small business on Etsy selling stickers and hosts a podcast.
Compton concludes her kit with her email once more, a few photos, and her Instagram handle.