What comes to mind when you think of social media influencers? Attractive people sipping champagne on a yacht? Fashion-forward celebrities showing off designer clothing? How about someone cleaning their oven or showing you how to declutter?
It may not sound glamorous, but recent figures reveal the most popular cleaning influencer, or ‘cleanfluencer’, is making almost £7,000 per sponsored post on Instagram. She’s also sold millions of books and has her own Netflix show, ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’.
Read on and find out how cleanfluencers are making so much money, and a few tips on getting involved yourself.
Why cleaning feels good
Back in the 2000s, the TV programme ‘How Clean Is Your House?’ enjoyed huge popularity, and even went on to make a US series. But tidying messy homes was about much more than cleaning: In clearing the clutter, hosts Kim and Aggie helped give people a fresh start, especially those stuck in a rut.
Today, social media has given cleanfluencers the chance to reach millions of people, offering tips, hacks, and inspiration to get people tidying. Posts are often simple: A recent one from Kondo tells followers to empty the dishwasher before guests arrive for a party, to keep things running smoothly. But the backdrop of a sparkling kitchen is undeniably appealing, offering visual inspiration.
It’s true that sweeping floors and washing dishes sounds mundane. But in a VICE article, psychologist Darby Saxbe was quoted as saying, “Life is full of uncertainty and many situations are out of our hands, but at least we can assert our will on our living space.” Cleaning is a great way to gain control, even if that only stretches as far as the kitchen door.
The top-earning cleanfluencers
End of Tenancy Cleaning London has provided figures on the top earning cleanfluencers. Marie Kondo cleans up with an average of £6,800 per post. Born in Japan, she started an organising consultancy business at university and has since spawned a cleaning empire.
Following her is Mrs Hinch, from Essex, who earns an average of £5,900 per post. It’s a sharp drop from there, down to Clean Mama, earning around £1,100 per post, and finally Melissa Maker, at £242 per post. That said, cleanfluencers such as Melissa also make revenue with their YouTube channels and other media.
They’ve shown it’s possible to be a successful influencer with a very niche, everyday theme such as cleaning. In a world of hyper-chic influencers showing off expensive cars and watches, there’s something refreshing about a down-to-earth theme like cleaning.
How do influencers make money?
There are several ways social media influencers make money. Firstly, they need the followers to justify their popularity. Someone with a few thousand followers might make a little pocket money as a ‘micro influencer’. Once you get into the tens of thousands and then 100,000+ range, numbers start reaching the hundreds of pounds or more for a single post.
But who exactly is paying for these, and why? Brands might pay an influencer for a promoted post, such as one showing the benefits of a particular cleaning product. Paid reviews are another method. Affiliate marketing, where influencers take an agreed cut of profits based on promoting products, can also be lucrative.
It might sound like money for nothing, but cleanfluencers and regular influencers alike work hard to bring in followers. Brands understand the power of social media marketing. It’s already become the third biggest ad sector globally (behind TV and paid search, but more popular than print ads).
Could you become an influencer?
Starting a following and building a successful online brand is hard work. The fundamental element is quality content: Find a niche you’re passionate about and post regularly. This could be fabulous food posts, inspiring photography, or becoming the newest cleanfluencer. You don’t want to overload people, but posting at least a few times a week is a good rhythm to get into.
Follow successful accounts and study what they do. The idea isn’t to copy them, but you can get inspiration from their posting frequency, photographic style, and other aspects that make them appealing.
Think outside the box: Why not be the first successful male cleanfluencer? Or show people why they should be interested in your niche hobby. It takes time to build a following, but the internet is full of excellent guides that help walk you through the process.
Don’t expect things to happen overnight, and never pay for followers, as this shows potential marketers you can’t be trusted. The trick is to enjoy yourself and treat it as a side hobby. If you manage to build a brand, you could make money from sharing your passions. If not, keep following others’ accounts, and at the very least you might pick up some handy cleaning tips.