Image Credit: Business Insider
From brand deals to the TikTok Creator Fund, Business Insider chat to TikToker Vi Luong to discuss how much she earns on social media.
24 year old Californian content creator, Vi Luong (@viluong) currently has 1.1 million followers on TikTok. Business Insider spoke with Luong as part of their Creator money series that breaks down how much YouTube, Instagram and TikTok creators earn.
The TikTok star studied business at Chapman University, while applying what she was learning in a social-media class to her personal Instagram for fun. Once she graduated, she started taking social media seriously, while also working a full-time job in marketing. About a year later, towards the end of 2019, Luong started a TikTok account and quickly found her niche, advising people starting a career in social media. Her how-to videos often follow popular dance trends, but add text over the video with her tips for aspiring creators. 10 months after her first TikTok video, Luong quit her job to become a full-time content creator. Vi Luong told Business Insider, “I created a series on TikTok around how to be photogenic, pose, and how to edit. That’s what really blew up my account over the course of 2020.”
Her most-viewed hits include videos on subjects like the top photo-editing apps, with 1.5 million views, how to take Instagram photos on an iPhone, with 2.9 million views, and do-it-yourself clothing hacks, with 11 million views. Luong also has an Instagram account with 94.3k followers and a YouTube channel with 7.4k subscribers.
Luong says she has two main sources of income as a creator: money from brand sponsorships and revenue from TikTok’s Creator Fund, the app’s built-in monetization feature. Typically, she works with fashion and beauty brands such as Revolve and Nivea.
So how much does 1 million TikTok followers earn you? Vi Luong says she usualy charges between $8k and $10k per sponsored video. When starting out, she charged around $3k to $4k per sponsored video. Today, she is working with three brands for year-long sponsorship campaigns, along with her normal mix of one-off collaborations. Luong and her manager Sarah Zakaria, the founder of Sauce Factory MGMT, says they often pitch brands a package deal that includes a TikTok video and Instagram post.
Luong broke down how much she’d earned from sponsorships in 2021. Business Insider verified the numbers with documentation she provided:
- February: about $19,000
- March: about $30,000
- April: about $32,000
- May: about $1,000 (Luong said May was an anomaly because some of her payments were delayed)
- June: about $32,000
- July: about $17,000
Luong says she projects her monthly revenue to increase once the holiday season arrives. “Right now, I am actually scaling back on deals. But throughout this year, I’d say I’ve done on average about four to seven deals a month. Three of those are yearlong deals that I have to post about every month.” She advises creators starting to build a following online to not take every brand deal offered, “I started out by taking a handful of deals a month, but it can be a real time and energy suck. Instead, what I prioritize is high-paying, minimum five-figure deals for brands I genuinely love. I only do a couple of those a month.”
On TikTok, Luong’s account earns about $150 to $300 a month from the Creator Fund. This number varies depending on how often she posts content and how well the content performs. Luong also says she makes money from reselling clothes on Depop.