How to Teach Others About Finances – Investopedia
For many adults, money is often a confusing topic. Though 56% of Americans say they’d give themselves a grade of A or B when measuring financial literacy, 75% say they could still benefit from getting advice and answers from a money expert.
According to the National Financial Educators Council, a lack of financial literacy cost the average American $1,389 in 2021. And according to the 2022 Investopedia Financial Literacy Survey found that 57% of American adults are invested, but just one in three say they have advanced investing knowledge.
Becoming a personal finance influencer is something you might consider if you’re knowledgeable about money and want to share what you know with others.
An influencer is someone who is able to attract and maintain the attention of a target audience and influence that audience’s behavior and habits, typically through content shared via a blog, a website, or social media platforms. A personal finance influencer is someone who uses their visibility to teach others specifically about finance and good money management.
Personal finance influencers can earn money by sharing what they know. They may provide some content and information for free, but they can also generate income from their efforts. Some of the ways they can make money teaching others include:
More Americans are turning to influencers and social media for money advice. For example, 27% of Gen Z adults and millennials say Twitter has had an impact on their money decisions, while 32% said the same about Instagram. TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook, and Reddit also attract young adults who are interested in expanding their financial knowledge.
It’s not difficult to understand the appeal of this approach. Social media content is easy to access and digest for younger adults, who want to be able to quickly scan blog posts on budgeting or watch a TikTok video that includes a few helpful money-saving tips. And many personal finance influencers are within the same age range or have been through similar struggles with money, so identifying with them comes easy.
Personal finance influencers may not have the same professional background or credentials as financial advisors, certified public accountants (CPAs), or other money experts. Instead, they draw on their own experiences to teach others about money.
Teaching others about money and building an audience isn’t necessarily an easy process. To be successful and join the ranks of the most visible influencers, you need a devoted following. Thus the first step in teaching others about money is to understand whom you want to help with your advice and which problems you can help them solve.
The simplest way to figure out who your target audience should be is to look at your own personal financial situation and background. For example, if you’re a single woman in your 20s, you may want to offer financial advice geared toward other 20-something single women. If you’re a 30-something father of two who’s focused on early retirement for yourself and your spouse, then you may be targeting other 30-somethings who are interested in the FIRE movement, which is short for financial independence, retire early.
The goal as an influencer is to be a solution provider. Think about which types of challenges you may have faced with your finances, what you’ve learned from them, and how that can translate to helping people in your target audience base.
When you know whom you want to help with learning about money, the next step is finding out where they are. For example, if you’re interested in helping Gen Zers or millennials, there’s a good chance you’ll find them on social media platforms looking for advice. TikTok, for example, can be a great place to share short videos featuring financial tips or money hacks.
Your target audience might also be interested in reading blog posts that cover financial topics on a deeper level, so it could be worth your time to set up a personal finance blog or website to connect with your audience.
There are many people on the Internet who talk about money but aren’t necessarily experts. If you want to establish yourself as a personal finance influencer, you’ll need some credibility and authority in order to build your brand and following.
That could mean investing in your own financial education or obtaining a professional financial certification. For example, you could become a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI). This certification covers a range of topics, including budgeting, debt, credit, and saving, and it also teaches you how to educate others about those topics.
Of course, there’s an investment of time and money involved to obtain a professional financial certification. Still, it could be worthwhile if it allows you to build trust with your audience as you start your journey as a personal finance influencer.
The FTC requires influencers and social media marketers to make certain disclosures to their audience, including when they’re paid to mention specific brands or share links.
People who look to personal finance influencers do so because they want answers, so you’ll have to provide them with content that offers those answers. Again, this can include:
Understanding whom you want to help with money can make it easier to decide which type of content to create.
If you don’t want to become an influencer, you can still teach others about money by having regular conversations on financial topics. For example, if your parents are older, you may want to talk to them about managing money in retirement or how to protect themselves against Social Security scams. And if you have kids, you can teach them the basics of how to make a budget and build a savings habit.
A personal finance influencer is someone who’s recognized and known for sharing financial tips and strategies, typically through social media platforms and/or a blog. They may not hold financial certifications or have previous experience working in the financial services industry. Instead, they use their own experiences with money to help guide others on how to manage their finances.
Anyone can share financial advice on social media, but it’s important to consider the legal ramifications of doing so. Personal finance influencers typically issue a disclaimer letting their audience know that any tips or recommendations shared should not be considered professional advice and that they may want to seek the help of a financial advisor. They’re also required to disclose affiliate relationships when recommending financial products or services.
The amount of money a personal finance influencer can earn depends on their audience, the number of followers they have, and how they choose to monetize when teaching others about money. Some may earn peanuts, while a select few can earn incomes of as much as six or seven figures.
Becoming a personal finance influencer is something you might consider if you’re passionate about money and want to teach others how to master their finances. Doing research beforehand can help you figure out who can benefit most from your financial insight and how to provide the kind of content they are seeking.
National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). "2021 Financial Literacy and Preparedness Survey: Key Findings," Page 6.
National Financial Educators Council. "Financial Illiteracy Cost Americans $1,389 in 2021."
Morning Consult. "Here's Where the Youngest Generation of Investors is Getting Their Financial Advice."
National Financial Educators Council. "Certified Financial Education Instructor – Financial Literacy Certification (CFEI)."
Federal Trade Commission. "FTC Releases Advertising Disclosures Guidance for Online Influencers."
Federal Trade Commission. “Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers,” Pages 2-7.
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