If you have a smartphone, you have most likely done it – taking a photo of yourself and posting it online. Selfies are often considered just a modern form of narcissism for young people, but they are in fact, a lot more. For some people, selfies are the new way to make money.
Selfies are easy to take and feature everything from your dinner or new haircut to the beautiful beach you are having a vacation at. Typically, they are most popular among young people, but today, more and more adults can’t resist the temptation. There’s just something appealing about the selfie – you can show yourself to the world without worrying too much about your appearance. Even celebrity selfies are rarely looking good. This new photographic and social phenomenon may sound like a silly habit for some, but there’s a reason why we should pay more attention to the selfie – it can earn you cash.
Few people know they can actually make money from selfies, but in reality, there are businesses that are looking to buy such mirror-like photos. And new websites such as ScoopShot connect companies with users who are willing to sell their selfies. It’s all about being at the right place at the right time actually. For instance, Finnair Airlines used this website to buy travel selfies – from the total of 800 photos that were submitted, the company bought 50 for about $15 each. McDonald’s also paid for selfies – more than $20 per food-focused pictures. In fact, many companies, including big hotel chains such as Hilton, hold selfie contests where customers can earn trips, gift cards or cash.
What may sound weird at first sight is quite well-designed marketing and advertising strategy for businesses. They would rather pay you $15 for a selfie taken in their store, hotel or restaurant, which will go viral on social media than pay a professional hundreds of dollars for a photo that will look perfect, but will have no personality.
There is also a huge potential in the selfies, taken at significant events such as political protests. In Hong Kong, selfies have become a form of citizen photojournalism and some newspapers and websites have already begun buying these photos. Again, the focus is on the personal point of view, where you can see not just some political events that happen in some distant part of the world – you can see it through the eyes of an actual person, who is more or less just like you.
Social media users, whose selfies have become viral, are already becoming celebrities and they can use this fame to make money. In Singapore, lifestyle bloggers earn from their almost professionally made selfies. This means everyone can. All we need is a smartphone with a good camera, a little imagination, and of course, a bit of entrepreneurial spirit to turn this narcissistic hobby into profession.