Without an ad-share model like YouTube, or the reputation as a brand deal repository like Instagram, LinkedIn hasn’t historically been regarded as a hub for creator monetization.
But the platform has made a push in recent months to change that. Last fall, the platform announced a $25 million commitment to the creator sector, including an Accelerator Program (which has handed out $15,000 grants to 100 influencers) and subsequently unveiled an in-house podcast network in February.  
Today, some career-minded influencers say they’re harnessing LinkedIn to make a healthy living. 
Twenty-three-year-old Stephanie Nuesi is a full-time associate financial analyst at Google, but on her off hours is building Max Up, a career consulting startup she founded in college. She said that LinkedIn – where she counts 120,100 followers – has not only been instrumental in garnering clients, but also in raking in brand deals.
In May, Nuesi signed three brand deals for sponsored content that came to her through LinkedIn for a total of $6,875. In addition to LinkedIn, some contracts stipulated for content on other platforms, including Instagram, where Nuesi has 45,000 followers. Insider verified the figures with documents she provided.
Nuesi first started posting on LinkedIn when she founded Max Up in 2019, and started to gain traction. She shared the struggles and successes of her own job search, as well as her inspiring backstory: having immigrated to the US from the Dominican Republic in 2015, entering college without speaking English.
Her viral moment came in 2021, when she shared two posts chronicling her first two days of work at Google.
“I’m the first one in my family to study in the US, work in corporate America, and now join the tech world,” she wrote in the post, which has 4 million views and 3,000 comments.
“I had to turn off my notifications because it just kind of blew up,” Nuesi told Insider. “I don’t even know how. I guess it’s kind of like TikTok, where you can hit a million views overnight.”
Nuesi has been at Google for almost one year, though LinkedIn – where she posts four times per week — has become a lucrative side hustle. (She declined to disclose the specifics of her arrangement with Google, but said she is permitted to work on Max Up during off hours.)
On LinkedIn, her biggest earners are sponsorships, including partnerships with Nextplay (an eight-week fellowship that helps participants break into the tech field), hiring app Hirect, and office software maker Condeco.
Brands also reach out to Nuesi on LinkedIn for sponsorships that will live on other platforms. One of the aforementioned deals last month exclusively involves TikTok posts. 
Nuesi said LinkedIn is also key in helping funnel clients to Max Up, where she offers resume and cover letter reviews, career coaching, and interview prep sessions. Various packages are offered, with a resume tune-up starting at $147.00.
“Most of my clients come to me through LinkedIn,” she said, to the tune of three to four per month, “which is a lot considering I spend $0 on advertising.”
Nuesi added that LinkedIn has also helped her land speaking gigs at universities and companies. While this is sporadic – roughly once every three months – she can make $500 for a one-hour gig. 
At LinkedIn, Nuesi is a “managed creator,” meaning she has been assigned an in-house strategist and also gets access to press opportunities and networking events. The best advice she’s gotten from her channel manager so far? To add more “sauce” to her content by embracing polarizing topics, like candidates getting ghosted by recruiters or a recent swath of tech layoffs.
“I started creating polls and having conversations about those things, and my audience just kind of changed,” she said. “People looked up to me a little bit more than they did before.”
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