It's a new concept to the 21st Century, this term influencer. Essentially, an influencer is defined as someone with "a loyal following, authenticity, and trustworthiness making them so effective in persuading consumers to buy a product". These online personalities can range anywhere from models, bloggers, fitness junkies, actors, athletes, and maybe even that girl from your hometown... really, it can be anyone. However, not everyone is cut out for the influencer lifestyle.
Many successful accounts find it too difficult to balance their 9-5 job and their social media job, ultimately forcing them to choose one or the other. It may come as a surprise to some, but being a social media influencer is a full-time job that requires full-time attention. If you're interested in pursuing this lifestyle, here are just a few things you might want to be aware of...
1. You'll need quality (most likely expensive) equipment.
Nowadays, camera phones have the capability to shoot HD photos, but if you wish to stand out amongst other social media accounts, you'll want a high-tech DSLR.
2. You'll need to stay on top of all the latest trends, news, and pop-culture
I mean, duh! It's kind of your job.
3. There will be far too many all-nighters and early morning rises in your future
Hate to disappoint you, but there are deadlines in the influencer world as well. Brand endorsements must be posted at a certain time, videos need editing in just a few hours, and blogs need to be updated overnight - after all, your fans are waiting!
4. You'll need to network/collaborate with others
It's a fairly competitive field, so you'll want as many people on your team as possible.
5. You must be careful with everything you do and say
One wrong comment under a tweet or tipsy night out at a bar will come back and haunt you years later. You are your own brand, therefore, your words and actions embody who you are as a person. Also, you're in the public eye now and people will recognize you.
6. People will treat you differently
Your high school classmate from 7 years ago just now wants to become friends?! Your siblings keep expecting you to pay for their meals because you are "famous" now? Do strangers try to get to know you better for a chance to make it into one of your photos? Seems sketchy.
7. You have to put out quality content...frequently, too
Long gone are the days where a quick snap of your new boots will rack up a few hundred likes... that just won't cut it anymore. Edits, filters, captions, background, props, & lighting are just a few components of an Insta-worthy photo, and I hate to break it to you, but you'll need to churn these out quite often. Studies have shown that posting more frequently guarantees a higher rate of engagement, so what may seem as over-kill, is actually helping you in the long run.
8. You will be spending MUCH more than you had anticipated
Trips to the Bahamas, weekly shopping trips, overly-priced fancy lattes, and salon appointments aren't cheap. Start saving now, so when your fame reaches it's peak, you won't be too far in debt.
9. It's important to have several different social media platforms
Say you are known for your YouTube channel and your vlogs have earned you the role of "influencer" on the site. Just because YouTube gave you your fame doesn't mean you shouldn't utilize the other SNS apps! You'll need to balance at least an Instagram (and maybe Twitter) page along with your YouTube account so as to grow your audience and show your versatility.
10. Your mental health will be at risk
You have to remember: The internet can be MEAN and severely detrimental to your emotional well-being. People love to comment rude/inappropriate things from behind a screen because of anonymity, still, it's important you don't let those irrelevant remarks get in the way of your success.