Spilling the Tea on Influencers

I want to take a minute and address the elephant in the room. Through the last several years, I've come across numerous memes, tweets, statuses, etc. addressing that being an influencer is not a serious "job" and that if Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat randomly closed down, influencers wouldn't know what to do because they'd be out of a job. Is this to some degree true? Of course it is! But if Google, Amazon, Starbucks, Apple, etc. suddenly closed down, guess what? If they worked at any of those companies, they'd also be out of a job.

An influencer is a person that has the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service through the use of social media. Does this sound familiar to you? If you're nodding your head yes, it's probably because it's basic marketing 101. You're influenced every single day by celebrities, commercials, public figures and so on. So why does society have a mental breakdown comparable to when Britney Spears shaved her head whenever the term influencer is mentioned?

I think a lot of the issues come about because people believe all influencers are your stereotypical influencer - beautiful people with beautiful problems all stuck inside a beautiful little influencer bubble. But it's actually quite the opposite. Influencers come in all shapes, sizes and from varying demographics. Some have a lot of money and can buy whatever they want, some post about the best designer dupes they can find, some focus on the products they use to be healthy and so on. There's no one-size-fits-all.

It's also important to acknowledge the fact that most influencers don't do it as a full-time gig. I mean sure, some definitely do. And if you can - kudos to you! But if you're like me, you work a 9 to 5 salary job and then your side hustle is being an influencer. And just so you know, that side hustle is basically another full-time job. Actually, not even a job. It's basically an unpaid internship.

I'd say the hate towards influencers is just a generational thing, but I feel like the worst critics are the people in my generation, which to me, is so odd. In the last 20 years, heck even the last 10 years, social media has changed the game. I currently work in Public Relations as a PR and Social Media Coordinator. Would that career even exist when my grandparents were my age? No! So when I explain to older people about being an influencer, I'm not at all surprised to see a blank stare. I am surprised when I see someone around my age roll their eyes, laugh or make a snide comment.

As our society becomes more dependent on technology, which will no doubt happen, different career opportunities will continue to present themselves that never existed before. At the end of the day, if someone is working and is able to pay their bills, I don't see what's wrong with being an influencer. And if it's not your cup of tea or you're bothered by the people out there promoting products and services, by all means, unfollow them! But just remember at the end of the day, an influencer is usually a person trying to share what they love with others. In my own personal experience, I've met a lot of amazing people that have turned into good friends simply by sharing what I love online.

How do you feel about the whole influencer topic? Let me know in the comments!