Over the course of the last fifteen years, influencers have infiltrated pop culture and the world of social media. These social media influencers have taken the opportunity to share their lives with the world and connect with one another. Being an influencer is not just posting pictures and writing captions. While many see social media influencers as lazy and just in it for a quick buck, they do much more than that. Here are some common misconceptions of influencers and why they are so much more than their stereotype.
Myth: Social Media Influencers Are Lazy
One misconception often thrown around about influencing is that it is not a real career. On the surface, influencers may appear to be living the life, getting products for free and just taking photos. Influencing is a lot more than that, it requires great skill and practice. Creators have to constantly work to uphold their personal brand and produce content that keeps their audiences engaged. They have to execute brand deals and review contracts before signing.
Additionally, many influencers hold another job in addition to their career as an influencer. According to a study conducted by Forbes, 39% of 18-24 year olds, 44% of 24-34 year olds, and 22% of 45-52 year old influencers have a second job.
Kevin Bubloz, a TikTok star managed by Find Your Influence, uses TikTok to share videos of his therapy dog Ellie with the goal of brightening people’s days with his content. In addition to the work he does as an influencer, Kevin is currently working full time for Microsoft.
Myth: Only Mega Influencers are Valuable
Another misconception is that the only influencers who create a buzz are those with a large following. In reality, there are a number of different types of influencers all with different follower counts that can significantly help your campaign. All of these different influencers display a varying range of specific niches and serve a purpose inside the influencer community.
Diana Elizabeth is a perfect example of an influencer with a smaller following who has a large amount of influence. Diana is an Arizona-based photographer who shares her everyday lifestyle and passions in home and gardening with her followers. She has been able to share her interrelated passions and provides a niche experience to her followers.
Want to learn more about the different types of influencers and how they can help your campaign? Don’t miss our post about using macro and micro influencers.
Myth: Influencers Are Driven By Money
Some believe that influencers will take any brand deal they can get just for the money. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A majority of influencers are selective when deciding to partner with a brand. They feel a high level of responsibility to their followers and remain committed to supporting their values and beliefs. They also want to be authentic and not just support a product or brand that they would not normally use or endorse.
According to a study conducted by Forbes, every influencer surveyed turned down at least one brand deal due to their personal values or brand not aligning. So in reality, most influencers are selective about what brand deals they take. They want to be as genuine with their audience as possible in order to grow trust with their following.
Myth: Social Media Influencers Work For Free
Social media influencers DO NOT work for free. Sometimes influencers will be gifted products for free and sometimes they are asked to post about gifted content in exchange for the product. It is ALWAYS the influencer’s choice if they want to move forward with a brand without compensation. Some social media influencers may be comfortable with this, however, the majority are not. Influencers are contract employees doing work, promoting the brand and working to start a conversation with their audience around a product or a service.
This is not only a common misconception held by the general public but by brands as well. According to a study conducted by the Influencer Marketing Hub, “36% of respondents to the survey said that they pay influencers with product samples. And, 21% admitted to just giving discounts on products or services”.
Social media influencers are providing a service to the brand and it is unfair if they aren’t compensated in the right way. Whether you’re an influencer yourself or a brand, make sure you have a conversation with the other party about what type of payment is fair for both parties.
Are you someone who wants help navigating the influencer space but you don’t know where to start? Reach out to our Influencer Management Team with your questions today. Send us an email at email@example.com.
Freelance contribution especially written for Find Your Influence by Gemma Weinstein.