So you want to be an Influencer

I’m going to preface this post by saying the topic I’m covering today and my added opinion on the topic is not for everyone. Some may read it as a complaint, a rant, but this is my true opinion on the matter and you can stop now if you don’t want to read it. But do enjoy the pretty pictures!

I am having trouble understanding why people are so infatuated with the influencer industry. It has become an overly saturated industry and people are sharing the same content. The same tips to gain followers on social media, the same Instagrammable spots, the same filters and presents all on the same platform. What is genuine and what is real? I follow very few influencers, but there is one person I find who is always very open when it comes to the industry and when it comes to her own content. As seen on this post by blogger, Emma Hill, the protocol for sponsored posts have been updated. As you can read from her post, there are many changes to how to make the public aware of the actual contents of your post and this is what lead me to this post.

As you read this, take note that I did not start this blog to become internet famous, I started this blog as my own personal creative outlet. To be able to speak my mind on subjects I don’t normally and verbally speak about to others. So here I am speaking my mind about influencers.

In the beginning, fashion blogs were the thing. They started out as people expressing their own fashion, giving tips, sharing their life. It was a safe world and one that I enjoyed. People out there around the world just like me, reading about fashion, wanting to work in fashion, interested in fashion. It was something I loved taking the time to read. This was before our lives were taken over by Instagram, before Twitter, and before anyone ever thought of making a career out posting their outfits online and recording their lives for others to watch.

That was a time it all made sense. Fast forward to today, when every other person and their mom are practically selling their souls for followers. I am finding the content everywhere to be the same. After Viktor and Rolf showed their couture line this season, 3 accounts I follow posted the practically the same phrased dresses from the collection with the caption “Tag yourself’ and this really got me thinking. When the Nordstrom anniversary sale comes up, how many posts do you see with people’s wishlists? (Oh hey I made one before too! lol) Are they not full of everything pink and gold? Those Instagram tips you see when you google how to get more followers? Those are most likely recycled from somewhere else. With this waterlogged industry and the similar contents of a lot of people out there, how does this even work? And why do people want it so much?

After countless conversations with others who share my sentiments of this social media dependent society, the answer to all the questions I have above is it’s generational. As an adult who grew up before this social media boom, I don’t feel the need to share every waking hour of my life with the public. I enjoy documenting my fashion as I have for way before the social media overtake. I have a strong awareness of what I am influenced by and who influences me. I am strongly aware of the reality of social media and what can lie behind those photos that we see, and it seems as if a majority of the millennial and post-millennial generation are gullible. They fall prey to the glamour and the high-class lifestyle shown on many accounts out there.

This leads me to my next possible answer: ignorance. I believe not many take the time to educate themselves on social media, such as what is appropriate to post and when it is appropriate to post; taking into consideration the audience of their social media along with their own position as a human being. Along with this, not many take the time to educate themselves on how much actual work goes into creating a brand for themselves and how much work goes into creating a continuous flow of content. With this, I find there is not a lot of transparency when it comes to how influencers work.

This will all come with change. We’ve gone from disclosing no information on those sponsored posts to adding “#sponsored” somewhere on the post to what we read now on Emma Hill’s post. The industry is growing and while I’m still baffled that it is growing at this rate, I’m sure people will eventually learn little by little. And I will still wonder if in the future, people will start to lay low because they are running out of content ideas.

There is a lot I don’t know about this industry and maybe these feelings will eventually change. This is all based on my current understanding. And I welcome any thoughts you have to share on this matter because I am genuinely curious about the sociological aspect of why people want to become influencers and why people put so much effort into keeping up with their “brand”. Share your thoughts in the comments, but please keep things civil.

Thank you for reading!

+ALYSSA

36 comments on “So you want to be an Influencer

    • ALYSSA , Direct link to comment

      Generic and not enough personal spin. I mean I guess it’s different for everyone especially those who get paid for these posts but I’m tired of the vast amount of unoriginality out there and people who post for the sake of posting and don’t show a true genuine interest into what they are posting.

  • Charlie , Direct link to comment

    I couldn’t agree more! We started our blog as a way to share our hiking stories with our family and friends. It turned into quite a good journal for ourselves too. I hate the word ‘influencer’ as it seems to have lost it’s original meaning somehow. I’d rather be known as being an adventurer! Great post!

    • ALYSSA , Direct link to comment

      I also loathe the word “influencer”! And yes blogs have turned personal journeys into something totally different. Thank you for stopping by!

  • The Travelling Sociologist , Direct link to comment

    I 100% agree that the “influencer” market has become so saturated and unoriginal. It’s such a jungle out there, and there are so many aspiring bloggers who are just in it to exploit this new industry and make a quick buck. That being said, I do believe there are still a few success stories out there of people who truly love what they do and would continue working at it even if they weren’t earning major influencer bucks from it. I follow a few and they are visibly authentic and truly inspirational. I think the takeaway in all this – your post, this growing industry trend – is to do what you love and keep at it, whether or not you are making money from it; your passion and dedication will reap its own rewards, whether through fuelling your inner joy or attracting a dedicated following of readers who will then invest financially in your passion project.

    • ALYSSA , Direct link to comment

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your thoughts! I definitely agree with all of it! I don’t follow many but i know there are a few out there who do appear to be genuine and authentic. I’m with you. Do what you love to do!

  • Kris , Direct link to comment

    I think it stems from the fact that most bloggers nowadays start blogging to earn money. So they focus on learning how to generate traffic, which means researching on what topics are trending, then writing something along those lines, etc. I just read it somewhere while I was also studying about blogging. Nowadays, there are a lot of bloggers out there who blog about blogging, giving generic tips, etc. And these tips are mostly targeted to those who want to make money out of blogging. I’ve seen a lot of these posts lately. Anyway, that’s just the way the world goes, I guess.

    • ALYSSA , Direct link to comment

      I think you’re totally right that most bloggers start blogging with the intention it will bring income. The world is definitely going that way. I find it a bit of a shame, but it’s not like I can stop people from doing their thang lol. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Kimberly Dixon , Direct link to comment

    I really enjoyed reading your take on this. It’s quite an overload to see all the same posts over and over again and not very “influential”, in my opinion, to see generic content all the time.

    • ALYSSA , Direct link to comment

      Overload indeed! I feel mostly it’s because of how saturated the “influencer industry” is. Everyone is trying to do the same thing, for the most part, that there is a lot of overlap in content. Thank you for commenting, Kimberly!

  • Nadine , Direct link to comment

    Reading this was like a breathe of fresh air!! I love when I can read something and feel the authenticity of the writer coming through!!! And, I really like how you look at things!!

  • Ronalaine Cutillon , Direct link to comment

    I was actually just thinking about these stuff, and honestly still quite at a loss at these things. Somehow, things made sense to me because of this article. Thank you fro actually pointing out some strong points. I love your article!

    • ALYSSA , Direct link to comment

      Yeah I’ve been thinking about it a lot long before I wrote this. I don’t really understand it anymore than I did but it really helped to gather and organize my thoughts. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Tina Nguyen , Direct link to comment

    I was definitely thinking about this, especially when the IG/FB blackout happened. I was thinking along the lines of what would happen if there was no social media and where would you go to be an “influencer”. It’s definitely better to have your own website and be your own brand than to depend on sociak media and be an influencer. Just my quick take on this.

    • ALYSSA , Direct link to comment

      You are so right. There’s a lot of dependency on separate platforms for some.

  • Chandler , Direct link to comment

    Couldn’t agree more! I have such a love/hate relationship with social media these days. On one hand it makes it so easy to connect with people around the world, but on the other hand it’s so superficial.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • ALYSSA , Direct link to comment

      Yup connection I feel like was the whole purpose around social media. But people have turned it into a money making platform.

  • Laura Adney , Direct link to comment

    Preach sister! It has become so diluted and content just feels redone on a spin cycle.

  • Sharon Wu , Direct link to comment

    this is such an insightful post babe! personally i don’t like being called an influencer because i always try to differentiate myself to be much more than that. it’s so important to be unique and stay true to yourself to be successful in a field like this!

    • ALYSSA , Direct link to comment

      Thank you for commenting! You’re so right that it’s important to stay true to yourself. Too many people faking their way through I think it’s hard to differentiate from what is real from what isn’t.

  • Kileen , Direct link to comment

    Loved reading your opinion! I agree that Instagram can be over-saturated with similarity and repetitiveness. Can be hard to see the same content cycling through, however I do love the connection the platform brings!

    Kileen
    cute & little

    • ALYSSA , Direct link to comment

      The connections are great! I think that’s what social media should have a focus on rather than it being a “sell yourself” kind of platform.

  • Kenzi || Life of a Sister , Direct link to comment

    It’s definitely changed from when blogging was a way of journeling your life, “meeting” like minded people (online), sharing other bloggers on your blog because you like them etc. Now it’s all about competition, being the best and not the community it once was.

    • ALYSSA , Direct link to comment

      Yup that’s the kind of blogging I grew up with too. The competition has grown too great these days.

  • Carolyn , Direct link to comment

    Very interesting read! I personally don’t like the “influencer” word, but I do know a lot goes into building an online presence.

    • ALYSSA , Direct link to comment

      Thanks for stopping by! A person should be more than an “influencer” to build an online presence though.

  • Stephanie , Direct link to comment

    This is such a refreshing perspective on the “influencer” community. Honestly, I’ve never been the biggest fan of that term, and prefer the label of “blogger” and “content creator.” I began my Instagram to share OOTDs over 6 years ago, when Instagram had barely become popular. I started my blog almost 4 years ago because my chronic illness doesn’t allow me to hold a normal job anywhere else. I absolutely LOVE what I do, and take it super seriously. I’ve worked very hard to educated myself, not rely on others, be 100% genuine (always), and stay unique. I know this isn’t the “popular” way to grow, but I’d rather have 30 highly engaged, authentic followers, than 300k that were bought, bribed, or otherwise gained in an inauthentic manner. I’m thankful to see I’m not alone on this, and I only hope that the more forceful manner of the FTC guidelines will help cultivate a more real social media/blogger lifestyle again.

    • ALYSSA , Direct link to comment

      I love your words Stephanie and I so wish more people had an outlook just like yours. It takes time and determination to stick it out AND become as successful as most people think they want. It means a lot to hear that you resonate with my words because I definitely feel like it’s an unpopular opinion.

  • Deborah , Direct link to comment

    I completely agree with everything you said. While I’ve made genuine connections and friends through blogging, I really HATE the term “influencer” and I kind of cringe a bit when people use that word to describe themselves. Frankly, I don’t even like the term “followers” because it brings about an almost cult-ish feeling (to me, at least). I like the terms, community because it sounds like it’s something I’m a part of and not something I’m collecting, plus it feels more accurate. I’m always striving to learn from other bloggers, other accounts on Instagram, other fashionistas, etc. and I hope that anyone who comes to my social media channels and blog will leave having learned something too.

    • ALYSSA , Direct link to comment

      It’s a cringy word to hear. I love the sense of community of blogging and social media. It allows people to connect in ways one wouldn’t even imagine. I’m trying to do the same and I’m trying to keep it as real as possible. While I know I’m not out to make any profit from it, which is what most people strive for when creating a blog, I do hope that at last someone is listening to me and learning something too. Your comment means so much to me! Thank you so much, Deborah!

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