Can We Trust Influencers?
Okay, let me start off by saying I do not consider myself an influencer. For the haters in the back, let me repeat, I do not consider myself an influencer ;) I’ve had my baby blog for only 4 months now. I’m proud of what I’ve created and the brands I’ve gotten to collab with, however I’m obviously still a very small fish in the blogger world.
I wanted to write this post because I’ve seen a lot of negative stuff on social media lately, especially toward bloggers and influencers. I’d reference some of the posts and videos, but frankly they were mean spirited and I don’t want to give them more attention. In general, they were accusing influencers of selling out and lying to their followers to turn a profit. First off, I’m not gonna pretend like I’ve never seen a questionable post pushing some sketchy products before! There’s a lot out there that’s made me scratch my head in disbelief, but at the end of the day, different strokes for different people right??
The job of an influencer is still somewhat new and nebulous. It got me thinking, who is an influencer, really? Someone who has thousands of followers? Celebrities? Bloggers? The answer today seems to be all of the above and then some. Personally, I’ve always found the term influencer a little assumptive although I don’t know what else I would call them. Content creators maybe?
Don’t get me wrong! I’ve got MAJOR respect for creators and have looked up to many of them for so long. Some of the greats who are killing the game like Rach Parcell, The Brooklyn Blonde, Desi Perkins, to name a few, have inspired me for years. I feel like they’re all examples of doing it the right way.
But on the other hand…things like the Fyre Festival is the perfect example of how influence can quickly turn into something negative. (If you haven’t watched it yet, highly recommend!) Who would have thought that hundreds of influencers posting an orange tile picture would kickoff one of the biggest failures in the events industry?! I doubt most of the models/influencers would have participated if they knew the whole truth. I mean, one could argue they were a little mislead too?
My point is that there’s a lot of information out there - good and bad. User generated content continues to grow and there are no signs of it slowing down.
The influencer space has definitely exploded over the past decade - some call it crowded, but candidly I think it’s still in its early stages. There’s a reason brands are doubling down on their marketing spend towards influencers - it’s estimated to become a $10B industry by 2020.
With all this information, it’s important for consumers to use all the resources at their fingertips to make informed decisions. And equally as important for creators to put out truthful and valid content.
So all this begs the question - can we really trust influencers?
I think the main reason people don’t trust some of the big influencers is because they assume they’re trying to get paid some major coin or just trying to stay on a brand’s PR list. My best advice if you’re ever unsure about how genuine something is to ask yourself the following -
Have they mentioned the brand/product before? Or a similar product?
Does it seems organic to their normal posts? Or completely out of left field for them to talk about it?
Do they continue to use it after the collab?
Is it in their niche? Have you ever been listening to a podcast and they suddenly start advertising a product so random you can barely picture them actually using it at all? Because same. Something just feels off!
Are they over hyping it? I always get skeptical when people are too over the top and obsessed with every single product they talk about. There are definitely my favorites that I could not live without (Rodan & Fields, Laneige and First Aid Beauty to name a few!) but let’s be real, not every product is going to be worth the hype.
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck….well y’all get it. At the end of the day, I see influencers as another medium for information which overall is a positive thing. It’s important to use your best judgement and make your own informed decisions. Don’t just buy some flat tummy tea because you got a discount code, obvs.
The beauty of social media is you can opt in or opt out. It’s really that simple.
Again, I am not calling myself an influencer. My intention when I started my blog was never to become “insta famous” or make a ton of money. It’s actually become strangely cathartic, I really enjoy writing about beauty. I pretty much came out of the womb obsessed with girly things - seriously I could talk about it all day. Blogging has become the perfect creative outlet for me.
I’ve always followed beauty and fashion blogs because the content is so valuable to me. I obsess over makeup. I’m a product junkie. I get excited when other women find products that make them feel beautiful.
Thinking about starting a blog? If so, here’s some unsolicited advice from a noob -
Figure out your intention. It’s really important to love what you do. Really ask yourself why it matters. I feel like so much of life is figuring out your “why.” For relationships, business, all of it!
Stay true to yourself. I know, I know- super cheesy sounding but it’s so friggin true. I feel like people are so worried about what they post on social media nowadays (myself included sometimes) that they let that dictate their online persona. Now, I’m not saying air all your dirty laundry okkk, but don’t be afraid to post what you want, when you want. Easier said than done, I know.
Be ready to put in work. Remember, there’s a reason why people do this full time! From managing a site, taking photos, writing copy, editing everything, engaging with others on social media…I could go on. I’m lucky enough to have a pretty cool full time job, so working on the blog is my weekend side project.
Let the bad $h!t go. Some will support you, some won’t. People will talk, but hey, better to be talked about than not at all right? ;) Unfortunately it may even be friends/family who you thought would be supportive that aren’t. Try not to let this get you down. Remember why you started - if you’re creating something that you truly love then who cares what other people think?
Lastly, if someone posts things that make you feel less than, I really recommend unfollowing or taking a break from that content. Life is too short, and again, the beauty of social media is you can choose what you want to see; essentially who you want to “influence” you. Don’t be afraid to Marie Kondo-ize your social media and remove what’s not sparking joy ;)
Thanks for reading babes, let me know your thoughts in the comments! xoxo