To me, an influencer is someone who inspires, motivates and drives a big group of people to empower themselves and change the way people think. The drive to do so often comes from a deeper longing to see some change in the world. When I think of an influencer, I think of Oprah Winfrey, Barrack Obama or Albert Einstein. I’m certainly not thinking about Fit girl/boy number 1254 who represents product XA in week 1 and product XB in week 2. But that’s just me.
Now obviously there are a lot of people out there on social media who are truly inspiring and thus influencing large groups of people. It’s just fair to say that our collective consciousness on how to help each other and empower one and other has grown in the past decade or so.
But with this change we’re also seeing a lot of self-appointed social influencers with a semi large following who have the striking resemblance of a bill board. The highest payer gets to use them and their media outreach. That obviously, has less to do with influencing people and more with capitalism at it’s finest.
And I’m all for that. I think it’s just great that these opportunities have been created and that it actually works. As long as it’s all real and companies are not being f.cked over by inauthentic accounts, everyone benefits. So go democracy, free market and capitalism. However, calling yourself an influencer is a bit of a long stretch. You know what, scratch that. It’s one of the longest stretches I’ve ever seen. Your influencing jack shit. You’re a commercial bill board on which different products and services are presented which is perfectly fine as long as you pose as such.
I get it though. We all want to matter, we all want to be kind of important and influential and we all want to leave our mark in a positive way. That’s all good, but I think being honest about yourself towards yourself will get you way further than letting your ego grow by constantly feeding yourself with the idea that your doing something that your actually not.
It’s not for nothing that the platform you’re using has implemented new tools to create more transparency in reaching out to your audience. People just want to know what the reality of a situation is. Just think of the feature in which you can let your audience know that you have a paid partnership with a brand. People care about such information, so why hide behind the influencer label when you’re just not an influencer. Not being an influencer is not your weakness and what you are is actually your strength. So be fair, be honest, be transparent and stop fooling yourself.
You’re a smart person who found a way to market his/her social media outreach which is a good thing. So why hide from that positive fact?