Hey. Let me tell you why being an influencer became invalid ever since someone came up with the term “influencer“. Sure, social media influencers had their glory and if you hopped on that wave back then, you could have had a great time. Not anymore though. I believe influencers’ golden times were like 2-3 years ago and what you see as an influencer now is just a wannabe shadow of the glorious past.
Let’s rewind a few years back when being a social media person meant something. No one gave it a label yet. Curiosity was overflowing. It was new. It was special.
I’m gonna share with you my personal story here. How I began my internet career is described in my Blogging beginnings and tricks on how to prosper your blog.
When I was first approached with potential collaboration I was skeptical and scared. It was new to me. There were very few before and no one really felt like talking about it because of how “weird” it all was.
I didn’t know what to expect or how to do it.
Luckily for me neither did my followers. When I started sharing my first reviews, collages, or photographs my traffic and sales were booming. I believe the reason for my success was not only that I was good at it, but curiosity played a major role. Curiosity made my readers click the link or even shop with the individual brands.
That changed dramatically.
Everyone knows the basic definition of an influencer and many aspire to be one. But honestly, how much attention do you pay to the influencers you follow and why do you expect it to be any different the other way around? Pettiness is a strong tool and I must admit that most of the time I scroll past the influencers add. I don’t care. I’m not interested in your soap add Caren. But hey you should check out my ad. That’s just how ridiculous it all becomes.
Influencers showing off to other influencers.
Since the beginning of this blog, I was completely honest with you guys and that’s not gonna change. It was the time when I made over 300$ per month from all of the collaborated websites I worked with at that time. They were mostly considered of fashion websites and more on that topis is set at Why fashion blogging isn’t always fun.
You might not think of it as a lot of money, but for an 18-year-old student, with no other income, it was enough. Even better when I consider how little I had to do to earn them. I was getting paid for the thing I would do for free. Plus my parents paid for my dorm and I got all of my clothes for free from fashion brands.
Those were the times when I or any other “influencers” lived the golden times. Obviously, everyone wanted to become one and quickly it became a very popular topic. Still, no one used any labels and everyone was just describing it as the “thing”.
“That girl who takes those pretty photos.” “That guy in those cool clothes.” “That girl who travels for a living.” “Thant make up girl.” “That cosplay guy.” Etc.
And it didn’t matter what social platform you used. A number of followers mattered, your creativity and that was it.
From then it went all downhill.
The more influencers there were, the less profitable it became. For both sides.
The audience became suspicious about the quality of the products. Is the review honest or are they paid to say it? Which obviously led to a decrease in sales and to a decrease in influencers income.
The creators had to bend down backward to be valid. To get new and active followers became difficult. You had to really interest them to bring them to your social media/page/web/channel. That’s when the regular folk stole click baits from reporters. And that’s when it became harder to actually keep the already existing audience. Everyone becomes fed up with a sell-out after a while.
Brands started to push influencers more to meet their demands. Suddenly there were limits, sales requirements and it all felt like a cubicle job.
Being an influencer became hard work no one signed up for.
The same thing that led to the fall of youtube and the rise of the vine (rip).
Attention span got shorter.
Admit it. How many times have you watched tv while scrolling your phone and you were still bored? Hell, I’ve been checking my social media on the big computer while checking my other social media on my phone. Right now I’m watching Netflix, writing this article, and checking Instagram on my phone. And I still feel like that’s not enough. Like I should be doing more with my time. Checking more things at once. Like I’m late for something.
It’s pretty obvious I’m not giving my full attention to any of them. Always thinking of something else, planning ahead, thinking back. Anything but the present.
Time became a strange concept. There is plenty and not enough. As I said I’m already late for something. That’s why I’m sure as hell don’t have time for a 20 minutes long youtube video. Instead, I’ll spend those 20 minutes aimlessly refreshing like 5 phone apps.
There was a golden time for youtube as well and it was characteristic by short, like 5 minutes long, videos. But the more profitable it becomes to be a YouTuber the longer the videos get. The longer they get the more ads could be played during the watching and the more money would YouTubers make?
No one has time for that.
The greediness led to YouTubes’ fall. Yeah, some creators are still worth that time, and many new join the platform every day. But it’s clearly not what it used to be back in my days’ kiddos.
That’s why vine was such a good app.
6 seconds is just an exact amount of attention I’m willing to pay.
Also, it’s not enough to be popular on just one social media. You have to catch them all. Be a YouTuber and have at least funny Twitter. Be an Instagrammer with at least a blog. The more the merrier.
Remember kids, no one has time for clickbait. Starvation for attention from influencers side is plainly visible judging by celebrities like the Logan brothers. Yep, they’re rich, popular, and obviously good at what they’re doing but honestly who takes them seriously anymore? Most of the time they are laughing stock. But still talked about.
Everyone with a few thousand followers feels like an influencer. It feels like you have the power to make a change. To influence someone. That feeling is very addictive and dangerous.
There is no argument that social media are harmful and unhealthy. Who even truly enjoys them anymore? Doesn’t it all feel like an obligation? Are you capable of going one day a week without any social media?
Social media nowadays are full of unhealthy body images and unrealistic standards. Never-ending holidays and fancy dinners. We all know how much work goes into presenting only the fake best of you online.
It’s too much pressure and stress for validation from strangers on the internet.
Instagram is living its tumble as well and it’s not because your parents and aunties joined Instagram and made it not fun as they did to Facebook.
It’s because of the fake reality that’s being presented. The hard work on editing that happens before every upload that’s getting less frequent. There are times when I’m literally stuck with which photo to post and if it’s even worth being on a wall and not just a story. Overthinking. I make my sisters express their opinions and make a vote on which photo to post. Like it matter.
Everyone is an influencer and there is no one left to influence.
They even took the fun from stalking. Back in the day, you had to create a new email address and new account for stalking. Now you can make an original account attachment. No effort left to make.
If you have something to offer then it’s awesome. If you’re a creator without an audience, social media are perfect for showing the world your talent.
But you can’t get your hopes too high. You can’t expect people to just giving you stuff because you’re popular when everyone is popular. Followers don’t matter anymore when you can easily buy those or use simple tricks to prosper your account as I described in my How to become Instagram famous ? – Tips and Tricks.
Quality over quantity. It means squad you have a hundred thousand followers when you have a hundred active ones.
Times are changing and if you’re planning on making social media your living you either had to start a long time ago and adjust to each and every change the concept influencer concur or be really really really original. I’d hate to discourage you from influencers careers. But it’s not that easy and it’s not that fun.
Who knows what will be the next big thing on the internet and for what short period of time, we as a society will be willing to pay attention to it.