The rise of the social media influencer is something that keeps getting more an more common but what do people outside of the industry really think about bloggers and influencers?
Before I get into this post, I want to say that I’m a very non-judgemental person and I am very open to everyone’s ideas of being their own true self. Before I became friends with Dana and others, I thought I knew everything about what a social media influencer and blogger does behind the ‘gram but boy was I wrong. I have so much more respect for influencers and what they do every single day to continue to engage with their followers. Before I get any further, let me tell you, I hate the word “influencer”. Why? Well, to me they are normal human beings too. I treat Dana like I treat my best friend from kindergarten. The only thing different about us is that she has thousands of instagram followers, a platform, and honestly..that is it. She is just Dana to me.
I wanted to highlight a couple of assumptions below of what an outsider of the industry thinks of influencers and bloggers. Since working with Dana for a couple months now as her Brand Manager and being her friend, I now know more about all the hard work she has to do for her brand.
“Her life is easy…how can this ever be a full-time job?”
Let me tell you, their calendars and inboxes are constantly full 24/7. It is exhausting to see all of the emails coming through from SO many different companies and individuals reaching out to work with them. I have so much respect for the influencers and bloggers that have a full-time job and do this on the side. It is just as much work as a normal job. You constantly are planning, having phone calls, answering emails, and let alone block time out to be just creative! To put things in perspective, a blogger and influencer needs to constantly find their niche, do something unique, engage with readers/followers, come up with new ideas, promote, and be consistent. I don’t know how they do it!
“She constantly gets free stuff.”
Yes, this may be true but not everyone gets 10000 boxes a week. I have so much respect for the bloggers and influencers who turn down free product from companies because it doesn’t fit in their brand or their mission. It is so wasteful to see people throw out product after they show it off on social media. I completely understand that companies just sent you stuff without your knowledge (totally understand) but what you don’t know is that people donate those things or give them to their friends (guilty..thanks D). Sweet Jenn wrote a great post on Monday that I wanted to share and it opened my eyes even more to sponsored content.
“She gets to go to all these events.”
Events sound like so much fun…right?! Think again. You don’t know that a lot of these events the influencer and blogger has to promote on their IG stories, a sponsored post, AND a blog post. A lot more goes on behind the scenes than you think. They also have to treat these events as a business event. If you work in Corporate America and get invited to a function for work, do you think it is 100% fun? No. Granted, most of these events are a lot of fun but you have to continue to network, promote your brand, and listen to others. It can be a lot of work.
“She gets paid by brands just to take pictures.”
Not going to lie, this was an assumption of mine before I knew exactly what was going on behind the scenes. Bloggers and influences don’t use their iPhones to post on their Instagram or blog…SHOCKER, I know. They have this high end fancy equipment…. side note: it is so hard to operate. Dana and Allie can laugh about the first time I tried operating Allie’s camera. It wasn’t as easy as it looks. Anyways, for sponsored content, you have to first come to agreements with a brand (the contracts can be extremely long, confusing, and intense), schedule time with a photographer (it costs money), come up with photo and outfit ideas (different outfits are expensive), edit photos (unless your photographer is as good as Allie and does this), send submissions to the brand, and schedule the post. From start to finish, brand partnerships can take at least a couple weeks to a month to work through.
“She buys followers.”
Well…yes, some people do. This frustrates me SO much because my friends kick ass and spend so much time and effort to make their brand stand out. On the other hand, people are so into numbers (because brands like them too) and just buy their followers. Don’t they know that brands look at their engagement and comments and like to see people, bloggers, influencers, and especially normal people commenting and saying stuff other than “nice photo”? *continuously rolling my eyes*
“Her life is always perfect.”
They sure make it seem like it is perfect. They have perfect pictures, always look happy, and their feed is so bright and beautiful. This is the case with everyone on instagram, not just influencers or bloggers. It is a problem because I can tell you not everyone is this happy all the time but they want to perceive themselves as that. What I love about IG stories is when bloggers and influencers come on there and speak to us. I love seeing them have conversations and show us pieces of their life. It is just SO real and helps me relate with them. They show us the good, the bad, and the ugly and it is reassuring that they are normal people just like us.
Now what were your assumptions of influencers and bloggers before you became one or are an outsider like me? If you are a blogger or influencer, what outsider assumption do you dislike the most?
Thanks for reading Elle’s Edit. If you have any topics that you would like for me to discuss, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you! xo