It’s time to talk about the main roles influencers have and highlight influencer’s value and hard work!
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Ever since I’m blogging and instagramming, I’ve often been surprised by brands reaching out. At the very beginning, it was always a pleasant surprise. Indeed, I was just starting out, I blogged and instagrammed for fun and was flattered when brands showed interest in working with me.
Not to say that this isn’t the case anymore, but something has changed: I’m now much more aware of the value of my work and online presence. Therefore, now, when brands reach out, I’m grateful they’re interested in me, but also often disappointed when I see how poorly they value my work. – I say “my work”, but I know I can generalise by saying influencers’ work, as this is a real issue in the influencer world.
Therefore, this article stands to highlight the underestimated and misunderstood 3 main roles influencers have, with the aim to remind everyone that having influence on people takes hard work and that brands should stop taking it for granted the way they do today.
1. Build a community
First things first, influencers are called so because of the “influence” they have. This influence can be more or less important depending on the relationship the influencer has with her/his community, how much the influencer is trusted by the latter, and the number of followers the influencer has. However, being followed by 1000 people doesn’t make a person less an influencer than someone followed by 1M people.
Indeed, every influence count, is relevant and valuable. Having an audience, small or big, and having data about this audience (thanks to the stats) allows influencers to know who they are talking to. And this specific audience could be exactly the target public a brand wants to reach, regardless of its size, which makes it extremely interesting. I mean, imaging being able to promote your products to people who you know will like it, because you’ve designed it specifically for them. And imagine how time and money saving it is to have it all at the same place, thanks to an influencer?! In addition to this, imagine the impact of having a trusted influencer present this product to her/his audience! Jackpot, right?! 😉
So yeah, this is one of the many powers of influencers and their audience. Yet, let’s not forget that it takes a lot of time, consistency, persistance and efforts to grow an engaged following! It definitely doesn’t happen overnight and it’s an everyday job (weekends & holidays included).
2. Create content
Of course, in order to grow a community, influencers will need to give people a reason to stay with them – except if the influencer in question is already famous because she/he’s a superstar or just appeared in a reality TV show for example haha. But if it’s not the case, creativity and personality are what will make people want to follow an influencer’s creative and/or personal journey. And these are two things an influencer’s content will show.
The content an influencer creates will indeed reflect who she/he’s all while trying to match as much as possible with what the audience likes the most. Believe it or not, to create this content, influencers will at least act as: creative, model, stylist, photographer or videographer and editor. Yes, being an influencer is much more work than it appears, it require digital skills, ingenuity, creativity and much more. But let’s be honest, it’s also a lot of fun!
3. Give visibility
What now? Well, as point 1 and 2 show, influencers work their butt off to build a community and create great content. And again, as mentioned above, such audiences are goldmines for marketers. With all this, it appears obvious that the purpose of influencers nowadays is to advertise brands’ products and services to their community through the type of content they’re good at creating.
This being said, brands often don’t value influencer’s impact enough, as well as the effort they put into growing an engaged community for them (brands) to use. To say, many want to use influencer’s creative work and audience, but believe they can have it all for free or in exchange of gifts or commissions on sales.
As much as I get that we’re in a world where everything is negotiable and money is the sinews of war, hence brands wanting everything for free or as cheap as possible, I also think that all work deserves payment.
And to illustrate the irony of this bad habit that brands have to try to get influencers’ reach for free, imagine a brand asking Vogue for a free page in their next issue in exchange of commissions on sales… I bet you know what the answer would be! Hahah
All this to say that influencer’s work has a huge value that deserve to be acknowledged. Being an influencers, micro- or macro-, is a job, not a hobby. And all the work put into growing a community through engaging with it on a daily basis and creating content, content that, I repeat, would require the presence of several professionals (stylist, model, photographer, storyteller) if the brand was to create it on its own, represents many hours of hard work per day. I hope that brands who aren’t aware of this yet will come to realise it soon!
Whether you’re an influencer or not, I’d be very interested in exchanging about this topic with you! Feel free to leave a comment below or reach out on Instagram 😉