I was asked to be a part of a “I Woke Up Like This Challenge” to help dissolve the fakeness of Instagram. I love the philosophy behind the campaign but I decided to pass on my participation. Why? Because it’s been a goal of mine to be more real with you and I don’t want it to just be one day of realness.
So, in order for more realness of it all – I’m sharing with you 10 Truths About Being An Influencer
Maybe you’re an influencer and will COMPLETELY relate to this post or maybe you’re not and will just get a little understanding into our world.
- Being an Influencer is HARD WORK – we put up the pretty images, the cool stuff we get, the beautiful events, but no one is really talking about how long it takes to write an actual blog post, how there isn’t a rule book to finding your voice, or sharing how “glamorous” it was to drive cross-town, change in your car, rush an hour and get shots of 3 different looks so you have new content to share. Most of us pay for photography, too, so we’re constantly putting money into our businesses just like any other business owner would.
- It’s Cliquey, AF – I started asking for plus ones or asking the publicist if my influencer friends can come because I’ve been at so many awkward lunches, dinners, events where I kinda wonder around. Girls I once was friends with have given me the cold shoulder at events – maybe we went a new direction with our styles/brands, or maybe – who knows?! I know some girls who are constantly talking about how much they “hate” events and talk shit about blogging – which, for me, I’d rather not be around that energy. There’s also the cliques where you know that some girls are just so tight it’s basically impossible to break in. Of course there are the super cool girls I love and the amazing friends I’ve made, but nothing really surprises me anymore. Thankfully, I’m a lot more comfortable with myself and can usually hang no matter the situation but some of these events can be super awkward. Thank goodness for plus ones!
- UNBOXING is WORK – let me tell you the cycle of being a blogger. There are products constantly going in and products constantly going out, and while that sounds nice, and it is, it’s also WORK. There’s a constant cycle of new clothes (purchased or gifted), beauty products, gift bags, etc. and whether you list them on Poshmark or store them in organization, it’s time and work. I know this may seem silly but there’s also the idea of not wanting these products to go to waste and finding a home for them – whether in your own daily life, a gift or giving them away. Organization is not my strong point, which is why this part may stress me out more than others. Also, once something is worn on the GRAM and pretty much everyone you knows sees it, it’s like old news…so you can really get a few more uses out of it before it’s time to move it on.
- Making A Living On Blogging Alone? – it’s possible, but you really have to be a hustler to make ISH happen financially. At least that’s been the case for me. It’s so tempting to accept things for trade because that means you don’t have to buy shampoo, skincare, etc., but life starts to get crazy running two jobs, constantly organizing your place with so much stuff, etc. I know a lot of bloggers that are full time who either live with a husband or parents. They seem to be killing it but there probably not talking about the fact that they don’t have to pay rent. There is NOTHING wrong with a little support but just know most bloggers are sacrificing something in order to bring you badass content and live a life that they love (most of the time).
- Your Friends May Not Understand – and in fact, you may lose friends. Some may call you “fake” or “vain” since we’re posting pictures of ourselves everyday or are wanting to improve our looks. Others may not support your dreams and just think the profession is silly. Just recently, I met a girl through I guy I was with and I told her “I work an influencer.” She responded with “Ha, yeah, everyone thinks they’re an influencer these days.” I was so frustrated…but smiled and ignored it. It’s not the traditional path and that’s OK, we just have to own it and take the good with the bad, like anything else.
- It’s Tough Not To Always Think…What’s Next – as an influencer, the success comes down to you and you alone. I haven’t had much help, or really any at all, just figured it out on my own. Once we hit certain goals, we have new ones to make. Theres’s a lot of strategy involved and sometimes that’s tough to figure out on your own. For example, if you admire a certain brand and really want to work with, oftentimes you have to align your content with their brand image so everything you put out is leading you in one direction to get there. There’s also the vulnerability that what put out online DEFINES you and can be judged by thousands of people. But outside of that, which doesn’t really affect me much, there’s always a new goal, story idea, area you may want to expand into (travel, Vlogging, etc) and it’s hard to sit still.
- Sometimes There’s Guilt Involved – I work two jobs, both on my own, which I’m so thankful for but my success, is on me and me alone. There can be a lot of guilt on not doing more. It goes back to always being on the next thing and wanting to bring you the best content and stories, but sometimes, I can only deliver half of what I’d like to produce. Influencers don’t have a boss, so you have to be super self-disciplined, but also not beat yourself up when you don’t get as much done as you should.
- It’s Tough Not To Compare, So You Really Should Be Comfortable In Your Own Skin If You’re Going to Be a Blogger – we all grow at different rates and have different opps. Some girls are invited to events that we think we should be invited to. Some are getting tons of paid campaigns while you’re not. The best thing I learned is to not focus on others and be true to myself, constantly focused on my next goal or improving my own work. We can’t please them all and you really have to be comfortable with it all in order to make this industry without getting crushed. Thick skin and hustling is needed.
- Dating Can Be Weird – when it comes to dating or meeting new people, Instagram is the first thing people ask for. My platform is clearly geared towards women: beauty, fashion, etc., and while I tell people it’s for business, they still want to connect. Let’s say we’ve met once but then we connect on Instagram, he gets to see me trying on clothes, pictures of me almost every day and talking about skincare and all the works. It’s a little weird, right?! Plus, I’m so much more than what I put on Instagram.
- Competing Against The Fakes – this is the part that does get under my skin a bit. It’s been a commitment of mine to conduct my business with integrity – that means not falling into the trap of constantly buying followers and likes (or giveaways) to keep up with the numbers game. However, it’s a VERY big part of the industry. I remember being the same size as a lot of these girls and all of a sudden, they’re at 250K. Yes, they’re producing great content, but people don’t just blow up like that overnight unless you’re a celebrity. Plus, it’s obvious and easy to know who is buying likes and followers. When someone first posts you’ll notices their “Likers” are random bots or from an exchange likes program and they aren’t following the blogger. To me, I lose a lot of respect, because they’re charging these companies a pretty penny and I don’t get how they feel OK about it. Maybe because everyone else is doing it?! It’s sad… and I’m so happy to have a smaller authentic and engaged audience!
Each influencer is going to have their own reality but these are just some of the real life industry things I know myself and a lot of my friends deal with daily. Can you relate? Let me know in the comments what you think!