Being An Influencer Is Tough Work
Unpopular opinion ahead – but beyond the glitz and glamour plastered all over their Instagram feed, it is a helluva effort that influencers have to put in. We always say that their lives are so “shiok”, seeing them receive freebies every other day, being invited to events, and earning their keep, just “by looking pretty on their Instagram feed”. But there's actually a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
Here, let’s go through what goes behind the scenes that makes the influencer a lot harder than it looks.
1. Building a strong follower base
We always hear people talk about how influencers have it easy, as if they did not work hard for the lifestyle they are living. It probably took them years of content curation, trial and error, in order to gain more followers. Building a strong follower base organically is not easy, and they had to deal with their numbers increasing very slowly and even dipping quickly on some days too.
2. Maintaining a curated feed
“Influencers just need to take pretty photos of themselves, and then they get sponsored stuff. I also can!” – Can you, really?
It takes practice to know what are your good angles, how to best present a product you’re trying to feature, and it is also time consuming to plan the concept of their feed. Another time consuming task is having to do unboxing videos. Not only do they have to ensure they include the right hashtags, correct product information, they also have to edit their videos before uploading to maintain a pleasant feed.
Can we just add that most of these unboxing videos aren’t paid for?
If you’re thinking “If I get free stuff I confirm don’t mind filming unboxing videos. Very hard meh?” Well, maybe it’s not difficult, but as with most influencers, they hold a full-time job. Imagine coming home after a long day of work, and you still have to take videos and do minor editing - we’re not sure about you, but that sounds very tiring.
3. Keeping everyone happy
In order to maintain their following, they need to make sure their followers are happy with the content they are posting. To grow their following, they then work with brands and PR agencies to gain more exposure – yes, they have to keep clients happy even if they are not paid or risk being blacklisted for future events and from receiving press kits.
Just like any other business negotiation, they also face clients who try to negotiate for low-paying engagements, and there are even those who demand free coverage. A common question from clients that influencers have to deal with: “you just need to take a picture and post for me, why should I pay you so much?”, well… please read points 1 and 2.
4. Dealing with the black sheep in the industry
Alas, there are a bunch of influencers in the industry who gave this term a horrible reputation. Undoubtedly, there are “influencers” who buy followers, who are rude and arrogant, that make people have the impression that influencers aren’t nice people after all. These black sheep undermine the efforts of all other influencers and give them a bad reputation.
All in all, what we’re saying is influencers should be treated with respect, just like any profession out there! While they often put forth a lifestyle most of us would love to have, we should never undermine the effort that goes on behind the scenes. If we can’t dedicate time and effort to consistently maintain our Instagram page, build a following, or share content, we shouldn’t discount the efforts of influencers who are able to do so.
They are more than just a "pretty face" - they are people with a business mind, they know what the market wants to see, and are effective in selling their personal style as a brand.