Relevance: How long can you be an influencer for?

It might look quite easy to become an influencer. But do you have what it takes to stay one? Many people disregard the kind of hard work it takes to become relevant in this field. Consistency, good content and authenticity are key… but what if they all fail?

How do you not get washed away by the wave?

Popular Youtube blogger, Marzia, just deactivated her channel with over 7.4 million subscribers! In her “Goodbye Youtube” announcement video, she spoke about the bad effects of social media on mental health. “If you allow it to take over your life, I think it’s not healthy”, admitting this year she “had never struggled so much”.

“If you allow it to take over your life, I think it’s not healthy”

Marzia

Marzia further spoke about how social media made her ‘keep up appearances’ for so long. She revealed that at one point, it got so bad she says she didn’t want to leave the house and depended heavily on her fiancé for support. And Marzia’s fiancé is also a Youtube star. In fact he, PewDiePie, has over 67m followers, and is Youtube’s most subscribed star.

 

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A post shared by Marzia Bisognin (@itsmarziapie) on

So why did Marzia have to go through all this?

Well The Verge wrote on a similar topic about a month ago–the Burnout epidemic of Youtube stars. And it turns out to be right…well most of it is. According to this report, Youtube stars are under constant pressure to do the most–even if it’s not real. “Top YouTubers feel compelled to make nonstop videos for an ever-hungry audience, afraid to take breaks for fear of losing momentum, or worse, being reprimanded by the algorithm that decides what videos people see,” they reported. Due to this, top Youtubers are quitting the platform.

For how long then can you be an influencer?

“It’s true that an influencer’s day-to-day is so much harder than the dream life it appears. They might not share the late nights spent editing, constant pressure to engage, hours spent chasing brands for payment, or struggle to reply to each comment they receive – but that doesn’t mean its a big part of their life”, Influencer Update Biz explains.

So much that it gets to a point where you’d have to decide whether you want a ‘real’ job, or you’d rather live on the internet forever.

However, there are still many dying to become influencers, regardless of this pending question. BuzzFeed’s Netflix documentary ‘Follow This’ even attests to this–children are considering influencing as a career choice.

Therefore, we ask again–how long can you ‘influence’ for?
Will we meet people in ten years time who will tell us that in a previous life they had a million Instagram followers? What is the career progression?

A couple of months ago, top comedy influencer —the Fat Jewish, warned that the end is near for influencer marketing. In an interview with CNN, he shares that people are gradually getting tired of influencers. In a nutshell, he advised that every influencer got a’ real job’.

“Everybody’s just like, ‘I can go out and like hold a product, and I can make money. I just think people need to learn how to actually build things from the ground up. … That will take you farther than the internet.”

The Fat Jewish
Even influencers are getting tired of themselves– Marzia a clear example

In Marzia’s ‘Goodbye YouTube’ video, she mentions her ‘queen’ Jenna Marbles as one of her inspirations. But even Jenna, who started out in 2010, has wrestled with questions of where her career is headed, admitting in a video that has over 11m views, “the truth is I don’t know…For many of you the novelty of me has worn off, that’s because all I can give you is me. My life. My thoughts.”

Influencer Marketing still has a long way to go

Nevertheless, social media is still reaching new heights and sometimes, it’s hard to imagine how far it could go. With that in mind, there’s a high possibility that influencer marketing is just getting started. A quick glance at the comment section of Marzia’s goodbye video alone is enough to buttress this.

MORE: “It’s time to get a real job”– Top Instagram Influencer warns

“The outpouring of emotional messages beneath Marzia’s announcement is a testament to that. Influencers are successful because they are able to form deep connections with their followers. That’s why brands are so eager to have their products recommended by them. Micro influencers in particular seem to occupy a space halfway between publisher and friend, fostering strong levels of trust,” Influencer Update Biz added. And we couldn’t agree with them less!

What is the way forward?

Two things: Trust and vision. Like Marzia, many influencers have grasped the full attention and trust of their fans. It’s only when you’re able to attain this level of trust, that you can reap more benefits in the industry. You can finally ‘take a breather’, and branch into other avenues of business.

“Influencers have the benefit of a broad skills base after all, often acting as the director, editor, writer and stylist for their content. Combined with a public platform and a loyal following, it’s a strong position to be in,” added Influencer Update Biz.

So what are you waiting for? Build a true connection and start a brand too- like Marzia, who recently launched an Instagram page for her own ‘jewellery, pottery and decor’ brand.

Got any other suggestions? Let’s hear from you in the comments.
Amanda Lucy

AMANDA IS A 25 YEAR OLD COLLEGE GRADUATE. LOVES MUSIC,DANCE AND IS AN ARDENT USER OF THE INTERNET. YOU CAN FOLLOW HER INSTAGRAM @nana_yaba. SHE STARTED WRITING FOR INFLEUR IN NOVEMBER 2017

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