The term ‘influencer’ is starting to become a word that everyone knows and you don’t have to be one or work in public relations to know what it means. Definitions may vary but in so little words, an influencer is someone who wants to inspire others and spark initiative in one to take action. An influencer can inspire (influence) someone to purchase a dress she had on in one of her photos, an influencer can be the reason why someone wanted to try a new restaurant, or an influencer can do something so show stopping, he/she sparks conversation. Depending on what side you rather be on, to influence others or to be influenced, there is something about today’s day and age that puts ‘influence’ at the forefront of conversation like never before.
So what is an influencer? I thought I would share a few thoughts on my perception of an influencer, and all that it entails.
An influencer is a content creator.
After developing a deep respect for influencers and the space in general, I decided I wanted to try it for myself with the goal to influence others in a positive way. I can truly say my mindset was “I want to do that too. But I want to do it better.” I choose to be a content creator and show the world through a lens in the way I perceive it. Is my content the best? Absolutely not. Could it be better? 100%. Time is of the essence when I have the ability to capture content and make my ideas come to life but as many influencers can agree, we are planners. Content creators are those who can see something in someone or something that no one else can see until you make it happen. For example, there is an arch way I walk by every day and since I started my blogging adventure, I have probably thought of 20+ different outfits and poses that I could capture in that one spot. A content creator sets out to make their imagination a reality with the goal to send a distinct message. This message could inspire a movement, action, or something as simple as purchasing something because you trust the influencer’s opinion and want to try the product too. Whatever it be, an influencer aims to inspire.
You tell us no, and we will show you otherwise.
An influencer doesn’t take no for an answer. If you asked me a year ago if I thought I would ever go to NYFW, I would have responded with “I would love to go.. but I am not sure how.” Fast forward to today and the opportunities I have had are indescribable. I have talked about photo ideas and brands I want to partner with among friends and family, and when my thoughts and ideas are almost laughable, I set a goal to make it come to life. There is something about the way city millennials especially choose to walk through life: we see ourselves as unstoppable, as hustlers, those who don’t want to just survive but THRIVE. Again, tell us we can’t and we will prove you wrong and do it ten times better. An influencer does just this and understands the needs and wants of society, doesn’t take no for an answer and walks through life in strides.
An ‘influencer’ is a job.
I have come to respect photography and a knack for a good eye. From the outside, if you are walking by someone who is standing outside in 30 degree weather wearing a flowy summer dress, you might roll your eyes and laugh thinking “what are they doing? How ridiculous.” I agree it is usually a laughable moment to see, but for many influencers, this is their job to showcase their outfits through social media and show how their followers how they style it. If you walked by that same influencer and you knew they had to get a photo to post for the following day because they are working with Nordstrom and have a strict contract in place (AND they are getting paid!) your opinion about the influencer landscape might be different. Many times, influencers are required to post photos of their dining experience at a restaurant, outfits, or product because there is usually a trade off (i.e. a free meal for a post on Instagram, free clothes in exchange for a blog post, etc.).
This could be seen as ‘fun’ work but to be honest, it does take time and effort and usually you can’t fully live in the moment because at the end of the day, you have requirements you need to deliver on. I love being able to work with brands I truly love and believe in and aim to showcase moments, products and experiences I value the most. Planning and shooting content is time consuming, but I always try to make it fun and entertaining. There have been times I do a shoot, look at the photos, and have to do it all over again because I am not happy with how the content turned out. Again, this takes time and planning- all worth while, but requires effort.
I am so fortunate to see my little blog expand and reach people I never thought it would- it is mouth dropping! Being an influencer is fun and SO rewarding, but there is always hard work, hustle and effort that goes behind each photo, post, and moment. Shout out to all the bloggers who inspire me each and everyday and for those who are inspired by others too!