What’s The Point Of Being An Influencer If You're Not Making An Impact?
I don't have any desire to be a social influencer. Frankly, I'm "over" the influence.
Weird, right? Especially coming from someone who works in the "industry" and in the land of YouTube, where digital dreams are made.
Let me explain. It's not that I have a problem with "influencers" -- after all, many of them didn't choose the term or even to be one, others did it for them or it just kind of happened. This post isn't to knock people who are dubbed as influencers -- I get it, everyone has a hustle and you have to do what works for you.
But what are you actually influencing? A behavior? A trend? A style choice? And where's the balance? What's the point of it all?
I want to make an impact, not just be an influence.
For me personally, I strive for something more meaningful and lasting. Influence seems so surface level and quite honestly, like selling out -- literally. Impact holds more weight and value to me, and most people I'd like to think.
If influence is about reaching an audience, why does it often times come across so unapologetically self-serving?
A few days ago, I saw Demi Lovato (who I love) promote a detox tea on her Instagram and it made me really disappointed. She has thousands of fans, many of whom are recovering from eating disorders, and watch her every move. She speaks on behalf of eating disorder recovery groups and in 2017, made Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People List for her mental health advocacy. Her sponsored Instagram post triggered many of her fans, who openly commented.
Celebs and influencers get paid thousands for sponsored posts, but what's it all for?
I don't know how much she made off of that post (I'm sure it was a lot), but it made me wonder if she believed it was really worth using her influence in such a way. It doesn't undermine the other amazing work she has done and continues to do, but it definitely caught me by surprise. Was it really worth it?
I recently volunteered with Step Up Women's Network, an organization that works with high school girls in underserved communities to help them reach their full potential.
Not only was I able to mentor a 9th grader, but the experience was mutually beneficial. I got more out of one Saturday afternoon mentoring than I ever could being an "influencer" with a sponsored Instagram post... and I didn't even get paid. I was more invested in understanding her impressionable mindset, as opposed to trying to take advantage of it.
So, while you're selling your gummy hair vitamins and flat tummy tea on the 'gram, maybe try to better balance it out with things that actually matter, and make a lasting impact.
When it all comes down to it, I don't want to be an influencer. I want to be an impacter.