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Branding, Content Marketing, Social Media

What You Should Know Before Becoming an Influencer

Please note: This is a contributed post. View full disclosure policy.

Influencer marketing is everywhere. Since the start of the big social media platforms — YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter — influencer marketing has grown into a highly profitable industry. From the outside, it can be hard to remember that being an influencer is a job. And as the industry has grown, so has the job. 

A lot of brands now use industry experts, bloggers, content creators, and celebrities. They can engage with different audiences to better market their services and products. 

By nature of their role, social media influencers have the power to inspire their audience to use, do, or purchase certain products. Their influence comes from their experience, celebrity status, knowledge, or authority in a certain niche. 

Although it takes a lot of work to become a successful influencer, it’s not an unrealistic goal for all. If you’re considering launching a personal brand to become an influencer, there are some things you need to know before you can hit the ground running. 

It Can Strain Your Emotional Well-Being

Serious social media influence comes with emotional pressure. In addition to the strain of maintaining consistency in content quality and frequency, every publicized aspect of your life faces scrutiny.

The role can be lonely. Often times, self-reliance and a thick skin are the only things that can keep you going. Many influencers have shared how their social media brands have contributed to struggles with depression, anxieties, and other mental health issues.

Work-Life Balance Can Get Tricky

Just like every role in managing branded social media, being an influencer is a full-time job.

As an influencer, your life — and how others perceive it — is your job. That requires an active online life. One of the best things you can do: schedule your content. This helps balance your work time and personal time, rather than feeling like you need to be online at all hours of the day. If keeping on top of engaging with your audience worries you, block out some time just for replying to comments and messages. 

Transparency Is Crucial To Influencer Success

You may have noticed it’s not always easy to pick out genuine influencers. Part of the reason is that some people resort to paying for bots and fake followers to inflate their numbers. Some may even endorse brands, products, or ideas they don’t believe in.

As of right now, there’s no official “rule” against these practices. However, they are considered unethical. As we progress toward holding brands more accountable for their messaging and actions, people who choose to engage in unethical practices may face penalties in the future.

The best practices will always be for you to remain true to yourself and your values. Be transparent. Include labels and disclaimers for any sponsored content (such as the note at the top of this post!), as well as anything that could be considered an advertisement. It’s a good idea to consider having an influencer attorney, so you can ensure things are done correctly. 

While being an influencer looks fun and glamorous, it’s real work. And it can be a very rewarding career. But before you start building your brand, start thinking about it as a business.

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