Influencer noun[ C ]UK /ˈɪn.flu.ən.sər/ US /ˈɪn.flu.ən.sɚ/
someone who affects or changes the way that other people behave
a person who is paid by a company to show and describe its products and services on social media, encouraging other people to buy them
Okay, so looking at the definition of an influencer above, I come under that category. I get paid, to promote products on my Instagram account that might influence the consumption patterns of those who follow me. I get it. But, I refuse to be known as an influencer? Why? I HATE the phrase. I know that hate is a very strong word, but honestly, I cannot stand the term. And I know I am not the other blogger/content creator/online personality to not like the word.
There are several aspects to my disliking of the word ‘influencer’. My boyfriend knows how much I don’t like being called an influencer, and sometimes now says it just to wind me up. But yesterday at work, I was talking to someone about how one of my Tik Tok videos now has over 70K views. He simply replied “You’re a proper influencer now!”. Now I know that was more of a tongue and cheek compliment, however its just that word. That word. Influencer… UGH.
If someone were to ask me what I do for a living, and what I were to class myself then I would say a content creator and blogger. I started in this online world as a blogger. It was my first platform, and my Instagram was simply a secondary to my blog. Now the roles have changed, and my earnings are predominately from Instagram, however I still commit to two blogs a week. As for the phrase content creator, this is a term which I actually admire a lot.
A content creator is someone who is responsible for the contribution of information to any media and most especially to digital media. They usually target a specific end-user/audience in specific contexts. A content creator can contribute any of the following: blog, news, image, video, audio, email, social updates and other related content.
Within my job I produce a range of content, from photographic, videography, written content and also manage all of my own emails, and schedules. So its not simply publishing one photo a day. It is a fully fledged job and a role that I really aspire too. I also feel that there is a story telling role to a content creator. Publishing content that means something, that there is a story behind each image.
The term influencer is also coined with a really negative connotation on social media. What is ironic, is that in a world of people preaching anti-trolling, self love and body positivity we are also in the biggest era of online judgement and shaming. A lot of people have a judgement towards the term influencer without even knowing someone personally. An influencer might be the most humble person you might meet. But because they get paid to marketing a brand online, they are judged heavily. I get that there are a handful of celebrities who have dragged that influencer world. We don’t want to be associated with them either. However that stereotype is one of the reasons why I hate the term.
I was looking through Twitter this morning and I came across someones account. She was an influencer marketing manager for a brand. However after looking through her feed all she did was bash influencers. I won’t go into details, but I just thought that surely, someone who works in that industry shouldn’t have those view points. Influencer marketing is the biggest marketing tactic currently, especially with coronavirus meaning brands have to source content from bloggers. It’s an extremely powerful tool and when done successfully it can really boost a brand.
It is just that word. That word linked to the negative views points of so many has really made me think about the content I want to put online. I produce content because I love photography, and videography. I do a fashion media degree so it is an industry I know a lot about. But until the word ‘influencer’ is less judged. And until people realise 90% of influencers have morals and don’t just promote skinny tea, I don’t want to be known by it.
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