Do you know that by 2020, the influencer marketing industry is expected to be worth $10 billion? This clearly indicates that the popularity of influencer marketing is increasing and brands will continue to use influencer marketing over traditional marketing.
The increase in the use of influencer marketing is encouraging people to become influencers. Many people have left their typical 9-to-5 jobs to become successful influencers. And their glamorous, seemingly careful lifestyles may have inspired you to become an influencer.
However, behind all of the glamorous pics and free products, an influencer’s life is not always as easy as it may seem. Along with all the fame and success, they also have to face faceless haters on the internet on a daily basis. So, before you decide to become an influencer, you need to know the pros and cons of the job.
So, here are some of the biggest pros and cons of being an influencer.
The Pros of Being an Influencer
1. Opportunity to Work With Awesome Brands
One of the biggest advantages of being an influencer is that you can get to collaborate with awesome (and sometimes big) brands. However, you need to work towards this dream. The landscape of influencer marketing is gradually evolving. So, you need to pick one niche and create appealing content for your audience.
Let’s say you are starting as a fitness enthusiast. Then you need to log your fitness journey on social platforms. Make sure that the content you put up is authentic and exciting.
This will help you slowly build your presence on the platform, gain genuine followers, and soon, exciting opportunities to work with brands. You could even take a proactive approach and search for brands to work with instead of waiting for them to approach you.
If you participate in influencer communities like Influence.co, you could get discovered by brands who are launching campaigns. You could even discover campaign listings and apply to them directly.
Being an influencer opens up the door to new opportunities. So, dreams do come true. Once you are recognized as an influencer, it gives you an opportunity to build and strengthen your relationships with the brands from your niche.
For example, Chell Hendrix is a beauty influencer who collaborates with one of the most popular beauty brands, Huda Beauty. She shares her honest and genuine opinions about products with her YouTube subscribers. As you can see, the video below managed to receive more than 1M views.
2. Turn Your Passion into a Profession
Very few people are blessed with the opportunity to turn their passion into a profession. Just imagine that you are creative, able to talk about things which are close to your heart, and able to earn a living from your passion? It sounds amazing, right?
You could be your own boss. You could set your own working hours. The freedom to work on your own terms is probably the best advantage of being an influencer. You can also plan your travel around your work as it will help you create more authentic, genuine content. Thus, adding more value to your community.
However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. If you think that every influencer is minting money, then you cannot be more wrong. It takes time to build your profile, earn followers, and work with a brand.
3. Use Your Success to Inspire People and Make a Difference
Making a difference in people’s lives is another of the best advantages of being an influencer. If this is what attracts you to being an influencer, then it’s time you get started.
You may not gain millions of followers or become an Instagram star overnight. However, when you inspire people, you will gain genuine and loyal followers. They will look up to you for suggestions regarding fashion, beauty, fitness, or your specific niche.
You can leverage your success and voice to talk about some real issues as well. For instance, climate change, gender equality, health, or education and increase awareness among your audience.
The list is long; you can talk about any topic which is close to your heart, and which you genuinely believe in it.
A lot of weight is placed on your thoughts. You know what they say, “with great power comes great responsibility.” So, you have to be incredibility aware of what you talk about and post on social media. You don’t want to lose your loyal followers.
4. Get Free Products and Event Invites
Another perk of being a successful influencer is that you may get to go to amazing events. You may also get free goodies and products from your favorite brands. This is pretty obvious, but it’s not the number one perk.
If you want to become an influencer just to get your hands on the “free stuff,” then you are doing it for all the wrong reasons.
Having said that, brands will still want to send you their event invites and free goodies. From a business point of view, you are helping them reach their target audiences. You are also helping put their products or services in the limelight. And obviously, for you, it feels good to be pampered.
However, it would be entirely wrong to accept free stuff from just any and every brand. Always make sure to accept free stuff from brands that align with your principles and value system. Otherwise, it can deeply impact your engagement and credibility with your followers. So, be careful and don’t let any brand lure you.
For example, Julia Hys is a fashion influencer and Instagrammer with 61.2K followers on her account. She was invited to Berlin Fashion Week 2019 and posted her picture from the event. The post received more than 1K likes in just three days.
The Cons of Being an Influencer
1. Career Uncertainty
The journey of an influencer is not always smooth sailing. They often face a lot of ups and downs. Additionally, there is a lot of competition among influencers. So, you need to curate smart, engaging, and interesting content.
One small wrong move and your career as an influencer can be over. So, being an influencer doesn’t guarantee job security.
Also, maybe you are tired of answering questions like, “what exactly you do?” It can be difficult to explain your job as an influencer to your family and friends. Your family members in particular will likely have lots of questions regarding your job and it can be challenging to explain them.
2. You Cannot Take Time Off
You need to be invariably “ON” all the time as being an influencer is a 24/7 job. It’s the harsh reality of an influencer life. It often requires that you post content regularly. The moment you stop posting content or replying to comments, your engagement rate will decrease.
As a result, the algorithm will stop showing your new content in the news feeds of your audience. So, you need to figure out the right times and days to post and plan your days accordingly.
3. Internet Bullies and Faceless Haters
Nowadays, everyone is at risk of facing internet bullies and so are influencers. Influencers really put themselves out there on social media and often share their insecurities with their loyal followers. The chances of them getting attacked by internet haters and bullies are higher than other people.
All you can do is be strong and thick-skinned and ignore such haters. It’s an utter waste of your time and energy to engage with them. All they want is unnecessary public attention and they will feed on that.
So, try to appreciate the positive and constructive feedback, and ignore the negativity around you. It’s easier said than done, but you need to consciously follow this rule for the good of your mental health.
Just like any other job, being an influencer has also pros and cons. If you want to become an influencer, consider this list of pros and cons before you make the decision.
Are there any other major pros and cons of being an influencer that I’ve missed above? Please feel free to share your insights in the comments.
Gaurav Sharma is the Co-founder of Attrock, a result driven Digital Marketing Agency. He’s a certified Google Analytics and Adwords specialist who regularly contributes to reputed publications like the Huffington Post, TechCrunch and many more. He leverages his experience and knowledge as a digital marketer to help influencers monetize their efforts and eCommerce and SaaS companies grow their revenues. When he isn’t inspiring his team of devoted individuals to achieve more, he can be found globe-trotting, sampling all that the world has to offer.