That is The “problem”
TBH, I get it, the term has a negative connotation, and I bet most people, would agree. This year, in particular, has felt like a bit of a boiling pot for influencer culture. IDK about you, but it’s like we’ve moved on from celeb tea time and into influencer cancel culture. It’s in national newspapers, all over the world, it’s shared, highlighted, and spread via TikTok videos and YouTube drama channels,. There it is in the comment sections of influencer posts who are experiencing call out culture. Why? Simply for making a mistake or actually being ignorant. Yeah I get it but… but, it’s intense AF.
WHY? People like to trash what they don’t understand and even more something they can’t or don’t have. Let’s take a step back and see if this explains why I feel so frustrated and misunderstood when I am misunderstood as an influencer. I started blogging in 2017, and I rebranded and few times, most recently in the last year. I started my blog as a hobby, just for fun, with no intention of turning it into part of my career. I liked the photo aspect of my blog, I was being creative as a model, a muse and collaborator. When I started my Instagram account in 2018, it wasn’t just to have a social platform to share what I was up to; it was also a creative outlet for me.
Becoming a Butterfly
I was reading blogs, cruising Insta & Twitter watching YouTubers like a stalker. I loved how a simple blog post about braids or what was in my closet made me feel like I was connecting with people who shared my interests outside of my immediate circle of friends. I’d watch and read every day, and tell my close friends about all of the amazing people I felt I’d connected with.
I fell in love with my little corner of the internet. By late 2019, I had been working on sponsored Instagram content with some very unique brands and the rest is history. I’ve now been working as a brand ambassador, content creator and influencer for nearly four years. Imma buzzin’ and totes jazzed about my often misunderstood career that began with no intention of making money.
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As you can see, this did not happen overnight, and my intentions were, and continue to be, completely pure. This is why I feel so misunderstood when people dismiss me as “that type” of influencer. People distrust type of influencer. I adore connecting with you bbz and discussing trends & social issues. Believe me, I have worked far too hard over the years to ever take this job for granted. When I say I love a product, it’s because I tried it first. My product recommendations would never lead you and your bank accounts astray.
“Influencer” has a bad reputation because so many people “blew up” overnight. They don’t have the same gratitude that years and years of hard work provides. Maybe they have managed to copy someone else’s style onto their own Instagram page. Yeah, I know this sounds salty, but I’ve seen too many people try to start a Instagram page and fail. They give up after 6 months because they started it for the wrong reasons. In this case, the scammers have been shadow banned.
Taking it back
WE decide who is and isn’t influential. Not some T-waffle who sees this as a chance to get free stuff or is looking for likes and followers as ego food. Influencer marketing has definitely evolved into a real industry. Paying someone on Instagram with an engaged audience is a lot cheaper for advertisers than a billboard, bus, or TV ad. THAT is why it’s so popular and why 90% of brands now are on board with it.
It IS a business, good business. Not every creator takes on every or just any sponsored opportunity out there. Without sounding like that dude, I fo sho will decline any sponsored opportunities that I do not feel a connection or see their value. As a result, if you follow me and enjoy my content, you can be sure that any sponsorships I post are hand-picked, not rushed, and genuine.
Yes, I make money on social media. Yeah, I post a lot of selfies, themed shots & videos. What motivates me to do it is my passion for creativity, sharing, and connecting. if you found the perfect new accessory that has transformed your style as a result of my efforts, that is just a win for both of us.