The Rise of The Influencer
Rewind a few years, and if someone had said they were an “Influencer”, most of us would have a look of bewilderment.
What is an Influencer?
An “influencer” is someone who has the ability to influence people’s decision making. Often seen as subject matter experts; people look to them for inspiration and recommendations on the best items to purchase, advice to follow, etc.
Influencer’s can be found across all subject areas; from technology to parenting, cleaning to travel, lifestyle to education and everything in between.
The influencing trend thrived with social media. All of a sudden “ordinary” people had the ability to reach huge numbers of people across the globe.
People spend hours on social media. When they come across someone whose content is interesting to them, they’ll follow them. If they find that person trustworthy, they will often follow their advice, suggestions or try to emulate their lifestyle.
The Leap from Social Media to Mainstream
For a long time, influencers were confined to the world of social media. That’s not the case now. The names of many social media influencers are now household names. All you have to do is turn on the TV and you can see influencers with slots on midday TV, kids programmes, modelling assignments, reality TV, gameshows, soap operas, dramas, etc.
There seems to be no end to the reach of influencers. Take a walk down the high street and you’ll find many influencers have their own product lines in high street shops.
There’s an Influencer in All of Us
Do people come to you for advice? That could be advice on anything. It could be what’s the best paint to use? Would this necklace go well with my outfit? What plants would be good in a shady spot? What should I bring with me to university? What’s the secret to your baking?
If people are asking for your advice, it’s because they value your opinion and will consider what you say when evaluating their situation. For many of us, our influence is confined to our circle of family, friends and colleagues. But with social media that circle can grow exponentially.
How Do I Become an Influencer?
The best advice, is not to start out with the sole purpose of wanting to be an influencer. In order to build a loyal following your voice should be authentic and genuine. You should have a real passion to share your knowledge. If you’re in it to just grow your numbers people will soon see through you and it’s very hard to get off the ground.
Create content that is interesting and relevant to your audience. And as your numbers grow try to stay loyal to your true voice. Obviously as the years go by your content will change but try not to alienate your original audience as they will often be your most loyal following.
The Future of Influencers
There seems to be no end to the reach of influencers nowadays. Many have successfully made the leap to mainstream recognition. So, what other changes may happen in the realm?
Well one advancement, that I bet the majority of you weren’t aware of, is that of the virtual influencers. I didn’t know such a thing existed until recently. But what are they? A virtual influencer is a computer-generated realistic version of a person. They are so true to life that at first glance you’d be mistaken for thinking they were a real person. They are often created by a brand for targeted marketing.
Who knows what’s still to come within the world of influencers? One thing is for sure, influencers in one form or another, will be around for a long time to come.