I have had something weighing on my heart lately, especially with COVID-19 going on and so many people affected financially.
I’ve noticed a trend, especially recently amongst influencers/bloggers. The trend I’ve been seeing is influencers, no matter the medium in which they connect with others, are taking every sponsorship and partnership that is coming their way.
I know that they probably receive hundreds, if not thousands, of offers they refuse every month. However, when someone reads multiple blogs by different people, and they are all promoting the same exact product, and using almost the same exact words, it seems…fake.
Last week, I was watching Youtube, and a video popped up. It was about a woman who had previously worked with a company…the one time she gave suggestions on how to better their product they dropped her. This is ridiculous. Every company should be able to handle criticism because it will come! It does not matter how perfect the company is, there will be mistakes and people will find something to nitpick at. Every item cannot be perfect or something every single person will love. This is okay. What is not okay, is pretending that it is.
I have worked in retail for at least 5 years, and never once did I have an entire store of perfectly fitting items. There was always something that could have been better, and I make sure to give suggestions based on fit to customers.
Have you noticed that when products are sent to influencers, you will typically see the same product over and over again, even if they offer different things? It’s because those are the best fitting items. I have no problem with this, but influencers really need to try a sample of every product, not just a select few items that the brand already knows will do well.
To me, the worst part of all of this is that these people constantly say “I don’t promote anything I don’t personally love”. Okay, I get that you try (or at least hope that you try) all products you promote on your blog, Instagram, YouTube channel, etc. However, if you only mention the product or brand one or two times, that makes it look really suspicious that you are only there to promote the brand.
If you didn’t know, since J.Crew filed for bankruptcy protection, they have cancelled their influencer program. This means that any products from J.Crew that an influcer shares, they are not receiving any compensation for. There have already been influencers who have said they will no longer share J.Crew product for the sole fact that they are not going to make money or receive any other compensation (most likely product).
I get that these people are trying to make an income, and these sponsorships and partnerships are the best way to make money. However, is it worth it to promote a brand or product that is not the best, simply because they’re paying you?
Yes, influencers legally have to disclose if they are being compensated with product or money. They also have to say if it is their honest opinion. If every single product that is promoted is “the best thing ever”, at some point readers/viewers are going to stop believing that influencer.
Like any blogger, I have dreams of brands I would love to work with. If I start working with every single brand just to build myself up, I know I’ll feel like a sell-out. I know I cannot control what other people do, but I am making a promise to y’all, that I will never take a sponsorship or partnership just to make some money. Everything you will find here is going to be authentic.
There are also influencers that are doing group giveaways. I know that these influencers could probably not afford (at least not feasibly) to give away a Peloton-or 8 of them in a week unless they did it with a group of people. However, this is still “buying” likes, followers, etc. Loop giveaways and these group giveaways are essentially the same thing. I know so many people who just unfollow everyone when the giveaway is over because they weren’t interested in following the people in the first place. This is still “buying followers”, and to me, is unethical. It’s also not beneficial to grow your following for a week or so, and then lose all those people just because of a giveaway. I’m not even sure I would feel differently about this if those followers stayed even after the giveaway ended.
Now, you can probably tell that most of my concerns with influencers are based on followers and authenticity. That’s true and that leads me to my last points. Be authentically you.
I feel like so many of these influencers are just playing with trends, instead of being themselves. I see so many posts on Instagram and on blogs where they are overly promoting some new trend, and then they quickly move onto the next one. This is not worth it! I want to know who you are as a person and see the same things that are consistent. I understand that people change and find new interests, but I do not understand picking one trend after another to “commit to” just to make some money or gain popularity.
The last thing that really bothers me is how perfect these influencers feel they need to be. It is rare to find someone who is willing to be on camera without makeup, real wake ups, etc. I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t sleep in a face full of makeup or look perfect every second of the day. I understand they are only sharing a snippet of their day; however, influencers can show us reality. I definitely would only think more of the influencer if they showed us who their authentic self.
On the flip side, these influencers get comments from internet trolls and people can be really rude when they show their authentic self. We have to stop allowing this behavior, if you’re one of those people that leaves rude messages to people, act as if the influencer will see it. Would you still post it? No? Then don’t send it. These influencers could (and probably would) be more authentic if people let them be who they are without criticizing their every move.
To the influencers that have stayed true to themselves and their brand, thank you! You are the influencers that people will continue to connect with and continue to follow. You are truly appreciated. You are rare, and a true inspiration to others around you.
Am I saying that influencers cannot provide promotional links and things like that? Abolsutely not! They are a huge asset for businesses. I’m just asking they actually use and care about the products they are mentioning and promoting to the public. Don’t just promote something for the sake of a paycheck. Don’t do giveaways to gain fake followers. Promote a product because you love it, not because you’re paid for it. Be authentically you. Also, please keep doing giveaways! People love them (me too!) but don’t do them for the sake of fake followers.
Influencing Needs to Change appeared first on lindseyemartin.com