I find it odd that anyone would actually admit being an influencer.
This is because, as I understand it, an influencer is most likely to be someone that pretends they like something because someone gave them some money to do so.
So if I was an influencer, I’d feel a bit uncomfortable with that.
I’d feel a bit shallow and stupid.
So would probably keep it quiet.
But then no one would know I was an influencer.
And wouldn’t know where to send the cheques and the stuff.
I don’t get too fed up about influencers these days, because they are dying.
Though I must admit that a more naive me did flirt with those armed with large social media audiences in the early days of Always Wear Red.
I never gifted things.
But I did feel that I should be gifting things.
Because other people were gifting things.
So it must be right.
It always made me feel funny though.
So I stayed away.
There’s a difference between a constructed, traditional (is that the right term for such a new construct?) ‘influencer’ and ‘someone with influence’.
And I think that there is additional subtext too in that if any brand takes influencing on as a marketing tactic, it is only acceptable if the greater good is fed – and it is part of their existing brand story.
So the messaging is not just made up for the latest campaign.
So, nettle tea for slimming – because it is complete and utter bullshit – is not something that traditional influencers should flaunt.
Because this makes them liars, being paid by lying brands to lie to the vulnerable and the unconfident.
Conversely, Meghan Markle wearing Huit Jeans because they are genuinely superb jeans made by a genuine brand that is genuinely creating Welsh jobs and building a genuinely bonded community is fine by me.
I just see these two things as different.
So my summary is this.
Individuals that accelerate the building of good brands and good communities that – together – spread good ideas where there is clearly no loser, are fine.
Individuals that set unreal or unrealistic goals for the vulnerable is just a really shitty thing for one human being to knowingly do to another under any circumstances.
This second way is shitty not just because the headline is a lie, but because the subtext is that people are not good enough just the way they are is a lie also.
It’s positioning an impossible solution next to an imaginary problem.
And that clearly is, and always has been, wrong.