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The different types of influencers: Where do you fit in?

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) Life isn’t a popularity contest… Until it is. Influencers have a secret edge on all of us, but there are multiple ways to get to the top.

difference in influencers

The concept of influencers is a fairly polarizing one.

I don’t mean in the sense of ‘Spoiled child demands free ice cream because Instagram’, anyone who has any sense of decency or of what they’re doing already knows that’s a bunch of hot mess.

I mean the idea of what makes a personality truly viable enough to earn regular income from. I’ve heard people say it’s an exciting new industry to enter, and I’ve heard others say it’s an impossible bubble waiting to pop.

Usually people in the second half strike me as the sorts that got picked last for kickball, rubbing their hands together at the idea of the popular kids growing up to be losers. And as much as I like revenge, the more myopic nerds are wrong on this one.

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Being an influencer is a viable career IF you have what it takes, and not only do most people NOT have it, they don’t even know what “it” is.

I want to take the first chunk here to dispel the myth of ‘Influencing is only for dumb pretty people with a working phone camera’. No, dear reader, no.

Influencing is for SMART pretty people with a camera CREW.

You couldn’t PAY me to do stuff like waxing, or microblading, or juice cleansing (which is just starving plus vitamin C), but all that jazz is literally just one part of a business model’s business model.

It takes a lot of upfront money, strategy, and hard work to be a looks-based influencer, even if someone born cute makes it seem easy.

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With that out of the way, there’s another myth that could use debunking: the idea that (conventional) beauty, travel, and fitness influencers are the only kinds.

Content isn’t the king people pretend it is. CURATION is what really wears the crown. The freaks, the stoners, the tabletop gamers, the “fatties” (and I resemble that remark)—there are influencers in literally all of these categories and all the presumed undesirable ones beyond.

Am I going to pretend Kim K and gothic “sinfluencers” like Jillian Venters and Aurelio Voltaire have the same amount of pull everywhere? Of course not. But are these people garnering physical audiences and legitimate income based on catering to a niche they already liked?

Yes. Exactly.

Look at how The Nostalgia Critic, an ‘average Joe’ type—balding, bespectacled, with a mini paunch—screaming about movies online transformed the face of YouTube through sheer presence and persistence. Once his channel took off, after years of laptop-cam shot videos in his basement BEFORE paid co-stars and studio space, he and his cowriter spawned loads of copycat ‘Angry XYZ reviewer’ channels, some of which stayed the distance and developed their own voice, and some that didn’t.

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Dude didn’t need a Brazilian butt-lift or filled in brows to do that, and neither does anyone else willing to commit enough of their time to their craft and spreading its influence.

Even though I said content wasn’t the one true king, it isn’t exactly a peasant. If you’re a miniature-figurine painting geekazoid, but you’re too busy doing other cool/weird stuff to update your channel frequently, influence is something you’ll never have.

For some people, that’s fine since it’s not a priority. For everyone who wants to make money off of their hobbies, it’s either create, curate, and publish, or kiss that Black Acrylic Paint sponsorship goodbye.

I think the fact that you need to be smart and consistent for years at a stretch gets to a lot of people, no matter what their area is. A few hashtags on your ab-pics or your crafts, or both will not a following of thousands garner. And even for those who find themselves rocketed to fame through a chance viral happening, if their foundation wasn’t already there: a watermark developed, a team of potential collaborators followed, a portfolio, etc, they’ve been gifted a roof with no house under it. Luck has to find you already working.

So whether we like what they do or not, let’s at least acknowledge that influencers are working. Whether you like/follow/comment is up to you.

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You can't spell "Together" without TGOT: That Goth Over There. Staff Writer, April Bingham, is that goth; and she's all about building bridges— both metaphorically between artistry and entrepreneurship, and literally with tools she probably shouldn't be allowed to learn how to use.

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