It used to be a thing in the past when only models who fit a brand’s beauty standards were hired to become face of the brand. With the rise of influencer marketing in recent times, this field of work has expanded to take in real people out there with their flawed skin and curves, banishing those standards. These people have a voice that reaches the audience and are often termed as an influencer. In a layman’s term, Influencer is a person who has the ability to influence his/her audience with their work, be it writing/blogging, photography or fashion styling for an example and helps brand market its products. These are the people we look up to for inspiration and can relate to.
But with the increase in numbers of these influencers, social media is becoming saturated with filtered and photo-shopped images of real people wanting to be perfect. There are more brand-endorsed posts on a blogger’s (now influencer) social profile these days than an actual written post on the blog. Now I understand the need to stay in the game but the very essence of blogging is kind of lost or am I the only one who feels that way. And the fact that our Instagram is filled with model-like girls trying to make it big, throws light on how we are going backwards and giving into the same old beauty standards. I had written a post on this topic earlier, you can read it here.
Sadly, many don’t understand the power of influence and getting invited to events or working on brand collaborations for free is a desperate attempt being sought after to get visibility. Now we all know that brands have to pay a hefty amount to stars and models to market their product but when it comes to paying a micro blogger like me, their budget suddenly shrinks?! And it is beyond my understanding why people agree to do this for free. I believe in order to deal with this issue, all of us have to stick to our niche while maintaining our brand value. Marketing people must also do a streamlined and in-depth search for the kind of influencers they are looking to represent their client. Only then it will be a win-win situation for all the parties and prevent irrelevant influencer marketing. A few years ago, I was part of this very interesting video project by Myntra talking about how women of different shapes and sizes face difficulties in finding right clothes for themselves and should celebrate their bodies irrespective of that. They actually had real girls with different body types to represent the case. This is a very simple example of relevant influence and the very reason for me to say yes to this project was understanding the kind of impact it’ll make on girls coming across the video and of course my audience.
Now I’m not going to point out the ways blogging industry has changed over the years. But from my experience of almost 5 years doing this, things were much simpler and real back then. Blogging celebrated individuality, but since a few years now, it is more about trying to fit in the standards laid in front of us via smartly edited Insta pictures. The upcoming influencer thinks posting model like pictures and getting invited to events is the very core of what we do here. I mean not all of us have glamorous lives portrayed on social media and we struggle to keep up with this like any regular job. The only difference is the fact that we can choose the projects that help us grow and excel in this field, if given a chance.
So what can we do in this situation, I do get this question a lot about how to start a blog and if this is a right time to start? And my standard answer is to do it only if you are really passionate about it. Find your niche and stick to it, give your audience something to relate to and do it with all your heart. When working with brands, make sure it resonates with you and you can do justice to the brand image with your work. While sometimes you will not be paid but understanding your value and the influence you can create with your work is definitely going to help you in the long run and eventually make you money. Now I have made many mistakes in the past but all these years of blogging have taught me a lot and while my journey is nothing short of a roller coaster ride, I am certainly not ready to give up on it yet just because I am not invited to events or still being sent free samples!