I have had this space for 4 plus years now. Longer than I’ve had any job! And even though I don’t consider myself an influencer, I’d like to think that I’m slowly walking towards becoming one. I’m a story teller. Always have been and probably always will be. I love telling people my story and listening to theirs. You find out more about yourself through others and what they are going through. And I remember the first time I got this feeling, a couple of years ago. Reading something someone else wrote, that described perfectly what I was feeling and lacking to put into words.
Story telling is a powerful source. Which was what brought me to this world in the first place. But, as I dig more into the realms of the influencer industry, I feel ever more detached from the likes of it. You read, hear and know so much about it because of the constant scrutiny, picking and pointing. It’s definitely a very recent profession. Which means that, the lines defining it are still slightly blurred. But we can certainly list a few pre-requisites to be considered in the influencer industry. (e.g. a significant following/community, engagement, visibility, partnerships).
I’ve worked with some of the most prominent figures leading the industry. Attended a fair share of events and happenings. Talked in depth about what it takes to make or break it. The first thing to say about it is that, it’s very volatile. Because it’s so new, the rules and laws are being defined as we go. Not only that, but it also relies on an everyday changing ecosystem: the internet. Same can be said about social networks. How is someone supposed to do business on something they can’t control/don’t own?
I truly believe that this is an unprecedented movement and there’s a huge opportunity to connect with a wider audience. Before, we were constraint by our group of friends, personal acquaintances and not much else. Now, we can freely talk about our lifestyle and connect with people that are, maybe, going through the same. I have received a number of e-mails and DM’s that connected me to people who said that they saw themselves in my writing. How amazing is that?
For me, it’s not about the events – which I’m really terrified of – or the free things, although those are always great. It’s the genuine connection you can make with someone else on the other side of the world. The talks you have, people you discover. All along, while discovering yourself.
I’ve been feeling very disconnected to some of the influencers/bloggers I’ve followed forever on Instagram. Whether it’s because they are too big in the industry, too commercial or don’t add anything particularly meaningful. The past month has been an unfollow series for me. And don’t misinterpret. I’m not saying they’re not doing something of importance. It’s amazing how some of them have become reputable and have a major impact on the influencer industry. I just find myself looking in an opposite direction and searching for content with more meaning, insights and thoughtfulness. Which is what I aspire to produce.
Actually, I had this conversation very recently, and I don’t just want to convey the message through words. But through what I wear, what I eat, what I do. I want my clothes to tell you a story, of where, why and how I got them. My food to represent a step into a healthy life. What I do to be a story we can all tell. Because it’s not only going to be my story, but everyone else I cross paths with and sees themself in it. The father who was always there for me, the husband who’s pushed me forward, the friend who tells me the truth. The girl who messages you from Australia. This is what true influence is. Sharing your passions, your fears, your dreams.
Second part coming next week.