Influencers: Do You Have to Be Perfect to Be One?

 


To answer the above question, it becomes necessary that we first understand what influencing means and who is considered an influence. The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that influencing affecting how someone or something develops, behaves, or thinks. Influencing can happen directly or indirectly, but it is almost always intangible. 

Who Is An Influencer?

An influencer exerts influence, and they can affect or manipulate their consumers’ choices, opinions, and much more.  Furthermore, there are several types of influencers ranging from celebrities and politicians to industry experts and academics. The degree of influence that each one has varies, as does their medium of communication. 

When big companies hear the term influencer, they almost always associate it with marketing. However, when a teen hears the same term, they might associate it with lifestyle vloggers, or informational videos, or celebrities. Personally, when I hear the term influencer, I usually associate it with social influencers like AOC or Greta Thunberg. The ones who work for a cause, start conversations about it, and drive engagement. 

The above examples go to show us how vast the landscape influencing is. They also tell us how easily accessible it is. With the right content and right target, anyone can become an influence. But here’s the catch–to be an influencer means to be parallel to perfection, or at least pretend to be one.

The Connection Between Being an Influencer and Being Perfect

There are several aspects of being an influencer that might demand perfection. Let me explain using some examples. (Keep in mind that in this post, we mainly focus on social media or just media influencers.)

1. The Competition

Contrary to what the popular myths might be, being an influencer is very hard. It’s a difficult task that requires a lot of patience, endurance, and intelligent work. It involves not only building an audience but also sustaining the gained audience. 

And to achieve that goal, an influencer should have to create new content persistently, maintain a continual presence, and be a “good enough” personality. It leads to the influencer constantly competing against the other influencers and wanting to be perfect. 

2. The Criticism 

Criticism is a part of life. Everybody has to face it. But as an influencer, the criticism that they face is unlike anything anyone can ever imagine. In the influencing industry, criticism will come from people who dislike an influencer for whatever reason and make it their mission to let them know. Then, there will be people who will inappropriately criticize someone’s work just for the kicks.

And as if that wasn’t hard enough, there’ll also be people whose only intention is to upset other people. They will use anything and everything about a person to insult them. They will attack the person’s insecurities, say ill-suited things about them, and even start or spread rumours about them. 

These “critics” and trolls will undoubtedly hurt the person on the receiving end. They might also cause the person to doubt themselves and slave their way towards achieving perfection.

3. The Responsibilities 

Being an influencer means having the ability to have an actual effect on actual people. And that comes with a lot of responsibilities. As odd as it seems, many followers think of their influencers as role models. 

They look up to them for guidance, inspiration, and emotional support. As a result, it seems like there’s no space for mistakes when you are an influencer.Many people will not hesitate to call you out if you say or do something wrong. As an influencer, you are always on constant watch. 

Every word you say, every move you make, will be analyzed and measured. Errors will immediately point out, and sometimes that’s a good thing too. There’s also no denying that in the influencing industry, there’s little room for blunders. 

Conclusion

After going through the above aspects, it becomes clearer that perfection and influencing seem to go hand in hand, but the question remains. Do you have to be perfect to be an influencer? And the answer to that is no. No, you don’t have to be perfect to be an influence. 

However, to be a good influencer, you do have to be creative, strong, and vulnerably honest with your audience. You also have to maintain a certain level of credibility, sensitivity, and accountability. That said, know that mistakes happen, and it’s okay when they do. The important thing is to accept responsibility, learn and correct them.


Written By - Chandana. C. K

Edited By - Susan Ismail


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