Generally, I’m not one to get caught up on words but “influencer” just doesn’t sit right with me. Every single time I see it or hear it, I can’t help but cringe.
I have no issue with people who use it. I hold nothing against people who are influencers. It’s the word itself which I can’t get comfortable with. It exists, it’s a thing, but I wish it wasn’t.
Call me a blogger. Call me a content creator. Just please don’t call me an influencer.
I’ve been trying to identify why it bugs me so much. It’s unusual for a particular word to wind me up. Aside from obviously derogatory words, they usually don’t get under my skin.
So, I had a think and this is what I’ve come up with.
Firstly, it is thrown around a little too often. As with any word where this happens, it starts to lose its meaning.
I’ve had (lovely and amazing) readers take my recommendations and run with them. I’d love to think people see me as authentic and honest. I hope they understand I only share things I believe in. But, I’m nowhere near having the online presence to be an influencer. Yet, I’ve received emails which have contained this term in reference to myself.
As far as I’m aware, when you take everything else away, it’s purely a marketing style. This term relates to bloggers who work with brands and showcase their products to their followers. It’s essentially a job title. That, right now, is not me.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I understand it is a dream for some people to be called an influencer. So, I know I should probably be happy about it, but I guess I don’t feel like I’ve earned it. It’s hollow and meaningless when it’s being dropped into the emails because it’s become a blanket term for bloggers, regardless of their current position.
I have been blogging for around 4 months. Referring to me as an influencer simply because I have a blog seems a bit unfair to those who grafted for years to get to where they are.
I definitely don’t – and never could – see myself as an “influencer.”
Even if, in a year or so, my blog is booming, my social media has exploded and I’m getting lots of opportunities, I’m still not going to see myself as an “influencer.” It’s not what I’m about. It doesn’t match up with my personality. The idea of me influencing anybody is almost comical to me. At a stretch, I would perhaps call myself a guide, gently encouraging people to take a certain direction.
It’s one of those words which I’d feel like an idiot for saying, and that’s on me. I simply can’t picture a day where I have the confidence to feel comfortable saying “I’m an influencer.” It seems like too powerful a word.
Given the fact there are days when I can’t decide what to wear, or what to have for lunch, the notion of me influencing anybody else’s decisions amuses me. It’s not to say I’m not capable of it, but it’s not a natural fit.
I think it’s quite insulting, to both the creator and to the audience.
For the blogger/social media extraordinaire, I don’t think it shows the work which goes into what they do. I can picture conversations where it’s like this:
“I’m an influencer.”
“Oh, right, so you just get paid to play on Instagram?”
Not that blogger is particularly much better, given how easy people seem to think it is. You get the point, though, I’m sure.
Then it makes their audience sound like sheep who will follow wherever this person leads. In reality, I know it means they trust and respect the person but applying the term influencer to someone gives them a certain level of power. Let’s face it, it has, and will be, abused.
I care about the people who read my blog, and I appreciate everything they have done for me so far. When it comes to them parting with their hard earned money, I want to be safe in the knowledge it’s beneficial for them. I see my audience as friends who want suggestions. There are bound to be influencers who feel the same way, but the term strips away that aspect of things for me. It seems very one-sided.
As for what I’d prefer to be called, I have no idea. I don’t necessarily have a better alternative to “influencer”, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
I understand bloggers have worked hard to cross the line into being influencers, and I’d never begrudge them of it. It’s just not for me. My attitudes will never line up with the connotations of “influencer” and I’m okay with that.