I’m being criticized for being an Influencer - how to respond? #InfluencerTips

I’m being criticized for being an Influencer – how to respond? #InfluencerTips

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I hear and see that a lot – journalists who want to bring more scandals to their readers write another “shocking” post about “another bad SMI” (social media influencer) who they “caught” doing something wrong. As a result, some may think that you are unethical, entitled, overpaid, disgusting, and what not. Undoubtedly SMI are viewed through a very narrow lens.

rich spoiled rotten..what else?
rich spoiled rotten..what else?

1. It’s not anyone’s business

Of course, you and I know – it’s not anyone’s business what content you are providing to the community YOU are building. Or at least anyone’s business except for the people who are part of that community. Someone external may not understand the context and what you are trying to do.

My take for "Is it ok to shame SMI*?" *SMI = #SocialMediaInfluencers.
My take for “Is it ok to shame SMI*?” *SMI = #SocialMediaInfluencers.

If you are a SMI, I want you to know: this phenomenon will not stop. That’s how it’s going to be, for a long time, for many reasons.

a WSJ journalist that wants to "speak to some influencers" ...?
a WSJ journalist that wants to “speak to some influencers” …?

However, I do have some ideas for you on how to respond, and how to be more immune to, as well as how to prevent, those attacks. Here:

2. Educate: Influencer is…?

It’s shocking, after so many years, people (most journalists too) don’t understand what SMI are.

They still think that SMI is something in the “lifestyle” category with photos that cut off right out of Vogue magazine, leaning on her hand in a “sexy” way. This – of course – is rubbish, and can’t be further from the truth.

Who IS an influencer? A lot of people in the media think of pictures like this as a symbol of influencers... that ain't right and is quite offensive!
A lot of people in the media think of photos like this as a symbol of influencers… that ain’t right and is quite offensive!

Most of you – the SMI – are famous, BUT not to the public, but to your own community (you know, those that come – voluntarily – to visit your feed daily). Plus everyone of you is focused on a different niche, not nessasary beauty model category.

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And so – explain that everywhere you can. We need people to understand that, and education is part of your job.

3. Educate: You are Human…

Remind them:

SMI are just people (and even behind a pet post there is a human there writing and producing…).

Explain that like everyone else, there are SMI who do good and creative things, working hard, and… those that don’t. It’s not that hard to understand…

Remember: 50 followers with great relationships can make someone SMI (see this). Of course just as with other people, SMI can be bad or good…

Do the Influencers bad, fair practices and all that?
Do the Influencers bad, fair practices and all that?

4. The hated word “Influencer”

Also, accept that the word “influencer” can be a hated word and consider using other words so people give you a chance! Look at below for alternative word, and as you can see, the writer of this column choose “SMI”!

37 (!!) Alternative Names for the (hated) Word “Influencer”
37 (!!) Alternative Names for the (hated) Word “Influencer”

5. Lead by Example

Show them examples of various SMIs – photos can really tell the story, something like that:

Influencers but not public celebs - some examples
Influencers but not public celebs – some examples

However – it’s better if YOU be the example, YOU show them that you are not fake, don’t have fake followers, and don’t do endorsements for anything you don’t love!

The market is messy today because we are so early, but we’re big believers that in 10-20 years, the notion of becoming an influencer will be as normal as becoming a journalist.

David Sokolow (@trywefind). Source: https://www.dearmishudad.com/not-all-influencers-are-bad-fake-overpaid-evils/

6. Educate: making money for a living

SMI are making content for a living, most of them are students, mothers, or regular people that need to pay their bills and loans. That’s how they make it.

RELATED  Signing an Influencer Contract as Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Let people know what you do and how hard you work (I know – you work every day, sometimes through the nights, but…do they know it? Demonstrate with visuals).

SHOULD I WORK FOR FREE, TRIXIE IS ASKING..MISHU ANSWERS.. #DEARMISHU #PAYINGBILLS
Dear Trixie,
It depends. If you’re working as a volunteer for a cause you believe in, that’s great. But if a business wants to use you & your hard work to earn money – I don’t think so. You’re worth more than that, Trixie!
Love,
Mishu #DearMishu #working #payingbills
Source: https://dearmishu.com/should-i-work-for-free/

If you take yourself seriously, and charge a fee to what you create, the world will take you seriously too. Insist on getting paid for your work – after all, you need to pay your bills, loans, food, child-care.

7. Educate: Small business

SMI are small businesses and are as essential to the economy as any other small business.

By now economists agree: small-businesses are essential to national GDP and growth. So much so that the government encourages small businesses with loans and other incentives.

SMI are the new small-businesses, they are the OXYGEN of the new Internet economy. They are not just teenagers as you would believe from the coverage of the phenomenon. They’re ‘mom and pop’ operations and many are people who make their living (or provide much needed supplemental income) by working days and nights, for hours, cultivating their  Instagram/Twitter/TikTok/Snap accounts and they are very energetic entrepreneurs. This new kind of entrepreneurship is open to anyone and not only is there nothing wrong with micro-influencers, but they are a source of inspiration, as small business owners.

Related: Did you say that small businesses are good for the US economy? I say Micro-Influencers are even better.

8. Unite with others

It might help a lot if you’ll join other SMI to bring the message. You can sing together, making a group interview to the media, or write a blog post of that topic.

RELATED  Being a social media influencer (SMI) can be very rewarding

For example I joined Neal, Lee and David (we were 17 total) in writing this article: Not all influencers are unethical, fake, or overpaid… Dear Mishu & friends tell it like it is.

9. It’s Ok to look for Love

Being a social media influencer (SMI) can be very rewarding, once you get past the scolding, shaming, and bashing by people who don't understand the work, and find the true gems among your followers.
Being a social media influencer (SMI) can also be very rewarding, once you get past the scolding, shaming, and bashing by people who don’t understand the work, and find the true gems among your followers.

10. Go private mode

Many SMI turn their social media accounts to private as a way to screen out the noise, scandal-seeking journalists, shaming, etc.

Shaming is part of influencers life
Shaming is part of influencers life
You can fight it back every day! Or… go private mode.

It’s actually a highly very recommended solution, if you want to keep the peace AND be very selective, like a VIP club!

Sometimes for an influencer going private account can be the best for managing followers - full control.
Sometimes for an influencer going private account can be the best for managing followers – full control.

That’s it for today, 🍻 for YOU, my heroes!

You literally can’t be an influencer with thin skin. sadly, this industry isn’t built for people who aren’t mentally tough or feel the need to reply to everything. the same can be said for celebrities

anonymous

More tips for Influencers.

Related:

If It Can’t Be Transactional, Then What Am I Getting from Influencer Marketing at All?





Sincerely yours,

Dear Mishu's Dad

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SMI* = Social Media Influencers


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DearMishuDad

I am the creator of Dear Mishu, a dog character that gives underdog advice to humans on social media. I originally built the account to learn about influencers and how they work. Over time, the account grew and Dear Mishu became a real social media influencer with a community of followers who ask her for advice. I use this experience and my 20 years of marketing experience to help brands understand how to reach their goals through Influencer Marketing and Social media branding.