You've Got to be Authentic to Become an Influencer is, somehow, wrong!

“You’ve Got to be Authentic to Become an Influencer” is, somehow, wrong!

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 Nowadays we see soooo many headlines of this kind:

3 Reasons Authenticity is Crucial for Influencer Marketing
The Importance of Authenticity in Influencer Marketing
Authenticity and influencer Marketing: Why it Matters

And look – from a major newspaper – how often the word “authentic” is used when talking about influencers: 

authentic Influencer..
Every article in @adweek about Influencer Marketing talks about "authenticity." But whether an influencer is authentic is NOT what makes them influential
Every article in @adweek about Influencer Marketing talks about “authenticity.” But whether an influencer is authentic is NOT what makes them influential
Authentic authentic - Forbes is the worse on that mistake!
Authentic authentic – Forbes is the worse on that mistake!

Authentic, authentic, authentic… You’ve got to be authentic.. He’s so authentic. That’s soooo authentic!

More articles sprouting up every week with the same mantra. It’s becoming (or actually has already become) a cliché.

Thanks for making me smile, everyone, but I’ve been in the Influencer business long enough to know that this is not quite true.

Whether #influencers are authentic or not is NOT what makes an account influential. Every Influencer finds something else to fire up their community -- that may be authenticity, it may be ‘authenticity,’ or it may be something else entirely.
Whether #influencers are authentic or not is NOT what makes an account influential. Every Influencer finds something else to fire up their community — that may be authenticity, it may be ‘authenticity,’ or it may be something else entirely.

Here is what I do know: not all Influencers are created equal – they are different one from another in their personalities, what they write about, and their audiences. 

Influencers can have charisma.  Or not

They can be so interesting!  Or…not!

They can be likeable.  Or despised!

And none of these things have anything to do with authenticity. Influencers can be authentically boring. Or they can be “authentic.” Or they can be almost exactly like dozens of other influencers (snarky, fashion oriented little dog? photogenic couple living out of a van?) yet still have a great following.

The above is maybe #NotAuthenticButGreat !

The most important factor in determining whether an Influencer is successful – or so I’ve found – is not whether they are “authentic,” but whether they’ve  managed to build a community. Even if their content is not entirely original — it doesn’t always matter. If they’ve built a community that is alive and kicking most days of the week and can’t wait to see the Influencer’s next posts, they’ll be successful.

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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.