How easily can I influence you?

After one of my Instagram posts (in my old account), I got an offer to promote a clothing line. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to sell you anything and they didn’t see me as the next Top Model. They wanted me to buy their expensive clothing at a 20% discount and then better discounts as I sold more clothing to my Insta-friends. I’ve seen Insta-friends promote what they were wearing and now I know the deal.

My old Insta-account was so popular, my husband had to fight off the paparazzi! 🤪😆 (p.s. I abandoned that account. If you see broken Instagram links on my website, that’s why.)

Google’s news algorithm sent me this story: Instagram Influencers Are Driving Luxury Hotels Crazy. Hotels are getting a lot of requests for free rooms from real and wannabe influencers. This story only has Twitter and Facebook share buttons because it’s viral or nothing!

I’m not an Instagram influencer, although it doesn’t sound like a bad job. My favorite Instagrammers are people I have mutual relationships with.

@Emlee7 is one account I follow, though, and she doesn’t follow me back. She has just 29k followers and only gets about 1k likes per photo, but Emlee’s clothing is designer and she takes photos in luxurious locations. Her photographer applies a filter to make the colors very subtle.

Here I am, climbing similar stairs in Montmartre 😂 I’m pretty sure Emlee took a taxi to the top and then walked down a couple of steps.

@baluevama could easily have influenced me to stay at Shangri-la Paris hotel during my recent stay in Paris.

A post shared by Maria Balúeva (@baluevama) on

Just for fun, I checked the hotel’s website and the Terrace Room, with just a garden view, costs $1,655/night (breakfast included). When I saw that price, picture me with the same face as when I was climbing up the stairs in Montmartre 😂. So instead I stayed at a budget Ibis hotel by Gare de L’est and still paid over $300 per night, with breakfast. What a change from two years ago when we paid $160/night for the wonderful boutique Idol Hotel, but that hotel now costs $750/night!

Who Is Being Influenced By The Influencers?

A lot of Instagram is double-tapping a ♥️ as you scroll through the feed. Many people don’t even read the captions. So I’m not sure how much sway even @baluevama.

As I said, this was my second trip to Paris. The first time was two years before I had my Instagram account. I still count it as a visit to Paris, even though my photos were landscape instead of portrait 😉

For my recent trip to Paris, I created a folder and started saving some of my favorites photos of Paris so I could take pictures similar ones. These accounts influenced me but nobody made a penny.

My husband once bought me a beautiful @montavenue watch and not so expensive through an account on Instagram. I love it and the company asked me to tag them in a photo with the watch. I did it for free, just because I was so happy with the watch. I’ve bought a few apps from the sponsored ads in my feed.

So how easily can someone convince you to buy something or stay somewhere special? Let me know in the comments… And follow me Instagram: @moodandmystery 👍

Author: Aixa

I was born and raised in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. I traveled extensively throughout Venezuela before ever thinking of leaving my country. Visit me on Instagram!

28 thoughts

  1. I love IG to find new places to visit or must see stops in places we are already visiting. I actually prefer non-influencer recommendations, and personally don’t follow the “big names”. I saw a similar article about the Maldives getting sick of IGers. One woman who has over 100k followers requested a free stay at a very expensive resort and they not only rejected her, they humiliated her. They are fed up!

    1. You’ll never get an honest opinion from an influencer since they have to write something good about the hotel, but the Paris hotel photo above speaks for itself. But we could trust each other to be honest because we know each other at this point and we know we’re not on Instagram to sell anything.

  2. I always used to wonder how much they are paid for such advertising.I know a girl who used to post primarily focussing on her cleavage till the number of followers reached 100k.After that,she removed all those posts and started promoting all the random things from earphones to protein shakes…with captions like my hardwork paid off!

    1. I doubt her followers continued with her if all they wanted to see was cleavage. I think this influencer stuff is ridiculous. The number of followers is just ego and I don’t think people are making money solely off being an influencer. Even a free five-star hotel doesn’t pay the rest of your trip.

      Thank you for reading, Apurva.

      1. Yeah.Social media gives a way to pretend to be someone you always wanted to be.Not seen the dark side of it.I hope she is well.
        Good post though 😀

      2. Thank you, my friend. I agree about social media giving people a way to pretend to be the person you’ve always wanted to be. Very well put!

  3. Wow, this is in interesting take on IG! I think, I should get on it a little more often! (You neva know, I could be the next best model) 😉 😛

    Wonderful post Aixa!❤

  4. I just recently upgraded my IG account to business which lets me do more, although I hardly think my photos and captions will influence anyone other than the folks who take the time to like and comment. I believe IG has a lot of fun potential and I am continually inspired to see awesome photography by pros and amateurs. I’m just there to share my images. Sadly my feed is filling with useless ads (although I have clicked a few that intrigued me), a lot like Facebook has (of course FB own IG now). Aixa, your influence on IG is wrapped up in your beautiful photos, stories and travel tips! I giggled at your photos of the model climbing the stairs then yours! And that makes you fun and real!

    1. Thank you so much, Terri! I loved posting the unglamorous stairs photo! Instagram becomes fun when you get to know people. It’s like the social part of blogging where we become friends with other bloggers. I just finished my post for this Sunday and I have a few sentences that show how special two of my Insta-friends made me feel while I was traveling.

      The business account is interesting, especially when you compare the “reach” number. We don’t have much control over how many people Instagram will show our photos to and I’m not going to try to post photos just to reach the most people. The advantage of not being an influencer is that we can enjoy Instagram.

  5. Everything you wrote is so on point. I believe that most of the people just click like when there see a nice photo. We can see by the comments 😁
    Great post as always, fun for reading 👍

    1. Thank you, Vesna! This was fun to write. And even if many people aren’t reading the captions, it’s a nice way to connect with those who do read them.

  6. I wonder if IG and blogging are as much fun – or as sincere – if you’re just in it for the swag?
    I love the staircase picture, Aixa. It’s so real!

    1. I think all that most influencers get is a free hotel room sometimes but I used to listen to an Instagrammer’s podcast and she always promoted her Instagram course which cost hundreds of dollars! She once tweeted that she earned $300,000 that year. But I think mostly this is vanity.

  7. Great post! I strongly dislike when some of my friends keep selling stuff on their personal pages. To share something new you like one time, because you’re excited that’s ok. Or sharing personal artwork that is something..but all that other selling is like advertisement. Just not fun.

    1. As social bloggers, we end up trusting each other so it doesn’t feel right if you’re actively recommending something because you’re making money off of it, like if I tried to promote this clothing line. But if it’s something you genuinely like and I want, then I’d be happy to buy it from your website.

      Thank you so much for reading, my friend!

  8. It turns out I wasn’t following you on Instagram, I have fixed that 🙂 I enjoy looking through photos on Instagram, but haven’t made any purchases based on what I have seen there. I find the idea of an “influencer” as a job a bit off-putting. Also either a false or bubble economy. I’m just there for the pictures 🙂
    Having said that, I have made decisions to buy things based on blogs, but it’s usually a blogger I have some sort of conversation or relationship with, kind of like in real life when I get suggestions from someone I already know.

    1. I like suggestions from bloggers or Instagrammer I’ve connected with, too, because I know they’re not just trying to make money off of me.

      I don’t know if it’s a bubble economy because now there are algorithms than analyze your influence and they’re very good. I think a lot of the wannabes will be disappointed. This company that wanted me is brilliant. They’d give me a little discount and have cheap advertising.

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