I Had A Glimpse Into The World Of influencers

How Easily Can I Influence You?

My influencer pose. I am, after all, in the world of influencers

Sometimes after an Instagram post, I get 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.

The first time, I was shocked. Then I learned they wanted me to buy their expensive clothing at a 20% discount. Over time, I would get better discounts. I just had to sell more clothing to my Insta-friends.

I’ve seen Insta-friends promote what they were wearing and I know the deal. How can you trust an Insta-friend who signs up for a deal like that?

We’ve all seen stories like this: Instagram Influencers Are Driving Luxury Hotels Crazy. Hotels get a lot of requests for free rooms from real and wannabe influencers. This Medium.com story only has Twitter and Facebook share buttons because it’s viral or nothing!

This Is Who Impresses Me

Emlee7 is an influencer I follow, but I’ve never bought anything she’s promoted

I’m not an Instagram influencer, although it doesn’t sound like a bad job.

@Emlee7‘s clothing is designer and she takes photos in luxurious locations. Her photographer applies a filter to make the colors very subtle.

I’ve never bought anything or stayed anywhere she’s promoted. But seeing her styles lets me know what the fashion trends are, and I find clothing at my price points.

My climb to the top of the world of influencers was exhausting

Trying to re-create Emlee’s photo wasn’t easy!

The world of influencers is exhausting! (Or maybe Emlee took a taxi to the top and then walked down a few steps.)

@baluevama knows how to influence me

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

Just for fun, I checked the hotel’s website. The Terrace Room, with just a garden view, costs $1,655/night.

Picture me with the same face as when I was climbing up the stairs in Montmartre!

I wonder how many of Baluevama’s 300k+ followers can afford the room she’s posing in. I wonder if Baluevama would stay here if she had to pay for the room.

So instead I stayed at a budget Ibis hotel by Gare de L’est and still paid over $300 per night. What a change from 2017 when we paid $160/night for the wonderful boutique Idol Hotel, but that room now costs $750/night! At least this time, I got the World Cup experience!

So many big influencers today have moved into new areas to make money. They’re selling courses or marketing their own products. Even @baluevama has moved on to selling Lightroom presets. You have to remember, she wasn’t in Shangri-La Paris to read the newspaper over breakfast. She was there to sell you. Now that her product is Lightroom presets, she’s not posing in those expensive hotels anymore.

The lesson here is that influencers aren’t living the picture perfect lives they‘re showing you, they’re portraying the lifestyle you dream of. You’re seeing a final product of their life.

THE WORLD OF WANNABE INFLUENCERS

My unglamorous Instagram photo

Here’s my glamour Instagram shot! Walking down the sweaty, shadeless streets of Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

In 2019, I closed my #follow4follow, #Like4Like Instagram account. Accumulating lots of followers and engagement that way is about ego.

By the way, I opened a new account right away. This account has long captions and I follow small list of people. The goal is to connect with people for real, as I tell my story.

Practicing the basic tango steps, in my own world, no eyes on me

My account is nearing 1k followers. People are reading my long captions, and I’m getting great comments.

By the way, I opened a new account right away. This account has long captions and I follow a small list of people. The goal is to connect with people for real, as I tell my story.

My account is nearing 1k followers. People are reading my long captions, and I’m getting great comments. That’s because I’ve made real connections with them.

These days, you don’t even need that many followers for companies to approach you. I’m getting offers with just those 1k followers I have. They see that people are reading my captions and responding. They’re ready to pay for the trust people have in me.

Maybe you’re thinking, But what’s wrong with having an additional stream of income? Having an influencer income stream would sure take a lot of the stress out of my life.

And there you have it, you’ve given up your honesty. You’re promoting products for money.

My husband once bought me a beautiful @montavenue watch through an account on Instagram. I love it. The Australian 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.

My new Instagram account is a travelogue. Sometimes I recommend restaurants or hotels because I’ve enjoyed the experience. I’ve never been paid. If a hotel approached me, I would be tempted to accept. But what if I didn’t like the hotel? I’d be obligated to promote it.How would you feel staying in a hotel that I didn’t really like?

So You Want To Be An Influencer?

You don’t even need that many followers anymore. I’m getting offers with just those 1k followers I have. They see that people are reading my captions and responding. They’re ready to sponsor my word of mouth. But some discounts, or even free products, won’t make me happier in life.

My husband once bought me a beautiful @montavenue watch, and not so expensive, through an account on Instagram. I love it. 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 never bought anything else.

My new Instagram account is a travelogue. Sometimes I recommend restaurants or hotels because I’ve enjoyed the experience. I’ve never been paid. If a hotel approached me, I would be tempted to accept. But what if I didn’t like the hotel? I’d be obligated to promote it.


Medium.com isn’t so different. People follow me without reading my stories. They want me to follow back.

But sometimes people read my stories and even clap, but they don’t follow me. That seems so much more authentic, especially if I get a comment.

So how easily can someone influence you? Do you buy things or stay places you see on social media? Let me know in the comments… And follow me Instagram: @moodandmystery 😉👍


Shorter but always interesting stories @moodandmystery on Instagram

Aixa

Sightseeing should be more than learning dates and architectural styles. Look a little deeper and you find the stories behind the places.

31 comments

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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.

      • 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 😀

      • 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!

  • 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!❤

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • HA. Top Model it is, Aixa.
    I picture you with that expression on your face. You’d be an unconventional one, making faces and moving boundaries.
    Loved this post.

  • 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 👍

    • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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.

      • Thank you! I like this because it’s simple. I don’t like anything too busy looking 🤗🤗🤗

    • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • Yeah, bubble economy is probably the wrong word. I agree that it is brilliant from a marketing standpoint. Maybe it’s just safer for me to say that I find it exploitive and false.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.