Before starting my journey in taking my hobby to create a community of mothers online, I never knew it would lead to being labeled as a social media influencer. The title social media influencer has always had such a bad connotation in my mind because of what I had read and or heard before embarking on this journey. I vowed that I never wanted to be that type of person. After all, my goal was only to form my community of mothers and help each other out in this journey.
As I continued to grow my community on social media, I continued to hear the negative labels that people associated with social media influencers.
“Social media influencers are a joke.” “They decided to take the social media influencer route because they didn’t want to go to college.” “They are a bunch of entitled people who think they should get everything for free in return for a photo on their page.” I could go on — but as you can see, the perception was not good.
As I continued my path of growing my community, though, I quickly realized that I was actually having a positive effect and influence on my community to either purchase something helpful that I had recommended, come to me for motherhood advice, and/or actively engage with me on my social media channels. Instead of jumping for joy, I got nervous for a moment because I had — by definition — now become a social media influencer. As thrilled as I was that my community of mothers had grown, I was also fearful that now I would be categorized in a negative light. I thought of all the stereotypes that had continued to run through my head that I just couldn’t relate to.
I quickly snapped out of it after coming to a realization that stereotypes are assigned to a group because of a few “bad apples” — which in turn affects the entire group as a whole. I had to look at this new title on the positive side. I was not an entitled mother who avoided college to make a career on the internet, and I was not in any position to judge. I was simply a mother who wanted to form a community and support my fellow mothers. I wanted to be a social media influencer who stood for everything opposite of all the negative stereotypes that I constantly heard.
In my path as a social media influencer, a description I am now proud to use, I now know that this hobby of mine has opened my eyes to something so much bigger. Social media influencers have taken brand marketing to a new level. Not only are brands benefiting more by using influencers because we connect with their audience at a more personal level, but influencing marketing is one of the main points of discussion when forming their marketing plan. We, as influencers, generate conversations, sometimes some that celebrities don’t feel comfortable talking about, and we have been known to set cultural trends. As influencers we have a duty in society as well, and that is to discuss serious issues that arise and not shy away from those. We have a platform to spread awareness and help change the world for the better, and we can use that to make a difference.
Contrary to what people believe about social media influencers, we are so much more than a photo holding up our favorite product that we are trying to sell you or having you swipe up. Creating content, growing my community, bringing awareness to serious societal issues, and sharing my life with my audience is what I love to do. I am not here to try to sell you something, but to truly connect with my audience and let them know that they’re not alone — that there’s a community of mothers from all walks of life that are actually more similar than you’d guess.
Influencing has expanded my knowledge in business as far as negotiating, has given me a voice to help others, and has connected me to some wonderful people across the world. Influencing is not as easy as taking a photo and posting it on your social media. Or getting free stuff and living the luxurious life of the rich and famous.
Social media influencers are a very entrepreneurial group of people, something that we as society admire so much. Perhaps we should change our names to social media entrepreneurs — maybe then people might take us more seriously.
Before you judge a social media influencer, take time to understand that they are using social media as a creative outlet to reach a mass, to share a message, to form a community and simultaneously make an income. I can’t speak for all influencers, but I know that we have the ability to spread a message faster than most people. We have the ability to start tough conversations. We have the ability as mothers to live off this income and contribute to our families.
We are so much more than a mom holding a cup of coffee in front of a pretty wall, complaining that we are tired.