According to a recent survey by Morning Consult the US, being an influencer is an appealing career to 86% of people between the age of 13 to 38. In this article, India Metson takes a closer look at what today’s hottest dream job really looks like….
Fashion influencers. Those people we don’t actually know but through Instagram we somehow pretty much know their life story. The daily pictures we are obsessed with that always manage to spark a little jealousy as we think, “Why is that not my life?”.
But when you look to the future, how secure are these dream jobs? How many more influencers are going to enter the market before it becomes over saturated and followers start to lose interest?
Judging by the continuing success of social media and influencer market, surely the future can only get bigger and brighter? Potentially yes, for the foreseeable.
However, the key weakness that could cause the biggest downfall of influencers is how dependent they are on their audience. With users already taking social media detoxes more frequently, it is hard to say whether these will lead to users permanently deleting the apps.
Digital Detoxes and Careful Consumption
Recent campaigns convincing consumers to embrace themselves no matter what body shape, nationality or appearance, has been a true success among social media.
However, it is worth investigating whether this will then have a future effect on influencers whose users have idolised them, but for the wrong reasons. As more of the influenced accept themselves as they are, they could be inspired to become an influencer themselves or perhaps even stop being a ‘follower’ and become their own idol.
As technology develops, traditional jobs with human employees have been replaced by robots. Factory workers and bankers, have now been replaced with machinery and ATM’s. Fashion influencers are also being closely chased by this technology with robot influencers already existing and growing in popularity.
Could robots be the end of the fashion influencer?
One of the most successful robots is @lilmiquela; she is not real in the physical world and is a computer-generated icon. With her Instagram following already over 1 million and expanding, she is proving to live out a career that many real human influencers would be jealous of. Having a debut single reach number eight on Spotify Viral in August 2017 and posting outfits wearing big named brands such as Chanel, Supreme and Vans, the avatar offers new and exciting opportunities for brands to be creative with their content.
These brands revel at feeding the curiosity of followers to keep them guessing as to what is real and what isn’t. Will the recent events of influencers opening up about mental health act as their upper hand on computer generated competition, as followers can relate to human emotion?
Is it really all a dream?
Despite the impression online that fashion influencers live everyone’s dream life, the pressure behind the posts is high. Content organisation can be extremely time consuming and stressful; from predicting engagement to scheduling to editing.
It is also worth remembering that the monetary gain of being an influencer relies heavily on the individual having a high following. This can be tricky to maintain, especially if they start young, as their interests and style identities will alter as they get older.
An influencer’s career life is heavily dependent on age; as the individual ages they have to tactically change their content to match. Streetwear brands often use young adult influencers as they believe their similarly aged audiences can see their own reflections in them.
One way influencers adapt to ensure growing older doesn’t end their career, is by introducing themselves to new markets. For example, if they have just had a baby, they’ll focus on new parents as new followers to balance the loss they may have experienced. This offers new opportunities for partnering with a new range of brands.
So, before we all start wishing away our 9-5 jobs for the return of what seems like numerous free trips to Bali, lets really think about how long that perfect life would last and at what cost.
I have a new admiration for influencers after writing this article; the mental strength they need to put up with trolling; the personal stress of the ticking time bomb with content creation and posting; and of course, the almighty doom of having a photo with low likes, which to us as users can be a few seconds of disappointment, but to an influencer can cost them their career.