To anyone on social media, it may seem like social media influencers live the ultimate life. All they have to do is go about their normal lives and post a few pictures, and suddenly they will be bombarded with corporate sponsorships. The thought of making a living by posting your day on social media seems too good to be true. So is it?
Interestingly, the question of how difficult an influencer’s life can be is the focus of a new documentary, Fake Famous, from HBO that attempts to turn ordinary people into social media influencers through hard work and quite a bit of smoke and mirrors. The documentary shows that content creation can actually be hard work and may make viewers think twice about their former wishes to become an influencer.
The lives of influencers can actually be quite difficult. As highlighted by a Forbes article, the average day in the life of an influencer isn’t just about heading to the coffee shop to snap a picture of an instagram-worthy latte. Instead, their days are full of media monitoring, content strategizing, sponsor outreach, content creation and post analysis. Thinking of influencer accounts as single-person advertising agencies is perhaps a better way to understand the work that influencers are doing every day.
All of this work raises the question: is it worth it?
Interestingly, a new study took a close look at just how much influencers have to post in order to pay off their rent and mortgage. The study found that depending on where influencers live and how many followers they have, the value of their posts varies greatly.
For instance, a mega influencer living in a low-cost-of-living state like Alabama only needs to post once per month to make rent. However, it’s hard to think of many mega-influencers that are posting content in Alabama that have hundreds of thousands of followers. Alternately, in a high-rent state like California, a micro-influencer has to post over 30 times a month to make rent. At that point, it might be worth it for micro-influencers to continue working a day job.
The data from the influencer earnings study just goes to show how unique each influencer’s professional experience is. Given the hard work that influencers with all levels of followers have to put in to create content, it is so important that any influencing hopefuls take a long, hard look at their unique cost-benefit analysis. If you or someone you know is hoping to drop everything and become an influencer, take a look at the earning potentials in your state and then start posting!