If you believe the contents of your Instagram feed, the life of an influencer looks so much better than yours.
Everything is just glossier, from the perfectly captured Buddha bowls to the seemingly endless holidays accompanied by the obligatory #blessed.
To be a social media influencer, your life needs to be a little extra.
And unless you’re fast-tracking your road to Insta-success through Married at First Sight (What? People go on reality shows for Instagram followers?) or buying followers, it often takes a “real” job to make extra happen.
Yes, they’re just like you, folks – working hard to make a buck. For those who aren’t celebrities, it’s a constant juggle of the day job and the side hustle, which is often a passion project that develops into a commercial entity.
According to Taryn Williams, CEO of influencer and creative talent agency theright.fit, brands are increasingly looking past high-follower “celebrity” influencers for people who are “genuine brand advocates”.
“We see a large number of talented folk adding ‘influencer’ as another string in their bow, to create highly engaging authentic content,” Williams tells Mamamia.
So how do influencers pay the bills to do that? Mamamia spoke to six influencers whose day-to-day careers may surprise you, from the fashionista who helps people on Centrelink benefits find jobs, to the YouTuber who works four jobs including the Macca’s night shift.
Name: Laura Albertin
Day job: Recruitment specialist
Insta niche: Fashion, beauty, lifestyle and travel
How do you pay the bills? I work for a job network that is connected to Centrelink. I deal with the employers and negotiate jobs that Centrelink candidates can apply for in order to get them off the benefits and get back into work. I was raised with old-school parents who have always told me that you need a job that is secure, so I have never been able to let go of the full-time job I currently do unless I know I will be able to make a stable income as being an influencer.
How many hours a week does your influencer work take? It is fair to say I spend every spare minute I have working as an influencer. I often go straight to events from work (I get changed in the car). I spend every night and weekends working on my account as well as managing other brands’ accounts (I am freelance social media manager and I currently manage three accounts). I would say I put in just as many hours as I do in my full-time role as I do as an influencer.
The biggest misconception people have about my influencer life is… A lot of people think I live this extravagant lifestyle, post pictures, attending events, etc. This is not the case – I work a full-time job to provide myself a stable income while I chase my dreams of working full time in the social media/marketing world. I am no better than everyone else and being an influencer is not as easy as just posting a photo. It takes time and thought to create content, build relationships with PR companies, brands and photographers.