Is it hard to be an influencer?

Viral Access
5 min readOct 8, 2019

Transforming your social media hobby into a full-time career sounds like a dream job for some people, but is it really all it takes to be an influencer?

There’s no doubt. The power of influencer marketing in influencing people’s purchasing decision is real. In fact, a study found that only 4% of people trusted celebrity endorsements nowadays.

Photo by Wenyang on Unsplash

What’s so interesting about influencers is the fact that they are trusted as industry ‘experts’ but by sharing content and insight in a certain way, consumers view them more as their peers. As such, the idea of becoming celebrities is no longer appealing for millennial and Gen Z. Today, being a social media influencer is the goal.

The idea of influencer itself is quite controversial. Some people see it as a real job, others see it as an excuse not to get a real job. Regardless, there seems to be no stopping of the movement. More companies are willing to invest time and money in these influencers simply for being themselves and engaging with their audience.

But beneath the glitz and glams, there are lots of small nuances surrounding the role. So, we wonder, what’s it really like to be an influencer?

  1. There is no pause in the job.

Unlike your regular office workers, there’s no fixed time in influencer’s business hours. Influencers rely on social media as their main source of income, hence it’s imperative for them to be online all the time, even during weekends and vacations. There is no pause in being an influencer, especially if you’re an influencer-founded brand.

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

Furthermore, unlike what the general public think, being an influencer also means doing all the social media marketing processes that are often time-consuming, including researching, planning, styling, analyzing, shooting, post-processing, writing, and web management.

2. You have to be flexible.

While perks such as getting free stuff or traveling for free are some of the reasons people want to be an influencer, but being a good influencer also means constantly analyzing, adjusting, learning, and re-configuring yourself.

Influencers deal directly with social media, and as we know it, social media and internet trends change all the time. It’s crucial for influencers to be susceptible to change and welcome evolution. After all, influencers have to be able to come up with fresh content to keep their audience entertained and stay relevant.

Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

3. You have to be authentic yet unique.

Being authentic is an extremely important part of being an influencer. The power of influencer marketing is the inherent trust that they built with the people who follow and read their content. In the era where people value transparency above all, it’s important for these people to see influencers as “real people”. The minute they think an influencer just partners with a brand for money, there’s a huge potential they will lose interest in the said-influencer.

Now, being authentic is important, but it’s just as important to be unique. The influencer world is very saturated and highly competitive, that’s why you need to be different in order to stand out. The pressure of being constantly creative is tough, and on top of that, you need to stay consistent and deliver high-value content everytime you post.

Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

4. You have to engage and pay attention to your followers.

Today, with the rising popularity of micro and nano influencers, a large number of followers is not the goal. An engaged follower is. If an influencer has 200k followers but none of them engage him/her, you can bet that brands will steer clear. They would much rather work with someone who has 5k followers and a huge engagement rate.

This is why most influencers have to stay engaged with their community 24/7. It shows the followers that this particular influencer is a real person and their friend, not just some fantasy-unattainable-online-celebrity.

Photo by Sherise Van Dyk on Unsplash

5. Personal branding is crucial.

One of the most important things about being an influencer is being able to sell their personal brand. Influencers have to have the confidence to push themselves on their audience and on brands and companies they want to collaborate with, and they will have to stay true to themselves at the same time.

This means, sometimes, influencers need to turn down requests and offers just to protect their personal brands and keep the brand image aligned with their content aesthetic and quality.

6. Your finances are unpredictable.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

When you see influencers on Instagram of Facebook, we understand you can’t help but feel envious that their life looks glamorous and well-off. Well, while some things are true for some big influencers, but it isn’t always the case for the majority of influencers. In fact, being an influencer also means you have to settle with unstable income.

After all, influencers cannot be sure when or where they will attain another gig or job or partnership with brands. However, most influencers agreed that once you become successful, it can be a very lucrative career with a lot of opportunities.

Final thoughts

There is a lot more to being an influencer than just taking some photos of yourself, wearing nice clothes, and posting ads on your social media channels. The job requires a lot of dedication, effort, hard work, business smarts, and social media savviness.

Ultimately, we at Viral Access think that being an influencer takes patience, consistency, time and creativity to create unique and amazing content. Once you’ve overcome the initial challenges though, it could be a really fun job to do!


Viral Access is an AI and data-driven social communication company — we help you tell your story through social media. We pair your brand with relevant micro and nano influencers that help you increase awareness, engagement and conversion. We have the systems and team in place to support large scale communications throughout Asia.

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Viral Access

We’re an AI and data-driven digital marketing company who helps you tell your story through social media.