Life

The reality behind Influencers

Hi guys! Today I am sharing with you the reality behind Influencers.

I am an Influencer myself, but recently decided to take more distance from this world. Especially after learning about the reality behind influencers and the big numbers. I am shocked and sad at the same time and decided to share the truth with you. This blogpost is difficult to share for me, because this will reveal some shocking stories. I kept this blogpost in my drafts for about 3 weeks and finally decided to share the truth with you. 

First of all:

I feel like being done with the fakeness of Influencers. I have met many of them in the past 3 years and have seen quite a lot. At the beginning I was impressed by all the big Influencers and was excited to meet them in person. After 1 year I slowly learned about the reality behind Influencers, which is actually shocking.

One of my previous friends is a big Influencer with many followers, likes and views. She used to be my role model and my go-to-person for questions and issues about Influencing and Instagram. That is how I learned about the truth behind the big numbers. Most of these are FAKE. I had no idea faking it would go so far, but well.. it does. And most people don’t even know about what happens behind the scenes of f.e. Instagram.

Many Instagram users want to grow their account in order to reach more people. This means they will invest in fake engagement to boost their account. Companies do it, celebreties do it, so why can’t Influencers do it?

The reality behind Influencers

The reality behind influencers
Bron: Google

Photoshop

Collaborations ask for your Social Media insights, which gives them a better view on your reach. When someone has a good engagement percentage, the collaboration will mostly close a deal.

Everyone knows about the (annoying) Instagram Algorithm and how it destroys your reach and engagement. We all have experienced a Shadowban, which resulted in an even lower engagement. How can you show such low numbers to a brand that wants to work with you? You have two options:

1) You are honest about your numbers. If the collaboration cancels the offer, well.. then I’d say “Their loss!”. And if they do close a deal, be proud of yourself for being real.
2) You use Photoshop to change your numbers. This means you will lie to your contact person and that the collaboration isn’t based on honesty.

Personally I am not a fan of option 2, because it means you need to lie about your worth. I did try to fake my insights once and it took me a while to make the edited screenshot look perfect and unedited. Did I get the collaboration? Nope! Time spent for nothing. Faking my insights felt really bad, because I was not being honest with my contact person. And I did wonder if they would’ve accepted me if I just told them the truth?? That moment was a good lesson to know I’d never invest time in faking statistics.

Buying engagement

These days you can buy everything. Yes, this means you can pay for likes/ comments/ views/ followers for any of your Social Media account(s). And honestly, which big account hasn’t bought engagement?! We all are guilty of doing it, because our main goal is to grow our accounts. Small ones aren’t easily being followed or viewed, so you have to give your account a boost in order to grow. Is the bought engagement real? Once again, nope. It all comes from bot accounts and those can easily be recognized by brands and other Social Media users.

So why spend money on something that is fake? I felt bad for the money I spent during my “testing everything out moments” as it was a waste.

The reality behind influencers
Bron: Google

Fuelgram

But not all engagement has to be fake. That’s why there are certain third party apps and websites that provide Engagement Groups and Autorounds. You need to pay a (monthly) fee to enter these groups. Once you’re in, you can only choose groups based on your amount of followers (another reason to buy fake followers, isn’t it?) and niches. Your Instagram account will become a sort of bot-account. This means you allow the third party app/ website, in this case I am referring to Fuelgram, to share likes and comments in your name during 24 hours per day. In return you’ll get likes from the other users as soon as you drop your link. All of this happens in your requested time frame (10 minutes, 1 hour, ..) and is meant to boost your account.

Buuut.. Instagram caught these kind of third party apps and decided to block them. Fuelgram can no longer be used and the same goes for Autoliker Bots (done24bot, Likeitall, ..)

the reality behind influencers
Bron: Google

Storieviews

You can also use a website to buy Storieviews. What does this mean? You have to pay a fee (shocker!) for the service. Next you need to insert 10 usernames of big accounts (preferable over 500k followers). Once you start the service, a bot will take over your account to watch all Stories from the followers from your Instagrammers of choice. This means some of those followers will see a new face between their views and will check out your profile and Stories. Most Influencers use this for 1 week so they can send screenshots with big views to their collaborations. Once the Service is over, your views and reach will drop and go back to how it used to be.

That friend I talked about earlier suggested me to use this website as I wanted to know how she got so many views on her Stories while I am still being Shadowbanned. She made me curious and I tested the Storieviews Trial, which cost $7.99 for 1 day. Quite expensive if you ask me!
It took several hours before I saw any difference in my views. I got 500 views more than I normally have. The peak in my engagement was nice, but dropped as soon as the service was over.

So is it worth the payment? Not really. I can think of better ways to spend my money.

Change of personality

Fame and big numbers do something with a person. I’ve seen many bloggers and influencers change their personalities after reaching a certain amount of followers. The number of followers is more important then the amount of likes and comments. So you get why many people prefer to invest in those.

The influencers I’ve seen changing have several things in common:

✧ A growing ego
✧ They stop engaging with their followers, unless they share the same Insta Pod
Throwing big numbers ‘in your face’ (“Look, I just reached 100K followers! Let’s celebrate!” aka. “I bought followers and am so proud of it!”)
Their posts become less personal
In most cases: They quit their jobs to become full-time Influencers
Sharing daily advertisements and discount codes, which also means: less personal Insta Stories 

I find it sad when someone changes and will unfollow them in most cases, because I don’t feel like supporting someone who doesn’t really care about their true followers. Fortunately there are many sweet people who stay true to themselves and their community. Those people get my full support, obviously!

Influencers can be very mean with each other

There is so much competition and rivalry in the world of blogging and influencing. The reality behind Influencers is that they gossip a lot about each other. There also is lots drama going on, you can’t even imagine. Not only is there competition, but also jealousy.

f.e. : Someone has a good collaboration and you want that as well. Unfortunately that brand doesn’t think you’re a good fit, so you’re being rejected. Or you ask the collaboration about their budget, but there is “none” and then you see your friend being paid by that particular collaboration. “Uhm, what the heck?!” And before you know it, you feel jealousy and start to question yourself and, maybe, your content. This can result in you feeling demotivated, down and unhappy. 

Feeling bad because of others

I also receive lots of messages from other influencers and bloggers who feel bad because of others. They even thought about removing their account just because of the mean words. When I give them my opinion and tell them to NOT listen to those low life people, they realize I am actually one of the good ones and someone who cares about others. I often receive the words “You are so sweet and down to Earth! That is very rare here on Instagram as people can be so mean and careless.”. This warms my heart, but also makes me question the behavior of my co-Instagrammers.

Never let anyone take control over your feelings! Especially not someone you’ve met online. Know your worth and be proud of what you’ve accomplished so far. 

Drama queens

And then we have the girls who like to fight with everyone. They have issues with many Influencers and enjoy talking behind their backs. My dearest ex-Influencer-friend is one of them and I hated how she talked about people I did and didn’t knew. Okay, I can understand she doesn’t like them, but calling them ugly names and laughing with their problems is not okay. She even made me hate people I didn’t know, which was wrong. At one point it became super annoying and I started feeling bad for those people. I realized her problems aren’t mine, so why should I hate someone I don’t know?

I am virtual friends with many Instagrammers and regularly get messages about some drama queens causing issues or making people feel bad about themselves. Seeing my Instafriends hurt isn’t fun and makes me sad. I always wonder how someone can have the power in making a beautiful soul feel bad?

Conclusion: Some people just love to make others feel bad and will make you question yourself and your hard work. Those people are very toxic and it’s better to stay away from them.

Comparing yourself

the reality behind influencers

Comparing yourself to someone else is something that happens a lot. Unfortunately it won’t make you happy by doing that, because you’ll end up feeling bad about your hard work. So stop comparing your Instagram account and your worth to other’s! Appreciate what you have, your followers and your progress. You’ll find more joy in doing your thing and by being yourself, then trying to be someone you’re not, just because someone else has a better feed or more collaborations.

Losing yourself

The reality of influencers can also be that they lose themselves along the way. It happened to me and several girls I follow. You start with blogging and influencing because you like to share certain products and find it exciting to work with brands. Once your account grows, more companies will reach out to you. And once they start paying you money, it gets easier to just say “YES!” instead of looking back on why you wanted to be an Influencer. Before you know it you are losing yourself in the moment and forget why you started influencing/ blogging  in the first place.

My personal experience

My intention was to share my passion for Yoga and love for food (mostly chocolate). The more messages and e-mails I got, the more tempting it was to agree on brands that didn’t really fit in my niches. At one point I shared less posts about Food and Yoga, because I got more collaborations with Beauty- and Fashion brands. My followers did see the change of content, but kept supporting me anyways. Mostly because I stayed true to my personality and still shared honest stories with them.

But then my eyes finally opened once I learned about the reality behind influencers. The feeling of demotivation showed up and I cared less about sharing posts. Why? Because this wasn’t me anymore. I missed my food- and yoga posts and finally understood what my followers and friends said: “Debby, your feed has changed.”. I got caught up in receiving products for free and didn’t care about my own interests. To be honest I did decline all offers for products I didn’t like or didn’t fully support, but felt happy when a popular brand wanted to work with me.

After breaking contact with my fake influencer friend, I took some time to reflect on myself, my blog and my Instagram posts. That is when I decided I don’t want to be an Influencer anymore, because I just want to be myself. I want to share what I want and don’t want to pretend to be someone I’m not. 

Since one week I am back to sharing Yoga- and food posts and must admit I love it! This is me and it feels so good to share what I truly like.

the reality behind influencers

Never feel bad about something that isn’t real!

My experience as an Influencer was nice, but somehow it didn’t feel like me. I compared myself, my worth and my Instagram account to others and ended up feeling super bad about it.

Now that I know what I know, I wanted to share this information with you, my beloved readers. And trust me when I say to never believe something that looks “too good to be true”. Big numbers don’t mean anything these days, so please don’t focus on it.

Focus on being yourself and sharing your positive vibes with your community. Stay true to yourself and your followers and never allow anyone to make you feel bad about yourself and/ or your work! And if you feel like losing yourself, know that it is okay to take a break to reflect on what you really want.


Q: Did Social Media make you feel bad or change yourself? Feel free to share your story with me in the comments below. Or send me a message on Instagram if you don’t like sharing it in public.

Liefs, Debby

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