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What does it mean to be an influencer?

Let us take a look at what it actually means to be an “influencer”. An opinion leader, a social profile with many followers, a digital content creator, or a blogger? There are a lot of different opinions on what an influencer is and is not. There are also some prejudices, stereotypes and criticism around influencers and influencer marketing. 

As the market leading influencer agency in the Nordics, we often get questions as:
  • How can we define what an influencer is?
  • What does it mean to be a professional influencer? What is an influencer’s job?

 

How can we define what an influencer is?

The term “influencer” came as a result of a need to describe the new digital opinion leaders. In short words, we can define an influencer as an online opinion leader. A person that holds their audience attention, someone the audience aspires to and which has the power to influence behavior.

People are asking; how many followers do you need to be an influencer? This is kind of a tricky question, and it’s difficult to give an accurate answer. The benefits of using influencer marketing isn’t based on reach or number of followers, but on the actual impact and relationship an influencer has with their audience. In principle, you can be an influencer as long as you have a social account with people listening to what you have to say. However, if you want to make money and start creating a business out of your social platforms, it’s hard to do this today without having at least a couple of thousand engaged followers for smaller collaborations. To make this your living, it would most likely require tens- or hundreds of thousands real, engaged followers.

At United Influencers we divide our influencers into three different categories based on a couple of checkpoints; micro influencers, macro influencers and premium influencers. In the Nordic market, when talking about number of followers, micro influencers are usually categorized somewhere between 2.000-30.000 followers, macro influencers from 30.000-100.000 and premium influencers 100.000+. In addition to number of followers, we also look at the actual reach, engagement, brand value, converting abilities and which countries their audience are based in. For instance, when we are looking to find out how much a commercial partnership would cost, all these aspects are analyzed and taken into account.

 

What does it mean to be a professional influencer?

Most people who makes a living out of being an influencer in the Nordics are signed with an agency, that takes care of the commercial part of their job. The agencies ensure collaboration with brands and advertisers that match each influencer’s expression, values and lifestyle. At United Influencers we work with finding these right matches between influencer and brands, before we create strategic and often long term concepts for partnerships. The commercial part of an influencer’s job is to create engaging and relevant content for their advertisements, which brings great results for the partnering brand and adds extra value to their followers. This includes ensuring all ads are trustworthy, authentic, fits well into their universe, as well as making sure each and every ad is for products/services they truly like and use themselves.

What is an influencer’s job?

Many believe that an influencer’s job is limited to sharing their life online, dropping in a couple of quick ads and suddenly they are making millions. In the big picture, sure this is kind of what happens, but it’s not that simple.

After working with influencers over a period of five years, we at United Influencers have really got to experience how much hard work that lies behind a successful influencer. We look at influencers as entrepreneurs. As hard working, incredibly talented people that started from the bottom and now have their own personal brand, running a successful business.

To get to that point where you can make a living from being an influencer, you have to always be active, have continuous dialogue with your audience and make sure they are engaged in what you do. You also need to be great at content creation and be able to inspire and stay interesting. Not to forget, being business savvy and having knowledge about technical platforms is a great advantage. 

When having “influencer” as your job title, you are also a public person. This means you’ll be handling the media, forums, critics, participating at events, continue to build- and maintain your brand, thinking strategically and long term. 

At United Influencers, we have great respect towards all our influencers and we truly admire the job they put down every day. Hopefully, you have gotten a better understanding of what it means to be an influencer. If you have any questions or want to have a chat about influencer marketing, please get in touch with us!

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