Dear Farillio Expert: Is it realistic to want to be an influencer? The Media Psychologist, Charlotte Armitage gives her thoughts.

5 min read

Friday 23 Jul 21

Dear Farillio member,

On 27th April 2021, you asked our incredible expert Charlotte Armitage on the Go Far Fast Show:

“My sister is obsessed with how many Instagram and TikTok followers she has. It's all she goes on about. She literally does nothing other than post when she's not at work. She says that she wants to make her social accounts into a business and become an influencer. I'm really worried that she's not being realistic and that none of this is going to pay her rent. Hardly anyone makes this happen as far as I can see.”

And Charlotte said:

Be mighty always, Farillio


“Without having all of the information this is a hard one to answer. Some people do influence and they make a lot of money for doing relatively little work. An influencer would probably kill me for saying this but when you compare it to an ordinary nine to five job, an influencer can make thousands of pounds just from a post or a short video. There is a viable career there for a period of time if you have something that you are good at. If you get enough people engaging with you, people can build up these types of followings. However, you have to have something, you can't just be posting pictures of anything. People are interested in influences for a reason. There is the possibility that people can go into that career, but you certainly wouldn't suggest that someone puts all their eggs in one basket for this. In the beginning, it should be something to supplement your existing income with, unless it takes off and you become massive. Even then there are longevity issues with that. It's unlikely that anyone is going to be doing this for 50 years.

The first part of that question was ‘my sister is obsessed with how many Instagram and TikTok followers she's got’. The influences that I know who do well, do well because they are passionate about the content that they create. They enjoy it and, as a result, people follow them. When people are obsessed with the number of followers that may indicate something else. This person is looking for external validation. They are looking for people to see them, adore them, and give them the attention they are craving. That's more of a worry.

However, if they do have a talent and there is something viable there, advertisers may want to jump on that and have that person involved in their advertising campaign. There is potentially a business opportunity there. It's important that the person actually enjoys creating the content though, and that it's not all about the following numbers. The following numbers are a by-product of creating something good. So it depends on what her motivations are. If it's that she wants to be famous and she wants everyone to look at her, then I would say that's something that needs to be looked at. What is that persons need to be famous? Why do they want to have lots of followers? What are they missing in the world around them?”

Ask your question:

If you have any questions that you'd like us to ask in a future Go Far Fast Show, send us a DM on Twitter or on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear from you!

Want more from Charlotte?

You can also find Charlotte’s answers to other questions being asked by you and your community in our Dear Farillio Expert section on our blog site, and Charlotte’s great guidance on social media and mental health here. Download the full podcast here.

Please note: The contents of this blog are not tailored business advice or legal advice. This is guidance and information, which we do our best to keep current, relevant and helpful. If you need business or legal advice, please use our Speak To An Adviser service or you can get in touch via our LiveChat.

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