Not long ago, influencers burst on the scene out of nowhere. Mostly smart, mostly young, Internet devotees saw they could earn from peddling their fanbase. They hocked everything from hardware to household items. And Jamaicans with sizable numbers of online followers went for this, big time.
Very quickly, some of them quit their day jobs, studies, or both to devote their entire time to producing content. Mostly, it was the lure of earning more, but they also liked working for themselves, usually from home. This career path seemed a solid strategy for success, building wealth, amassing influence and having a fun lifestyle.
More recently, however, there seems to be a shift in the industry. Very quietly, some influencers are seeking full-time jobs and, or, pursuing higher-level education and sidelining their content creation to part-time. This shift may be surprising, but perhaps not unexpected. As they got past the novelty of influencing their peers, and their fifteen minutes of fame, many saw the downsides of such work.
Cash flow issues hit these hype merchants where it hurts, in their pocketbook. Not having a fixed wage will just mash up a budget. Worse, Influencer campaigns come and go, brand deals take long to finalize, advertisements and affiliate revenues vary each month, and clients can often be fickle. Practical influencers quickly chose steady paychecks over promises of big pay offs.
Crash and Burn
Full-time influencers must produce creativity on demand. That isn’t always easy. Sound, sensible ideas don’t flow endlessly. Worse, some influencers aren’t as creative as they think. When reality hits, emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion show up. For people whose livelihood depends on creativity, the stress fuels their burnout. Now, many content creators are losing interest and ditching their audiences altogether. Others simply choose a part time
schedule for influencing.
Most influencers have discovered that working for themselves is no bed of roses. It means being their own HR department. It means paying for health insurance. It means contributing a portion of earnings to the NHT. It means not getting paid for days off. Finally, it also means missing out on the benefits working in teams bring, like creative and personal growth. It may be worth watching what happens in this space. Staying relevant in an online world is
tricky, to say the least. New trends can easily knock influencers from preferred positions.
Getting steady work is tough, and clients always want to go with who or what is hot at the moment. Above all, the appearance of AI platforms and their content and marketing potential means a whole new way of doing business awaits us. It makes sense for influencers to advance their education or seek full time jobs for their long term future. It’s certainly wise for them to learn to use these AI platforms to expand their creativity and capacity.