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I’ll be willing to take a wild guess that the picture that spings to mind when you think of an influencer goes something like this; a beautiful, stylish woman who gets to jetset around the globe, wearing designer clothes, going to all the prestigous events, and getting paid to simply post on Instagram. Am I right?

While no doubt that there’s a few well-established influencers doing just that, there’s more to the story. And most importantly, the future of the influencer is changing. Baby boomers may snigger at the thought of their grandkids aspiring to be an influencer and may not see it as a real job but in the age of the personal brand, it’s never been more important. 


Firstly, we’re going to see the continual rise of the micro-influencer. These are the people who have small, intimate followings (who are more like communities than a following per se) of 10k-100k who use Instagram to share a love or talent they have. They’re most likely working full time elsewhere or have their own small business. They may be represented by a talent agent or they may use an app like TRIBE to support their income. 

Secondly, the rapid rise to big time influencer status will be for the lucky few. It’s harder and harder to become a huge influencer on social these days (especially within the time frame the bigwigs were able to build their profiles back in the day). We’ll continually hear stories of influencers who have increased their followings significantly (and we’ll be dissecting why that happened here) but the reality is – it will take consistent and persistent effort to build a following over 100k. That said, brands aren’t just focused on the 100k+ influencers and in fact, their ROI can be quite poor for huge influencers if the rate for an influencer is ridiculously high. So this is great news for the aspiring influencer.


Darcy Spinks for Lionheart Clothing, by House of Sage Agency

Finally, an Influencer in 2018 is much more than an ‘influencer’. They will have a talent or own a business. They won’t be jetsetting the globe just to take photos for their Instagram account – instead, they’ll be using their influencer status to get that next promotion or to generate thousands of sales. They will be career/talent/business owner first, influencer second. We explore this notion in The Influencer program with a whole module dedicated to fine-tuning your career or business aspirations and ensuring your positioning as an influencer will supplement it. 


To summarise, here’s what we will see from influencers from 2018 onwards:


  • More focus on engagement over large followings. And no, buying comments won’t work.
  • Influencers will use their social media status to either supplement their income, or to use as an elevating platform for their career or business.  They won’t call themselves an ‘influencer’, but will state they use influencer marketing as their brand-building tool. 
  • Brands will get smarter with influencer marketing and will expect solid ROI’s. Influencers with 100k+ followings will have to either perform better or lower their rates if they want to provide high ROI. 
  • More ambassador-like partnerships over one-off sponsored posts between brands and influencers. 


This is all positive news for the aspiring influencer. Nail your personal brand and focus on engaged, loyal growth and you’ll be on your way to becoming sought by the brands you love. 













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