Rant: Don’t be an ‘influencer’
In a break from our usual programming I want to share with you all some of the nonsense I have been through recently.
As some of you may know, I have a moderately successful instagram account (You can see it here, please be nice). I enjoy it and it is also an important part of my business in terms of visibility and building the JCH brand.
Unfortunately there is a whole tide of utter cobblers that seems to come with this. Call it the caveat if you like. The never ending torrent of ‘influencers’.
In case you don’t know what an influencer is, consider yourself very fortunate and don’t bother to continue reading as it will only sully you. But if you do know, read on.
Now these people are not really actual influencers, they are people who have decided that is their job title, as ‘semi professional blagger’ doesn’t have the same ring to it. They have an entire business model predicated on the idea that they are special and you should be honored to give them something. No skill, no talent, just a huge amount hubris.
I used to get them every now and again, but not really that often. I have a bit of a niche page and it doesn’t attract those dummies that can be seen promoting the tea that makes you poop yourself thin.
Most were fairly innocuous, they slide into your DM’s and you basically ignore them. Occasionally you would get someone who would give you a whole spiel about being a struggling entrepreneur, which I would sometimes respond to.
This was a particular favourite. After trying to blag some free cameras through endless pestering, I told him no, stating the reasons why. He didn’t take it well, as you can see…
You can usually tell when they are going to get a bit rude and this guy was no exception. He had a real way with words.
But recently things starting getting out of hand. They were no longer entertaining and were becoming an annoyance. Constant messages asking for free stuff. And I have had enough.
I am tired of their hustling and their crappy attitudes. So I am going to share some of the more recent ones here, and I am not hiding their details as they need to be called out for this awful behaviour.
this phenomena is not limited to IG. I get mails from ‘influence marketers’, text messages and sometimes phone calls. And every single time they become indignant when you call them out on their nonsense. It has become so frequent that I now have a boilerplate reply for when they get in touch.
First up, the standard boilerplate message. I have no idea how they think this will work. I usually don’t even bother to reply to these ones.
Followed by the I cannot even be bothered to follow you, but I saw your stuff on explore and I want some. I guess she didn’t like my response as she never ordered anything.
But then things got worse. Sure there was still the usual nonsense, but then I started to get messages from people who literally have nothing in common with cameras at all. They are taking a scattergun approach to try and get anything they possibly can. Is this because they don’t actually get paid?
This one sent me a message, which I ignored. She then sent me an email claiming to have spoken to me about a collaboration on IG, which was a lie, attaching her media kit and a price list. She was seriously expecting me to send her a camera to keep and pay her to feature it on her social media (which has about 1/5th the followers or mine). She was not impressed when I said no and tried to pull the victim card. I have decided not to share her response as it is so utterly frustrating you may threaten your screen.
Enter the douchebags
But then this week, it really went off. Normally I wouldn’t have bothered replying to these lugnuts, but typhoon Hagibis is battering my house at the moment and I don’t have a lot to do. So as far as I was concerned I should use my time constructively.
This chap messaged me and then almost instantly emailed me with the same guff as everyone else.
So I decided to answer in the most direct way I know how. Someone has to tell them.
Evidently he didn’t seem to be joking.
That didn’t take long. I guess he knew when his chips were cooked. He was at least relatively polite, which is more than can be said for the next one.
I aM a CeLEbrItY
But then this guy came along and things got out of hand real fast.
Hmmm, 500K+ followers? I wonder what he wants?
I can already see where this is headed. Anyone dumb enough to send this guy a camera (or anything) needs their head examined. So I gave him my standard reply.
He didn’t like that, at all… So much so that he deleted his ‘vlogging’ message and sent me something a little less refined.
Wow. That escalated quickly. How this guy has a blue checkmark is beyond me. But then he tops it off with something rare, something truly special…
DoNT YoU KnOw wHo I aM?
OMG he actually said it! And then he blocked me. Such a shame that I have a backup account that I can use to share this charming chaps ‘influencer life’. Apparently he is a rapper and singer, with a ton of fake followers. It would be a real shame if people were to report him and he were to lose that check mark.
The end of influence
The whole concept of an ‘influencer’ bothers me. Society has been pushed the idea that you can be famous for the sake of being famous, and you can get there by any means necessary. But this simply is not the case. I worked very hard to get where I am and I didn’t ask for anything for free, I still don’t. So why should I give them anything?
The unfortunate side effect of this is that genuine people who need help get overlooked. I am still open to giving to people who deserve it. But these people are usually easy to spot and are not rude.
We are in danger of being inured to these attitudes and becoming indifferent to actual people that need a bit of a leg up. The best thing we can do in my opinion is simply report the fake ‘influencers’ . We must try to remember that we all started at the bottom once and holding the ladder is a responsibility for those who have already made their way up. Don’t forget to be human.
Trust me when I tell you this is a tiny portion of the messages I receive from these types.
TLDR. Rude people on the internet get shamed for being rude.