Influencer. The term is a bit tarnished right now and has been receiving a bit of a backlash as the line between personal brands and advertising becomes blurred. What are Influencer's actually for? What do they stand for? Why do they matter?
The term 'creator; seems to be the one many now feel comfortable with but it's worth thinking of you and your brand through the influencer lens if you want to create any personal brand but also when you launch a merchandise line.
For some of us we don't like the idea of being thrown in the same 'bucket' as an influencer, but while social media is still the best way to get attention for our passion, message and business it may just be in our interest to accept and know what kind and size of influencer we are. Once you do it becomes less about you and is a lot simpler to achieve the success you want.
2019 is set to the standard for the next decade in terms of being purpose driven and the importance of having a message. It's going to be vital that any brand underpins everything they do with a core message, purpose - and information that is truly of value to followers - anything else just isn't going to cut it.
All the most successful brands we work with at Tshirtify have clear passion and message - they're scratching their own itch which refines their message with authenticity. This builds their audience. - as a result they can sell that message and their are as merchandise. And they sell a lot.
While followers (and customers) will trust a brand based on what it stands for, the platforms we rely on will be using AI and changing their algorithms in response to user behaviour in the not too distant future so thinking about what your message is and your personal brand is going to even more key to success.
Facebook is reacting to scandals like Cambridge Analytica and becoming more about connection to friends and communities and less about personal brands. It's also not picking up new users. As a result being able to keep reaching your audience there is dropping fast.
Instagram is the most obvious place to build your brand right now, but they're already rolling out hiding 'likes' to followers. So the days of being an Influencer based on total likes and engagement are on the way out.
Instagram is moving to a value based model - where true value is based on engagement of followers not link/like bait to sell sponsored products. It's also being posed as a way to remove mental health issues chasing likes. But let's not forget that Instagram is a business - and you can bet it won't be long before we all have to pay for reach on IG.
But at it's core - why do followers engage with an Influencer? Because they have a core message, and purpose.
So - you might want to think about what you stand for and why anyone should care in what you say and dedicate some time to it.
Creating awesome designs is just not enough - successful brands rarely design products first. So re-thinking your brand as an influencer is in the interest of everyone who wants to make a living doing what they love. It ives you sign posts for where to think about what to do next.
If you have something to say, then you have a personal brand which is the foundation for your 1000 true fans. which is your foundation for your business actually making money.
Anyone on any platform who commands attention is an influencer. If you have a passion or opinion someone is ready to listen:
Coming to terms with being an influencer is one thing, knowing what size is another. Here's a very simple version of what we use here at Tshirtify to understand how to best serve our partners.
So you can see what kind of revenue you can expect depends on what kind and size influencer you are.
None of this is a definite - there are many variables depending on what type of influencer you are, the level of true engagement you have, and your product focus. But we see these patterns all the time at Tshirtify.
So if you have high hopes for your brand, it's really worth thinking what type of influencer you want to be, and what size you need to be before you start designing your products.
If you'd like to know more then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org