By Tarini Peshawaria, a skincare and beauty influencer
If you ask a young child or adolescent today what they’d like to be when they grow up, chances are one out of three kids is going to say, ‘youtuber’ or ‘influencer’. It’s one of the most aspiring jobs amongst the genz and truth is most parents don’t take this as a serious aspiration.
I too shared a similar opinion, until I became a content creator myself, amassed about a quarter of a million followers and realized that this is a lucrative business that many still don’t consider as a ‘real profession’. I still have to explain what I do at family gatherings and weddings and by now I am used to the quizzical looks I get when I tell him ‘I am an influencer’. There are still people who think of me as ‘a trophy wife’ who makes videos for fun or assume that I have rich parents or perhaps a husband who supports this ‘video making hobby’ of mine.
And can we blame them? It is a fairly new job role and until a few years ago, it was pretty much a hobby. But not anymore. According to Big Commerce UK, 90% of all marketers find ROI from influencer marketing comparable to or better than other marketing channels. The numbers are only growing as influencer marketing becomes one of the most effective methods of marketing. This is only the beginning of an industry that is here to stay.
I turned to becoming a content creator at the age of 28. A few months into the profession, I knew this was my calling. I loved the thrill of building a community, creating what I am passionate about and having this inexplicable connection with a stranger hundreds of miles away. Initially, I often found myself wishing that I had only started earlier.
However, it now that I realize what really worked in my favour and for me to grow was my education and experience in an array of fields. Personally, I think that if this is something your child wishes to pursue, I insist that they complete their education and learn the skills necessary in this field. An inevitable downside of this profession is that just like any other business, this isn’t profitable for a while. Therefore, one cannot rely on this as their sole source of income until it’s substantial enough to be that.
My first year I was barely making anything since my audience was relatively small and it took me time, effort and tons of sleepless nights to be able to build this community that I am so proud of today. You can ask any content creator and they will tell you that building a following is hard work and working with brands to monetize this is even harder. This is an all consuming job. Think, a minimum of ten to twelve working hours in a day, more if you are new and don’t have a team. For a long time you are a one man/woman army. You are a model, writer, camera person, editor, social media analyst, accountant and more. It’s also a highly competitive field which means you need to stand out with your unique voice and constantly reinvent yourself.
But slowly, as you grow, you become synonymous with what you represent and the best thing is that ‘you’ get to decide what that representation is!
So the next time your child tells you that they are interested in being a content creator, don’t shrug it away. Encourage them to pursue their studies, have them learn skills that will nurture them towards this goal and be open about the pros and cons of this profession. Ask them the right questions and help them understand this job better, and maybe, just maybe, share with them the link to this article?