Are influencers overpaid?

Everyone is on social media nowadays, but few are able to turn it into a job. What makes these people so special to make thousands, sometimes millions, of dollars off of views and make a career out of it? We all look for our 15 minutes of fame each time we post something on a social media platform. However, some people’s fame lasts longer than 15 minutes and they become known as “Influencers.”


It’s a common term now, maybe more so an occupation. Anyone can make funny content and not become recognized at all by it, but James Charles could post the same thing and he makes millions off of it. 


According to Business Insider, an anonymous Instagram influencer with 275,000 followers made $700,000 in brand deals in six months. That is an absurd amount of money for someone to just post about a brand. Influencers do work a lot, and maybe they work more than your typical nine to five hours, but is the work they put in equal to that of the corporate world?


Additionally, we should raise the question of is social media influencing a job we should promote and have our future generations strive for this “occupation.” When we ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, will they say they want to be an influencer? 


This past week, Mikayla Nogueira, a Beauty TikToker, reposted a video of her back in 2021 where she says “I literally just finished work and it’s 5:19 pm. Try being an influencer for a day. Try it.” Obviously, this did not go over well with her followers because people responded back with things like “Poor you. Report to a job nine to five,” and other harsh, but logical comments. Furthermore, this is my first time hearing about this 24-year-old TikToker with a net worth of $2 million. I haven’t seen any of her content, and if I did mistakenly, it wasn’t worth $2 million if I didn’t even remember it. 


Influencers might put in the same amount of effort into their promotions and brand deals that other famous people do, but are they being overpaid? According to HypeAuditor, Nano influencers (having between 1,000 to 10,000 followers) earn an average annual income of $17,000, while Mega influencers (having over one million followers) earn an average annual income of over $180,000.


Many influencers do end up taking their fame to the next level by creating their own brands based on what they became famous for. For example, Mikayla Nogueira has her own beauty brand and has a deal with Ulta Beauty to sell her products, while also promoting the company. 


There is no hate towards influencers because I do enjoy their content, but they are definitely being overpaid. People work their regular nine to five hour jobs, and some even more, and don’t make half of what influencers make in one Instagram post. Besides, when most of your job is just filming your normal life, going to parties and receiving endless free product in the mail, it’s hard to have sympathy. I’m sure there are hard aspects of the job, as there are with any job, but it is quite different from a normal corporate nine-to-five.

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