Do influencers exist in the travel and aviation niche of social media?
Oh you bet, they do exist in masses!
You probably recognise that almost every second person on certain social media platforms claim to be an ‘influencer’. That person with the tens of thousands of followers who promotes that product, that resort or this gadget you need to book or buy ASAP. In the recent years, it feels as if the share of those influencers have increased. Scrolling through your Instagram feed becomes more a marketplace than an opportunity to connect with people or with those you care about and love.
But is that necessarily a bad thing though? There are probably a few aspects to consider.
The issue With Influencers: Shining Surface, Hardly Making Real Impact
There is probably no doubt that those who claim to be influencers in the travel niche can make a real difference out there. Other people can inform and educate themselves about relatively unknown destinations in this world. That certainly enriches one’s view and horizons. Furthermore, the industry itself can gain from this factor as well – which is the whole point of Influencer marketing as a tool for marketers out there across different industries.
But what often looks as shinning and a no-worries lifestyle that can also generate you a decent living, it is often times also a tough market. When influencer marketing becomes your single source of income, you depend on sponsorships. You need to fulfil certain prerequisites in order to get sponsorships, to get the income you wish to see on your bank account. And that’s also the flip side: People with a broad audience trade their accounts as the only asset, the only egg in their basket, on a platform that they can’t control. Their source of income, their business model, is purely in the hands of other people.
Every post is an evaluation: Will it generate enough views and reach? Will I generate enough engagement and likes on that post? Will enough people swipe up, click on the bio link, or even use my personalised promo code? And what happens if I exaggerate the engagement on a daily basis and get banned?
Do you still feel you can post anything you like?
It’s a legitimate question to ask what those people “influence”. At the end of the day, we want to contribute to other people’s lives. “We thrive by helping others.” When we are able to provide value, we know we can support those who are looking for a solution. We know we can thrive when the value we generate can actually make a difference in other people’s daily lives.
This aspect of ‘influencers’ is hardly a main focus. Those who have different sources of incomes may be in a different position as they can choose which sponsorship or cooperation they want to make.
Don’t Aim To Become An Influencer. Aim To Be Influential
So many people out there say the following things:
- I wish I would be an influencer as well. I can then travel all the time!
- I will get free products that I can promote and make a decent money, or even quit my job!
- I can call myself an entrepreneur. I am independent.
All those statements are legitimate. All those wishes ought not to be judged in general terms. But the fundamental issue is deeper. People don’t think about other’s, they purely think about themselves. And hence, they do everything to improve their situation. Like in other areas, but particularly in the business world, it is not often times about our needs but those we want to serve. If we act more selfless and truly aim to provide value and contribution, we don’t become influencers – we become influential.
And that’s what really makes the difference. Being influential is about making a difference. To educate people. To inform people. To tell a story that can inspire others. To provide value. To offer a service that can solve other people’s problems.