Most “Influencers” are Broadcasters — Not Influencers

Being interesting doesn’t equal being influential

Sebastian Juhola

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Photo by Coco Championship from Pexels

Just because someone has a lot of followers on Instagram doesn’t automatically mean they have any influence over their audience. It’s possible to be a fun person to follow, without having any authority whatsoever. In fact, this is the rule, not the exception.

I’ve consulted businesses who have worked with so called influencers, been kind one myself, and helped people with large audiences get deals with brands, so I’ve seen this from every side. It’s clear to me that most people, including myself, don’t have significant influence over masses of people.

People with a big following simply have the ability to broadcast a message to a large audience. That’s not nothing, but don’t mistake it for influence.

Broadcasting Does Have Value

Some products sell themselves — the only thing you need to do is to be seen by your target audience.

Say you sell a working jetpack for $500. You don’t need authority figures convincing people how awesome a jetpack is. The only thing you need to do is to get the attention of people. Your product does the rest.

When you have something that’s easy to sell to a cold audience, people with large Instagram followings are great to work with. Show them numbers from past collaborations or Facebook campaigns, to convince them that your product sells like hot cakes. Strike up a fair commission deal and build yourself a small army of broadcasters.

No need to worry about how influential these people are.

When Actual Influence is Needed

You benefit best from working with truly influential people, when you have a great product with a lot of competition.

If you sell iPhone cases, for example, which has become a commodity, you need to persuade people that your case is better than the others. This is where actual influencers are great. They have the trust of their audience, and a record of recommending awesome products in the past.

Just remember that true influencers don’t sell out for shitty products, because they know that it…

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Sebastian Juhola

I oversee the production of +200 monthly short-form videos (Reels, TikToks, Video Ads). Founder of The Minimalist Wardrobe. About: juhola.org