Where can we find an impact-driven influencer? Influencers and influencer marketing are more and more becoming a part of our work as brand designers. Clients ask about it, we talk about it with colleagues and people in our business, it comes up at lunch. To be very honest, I have mixed feelings about working with influencers. Why? A couple of days ago someone on Instagram was asking for people who knew influencers who were truly authentic and purpose-driven. We basically concluded there are a lot of good people of influence, but finding a legit influencer (who carries the job title "influencer"), who is truly intentional about their impact, is a lot harder to find.
“Influencers mostly influence people's self-esteem and body image into a serious depression.”
I just can't find a truly fitting impact-aware influencer. They all say they are guided by strong values, are purpose-driven, have a mission to be a force for good, want to help everybody to be a personal brand to become the change they want to see, are life-coaches who help people become a better version of themselves, etc.. 99% of them are girls in their 20's who look good, spend a lot of time on holidays, and basically show the rest of the world how to live the perfect life. I think Influencers mostly influence people's self-esteem and body image into a serious depression.
As long as I haven't found the right influencers I can't take part in this. I feel like influencers are watering down what marketing and branding should be about. It should not be about adding noise, it should not be for the masses, not for growth, it should be about adding meaning for those who are looking for it. I feel it's our responsibility as brand designers, marketers, communication specialists to be very intentional in our work and be very aware of the impact our work creates.
We have to be intentional. Aware of what we build, how we build it, who we influence and in what way. It's not just about the influence we have on our Instagram followers, but also our colleagues, employees, and their families. Branding should be clear, aligned, and inspirational to everybody in your circle of influence in every way. If a post can have a negative impact on someone or a group, don't do it, or stand by it. Don't slack and just post your product next to a pretty girl on a beach because it's what others do and it gets you the likes you think you need. It adds to the noise.
Be intentional. Protect those who you influence. Protect where you play. Always. I believe that teaching this to our clients is part of our job in branding, marketing, communication. We have to make this clear not just to the designer we are working with, but to his CEO. In every business, it has to be the essence of the culture. Take care of each other. Make room for support. Make it clear and actionable.
Please take care of those you influence. Protect where you play. Always.