October 19, 2021
How Influencers Live Free

How Influencers Live Free

By Annie Sneed

This day and age, influencers tend to be the go-to for all public relation’s needs. We look up to them for everything and we trust what they’re saying because we idolize them. This gives influencers a lot of power when it comes to their actions; it also makes them desirable to brands because of the influence they have over their specific following. By being so influential, influencers can receive sponsorships that include product for them to review or suggest through their social media. In doing so, they usually get to keep the product or enjoy the experience worth sharing.

Stagecoach Festival is is an outdoor country music festival held annually at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. Many influencers actually get sponsored by SeatGeek to attend this festival by merely promoting their services. In turn, the influencers get to enjoy a “free” weekend at Stagecoach or other festivals that SeatGeek works with.

Influencers also get the chance to work with hotel lines that are working on promoting their attractions to tourists. By agreeing to “tag” or post pictures at their hotel site, the hotel line will sponsor a free trip for them and likely a friend. The Versace Mansion recently sponsored internet start, Nicolette Gray and her friends with a trip to their resort. Of course, requiring them to post pictures tagging their hotel with hashtags and location.

Internet Star, Nicolette Gray sponsored at Versace Mansion.

Simply put, an influencer’s job is to recommend product or an experience to their viewers. To an outsider, their life seems so simple: receive product for free, take a picture, make money. Right? Despite all, their life is in the public eye and with that, comes a lot of internet hate.

Especially during 2020, influencers received a lot of backlash when they were caught traveling during a worldwide pandemic. Their sponsorships didn’t end and they had to make the decision whether to travel and risk their audience “cancelling” them or continue earning money the way that they do and take the job.

Recently, beauty and fashion vlogger Sierra Furtado, received lots of internet hate for traveling on a private plane for the day to get her hair done by a sponsored boutique in Phoenix, AZ. Instead of addressing the rumors, she ignored them hoping they would go away. Although she got a new haircut, in turn she lost many subscribers which could bring down her revenue with future brand deals.

Lifestyle Vlogger, Sierra Furtado boards private plane during Pandemic.

Influencers are the new form of public relations. They are guaranteed to get the word out and companies know that if they pick a person whose viewers aligns with their values, their sales will go up. Influencers typically live lavish lifestyles where clothes, trips and experiences are handed to them in return for a post. Brands do have to be careful with “cancel culture” and the fear that the influencer that they’re working with could go under and people will look to the companies working with them.

9 thoughts on “How Influencers Live Free

  1. Influencers are such an interesting topic to me. Literally, anyone can become an influencer if they really put their mind to it. As a ~micro-influencer~ myself, and I use that term VERY loosely, I reach out to brands all the time to try to get free stuff. However, I try to make sustainability and ethics a priority when I do so because I want to make sure I am promoting brands that really deserve it. It is crazy to think that these influencers have made so much money and get to travel the world and stay at expensive hotels for free just because they share videos online.

  2. Influencers, you either love them or hate them because some do a great job of being transparent while others do not. Those who aren’t can be the worse people to work with as a communication professional because they don’t seem to understand that their reputation can be damaged with every misstep. I would be interested to learn how people who do PR for influencers deal with crises as they seem to happen a lot.

  3. Influencers will definitely be looked back on as such a bizarre and interesting form of brand publicity. Something I’ve noticed in the last year is specifically surrounding TikTok. This app has quite literally made dozens of normal young adults become millionaires in the span of a few short months. I find it so interesting that influencers essentially become famous and trusted brand ambassadors purely based on superficial things – looks, age… even their dance ability? Regardless, I loved your take on a topic that honestly crosses my mind more than I’d like to admit.

  4. I have my reservations about influencers. Mostly because the standards of a basic influencer on social media isn’t usually someone who is actually influencing people to do good in the world. Influencers are mostly praised for their looks and bringing back old trends. I don’t think these people should be referred to as “influencers” because they likely aren’t influencing people to do things for the betterment of others. It’s such an interesting concept, and seeing how influencers live such a lavish lifestyle for doing… nothing… it’s discouraging to lots of people. Overall, your take on influencers in this lifetime is extremely interesting!

  5. Influencers are such an interesting and common topic now on nearly every platform. Anyone of any age could become an influencer overnight. In our social media-driven age, they have taken advantage of a niche and created their own little community. Since they have so much influence over people, they need to learn there’s a lot at stake when something negative happens. They have power but can also fall just as fast with how vigilant social media users are.

  6. Hi Annie, I really enjoyed reading your post. I’ve always thought it would be really cool to be an influencer just because the lifestyle seems so fun. I would love to go to Stagecoach and get sent free products but I also feel like it would be hard because your life is under a microscope. I like how you said influencers are the new form of public relations. That is an interesting take and I agree with you.

  7. Yeah, it is crazy to think that these individuals have such an advantage in our world today. Social media has defiantly played a huge role in proving them value, but I wonder what would happened if these influencers would stop collabing with brands and begin to making and producing their own line of products. Influencers will be taking off far more in the next couple of years. Thanks for the blog topic!

  8. Hi Annie! I really enjoyed your blog post. I think this is a very interesting topic and something that is personally really interesting to me because I want to work in influencer relations. Influencer relations can be extremely useful for brands because it is essentially free advertising and usually reaches a wide audience, but there is the chance that people see it as an ad and not believe that the influencer really cares about the place/product. This is why it can either be very successful or hurt a brand’s reputation. I personally really enjoy learning about influencer relations so I really enjoyed this post!

  9. Hi Annie,
    I really enjoyed reading your post and think it’s important for people to understand how influencer lives truly work to unveil this falsehood that it is some easily attainable lifestyle when, in reality, it is a very risky and rare reality for those who attempt to enter the “influencer” industry. Explaining to people how these influencers are able to live these lavish lifestyles for “free” can be a great eye-opener for those considering this pathway.

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