What can the top social media influencers teach me about succeeding with authenticity? I know right? Sounds like an oxymoron… When you close your eyes and think of ‘influencers’ your addled mind conjures up fake lips, terribly photoshopped Instagram location shots and fake shrunk waistlined dance videos it’s easy to become cynical and believe these top influencers are another lifeform, abiding by their own laws of physics and seemingly magical fiscal fluidity with no applicable techniques to replicate in the real world of business. Bear with me…
I looked at Forbes top Social Media Influencers – just in gaming – mainly the ones who made it through trial and error who now are collecting Millions a year just in advertising (a rather nice pipeline passive income). I looked at how they started and their driving thought process, here are some examples:
If you take Markiplier ( Mark Fischbach) a Youtube gaming commentator (over 7b billion views!) look at what drove him when he started out in 2012… he was quoted as saying “I’d had a bad breakup, I was fired, I had a tumor in my adrenal gland,” … “It was a series of unfortunate events. As I was recovering, I was so desperate to have something that was under my control.” You see, his mind-set wasn’t getting rich quick. A calculated business decision It was an emotional outlet, which obviously came across in his persona and captivated viewers.
Jacksepticeye (Seán McLoughlin) (7.2b Youtube views) started posting in 2012-2013. His words were “I wanted to just make people laugh and smile and feel like they belonged somewhere,” – like Mark – using humor and his own genuine character to connect to his audience.
SSSniperWolf (Lia Wolf) Call of Duty gameplay vids (5 million subscribers) is quoted as saying “Growing up I was always the ‘weird’ girl” and “I wanted to show that girls can play and be good at video games too.” a great “unique selling point”
They all started from a love of gaming, connecting and sometimes a little outlet or therapy. They captivated audiences and gained loyal fans (also the best kind of shoppers) by being themselves. None would of thought back in 2012 that there was money to be made from it.
These influencers are all top of Forbes list of Social Media Overlords (not their actual title). They didn’t just grey hat SEO, hard sell and cold call their way to the top. They started with a human goal, they were not afraid to be personable and honest and gain millions of loyal subscribers having fun and doing something they loved without having to turn it into a terrible day job.
Maybe you’re passionate about your job or business but need a new direction, try being yourself, honest and fun and stop treating your audience or clients as buyers to be herded through A, B testing and buyer personas. Stop mimicking others. Tell stories, captivate and capitalise on being connected. Show the real you, even if that’s embarrassing. You might just find your niche in doing so.
“Don’t do it to make money. You should genuinely care about your audience and want to make people happy, entertain them, and help them escape from any problems they may have that are bothering them.”