Back in the early 2000s, the great brand and marketing thinker, Russell Davies, famously said that “It’s a brand’s job to be interesting.”
It’s a terrific insight. And of course, what is true for brands is also true for everything else- products, people, businesses, ideas. If you’re not “interesting,” you’re at a considerable disadvantage.
The trouble with this idea, however, is that maintaining the “interesting” shtick is REALLY, REALLY hard.
Emily Hund recently released a book, “The Influencer Industry: The Quest for Authenticity on Social Media,” about social media’s recent phenomenal rise and the issues that surround it. (There’s an excerpt over on Wired titled “Influencer Is a Real Job. It’s Time to Act Like It.”
Hund’s big idea is that, even though influencers are a much bigger deal nowadays than they used to be, it’s still by and large a precarious business.
Others agree. Back in March the New York Post wrote about how influencers are fleeing New York City in droves, referencing influencer, Paige Lorenze:
“Lorenze, who also had a difficult time making friends and found solace working retail in a luxury ski shop, said she simply ‘did the thing’ and was ready to move on from the pressures of being a creator in New York – she was tired of doing ‘s–t you don’t want to do’ just for content.”
The reality is, being an influencer of any kind is inherently precarious. Talk to any established film director, and they’ll tell you how insecure these famous actors are, even though they’re already rich, famous, and adored by millions.
Why is that? Because they know that it can be taken away from them at a drop of a hat. One bad review or one unfortunate scandal and POOF! It’s over.
And it’s not just true for influencers and actors. Writers, artists, musicians, pundits, and intellectuals are all cursed to “publish or perish,” to be “endlessly fascinating.” After a while, it can be exhausting and put you permanently on edge.
The solution? Start worrying less about “Brand Me!” Stop trying to relive Sex And The City and start worrying more about solving real problems and fulfilling real needs for other people instead. That’s how you get REAL influence in this world.