Social media fame or clout is a very desired career path for many millennials. However, many only see the very desirable 1 per cent of influencers that make it all look like red carpets, parties, fast cars, and photoshoots.
As someone who manages some of Australia’s biggest content creators I, fortunately, get to see behind the curtain of the ins and out, problems, and struggles of choosing a career in the public eye.
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Even though there are many benefits of having an established platform of fans, here are three reasons why being a hotshot social media personality might not be for you.
1. The pressure to maintain an image
Fans taking photos and watching what you say at face value might not seem too troubling, but when it is something you have to be conscious of every day, it can be tiring.
Many creators have an online persona which is either a character or an exaggerated version of themselves and there is expectation that persona is kept up in public in order to maintain their career.
Aside from public perception they also have to be conscious of their brand partners’ perception and how tender these relationships can be. A slip-up could lose tens of thousands of dollars in partnership revenue.
A famous example of a slip-up was when Wonder-Woman actress Gal Gadot tweeted an ad for mobile phone brand Huawei in 2018 but was caught posting it from an iPhone.
2. Blurred personal boundaries
With the popularity of tabloid journalism, it’s difficult for an influencer with status to avoid becoming a ‘headline grabber’.
I’ve worked with multiple creators where a single video, even if it’s slightly controversial, goes viral on one of these short-form content platforms. When this happens, you could have international radio, TV, and news coverage overnight.
When this happens, some creators find their right to privacy completely disappears overnight. One day you're anonymous, the next day you cannot go out to bars, restaurants, and nightclubs without having to take 10 to 20 photos with fans.
3. Online hate and abuse
As Harrison Pawluk, one of my creators with over 3 million TikTok fans, recently said: “It’s safe to assume 80 per cent of people will love your content, 10 per cent won’t bat an eyelid and 10 per cent will hate you and everything you represent, so accept there will always be haters and focus on the majority”.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of online creators find it hard to adopt this mindset. They eventually get drowned out by the loud minority, which leads to struggles in maintaining creativity and also positive mental health.
Although there are most definitely glamorous sides to having an audience, like having an outlet to express your creativity and a career with a sustainable income there are also cons. It’s always healthy to remember that there are two sides to every coin.