So You’re an Influencer… But Are You Following These 4 Crucial Areas of Influencer Responsibility?

With great digital identities comes great influencer responsibility.

As influencers, we have the ability to bias people.

So we need to be thinking of some questions that reflect who we are online and what it is we want to share with others.

  • What are your values?
  • What is your purpose in your business?
  • Why do you do what you do?

Take a step back and make sure your influence is making a difference.

Responsibility

The areas of responsibility:

  1. Industry
  2. Financial
  3. Socio-political
  4. Personal 

First things first: let’s discuss your importance as an influencer.

You might think that just because you don’t have the numbers, the role you play isn’t as important.

That is FALSE.

Here are common excuses:

  • my audience is not interested
  • I’m not an expert, why would I create content around it
  • I don’t want to upset people
  • I don’t like bringing a negative energy into my community

But here’s the thing:

  • You have the ability to create a safe space for having a conversation
  • You can start anywhere! Just say, “I know this is really an important topic, I’m not sure where to start. Any thoughts?”
  • Maybe they’re not sure about how they feel as well! You are facilitating a discussion.

Industry

What is your responsibility to your industry?

  • Adding an approach to your content that is real to who you are
  • The industry is constantly changing, and if you don’t speak about it, who do you think will?
    • Speak about your industry to your community. Get their thoughts and support.
    • Ex: net neutrality. You can’t expect others to speak to this.
  • Educate your audience because if they don’t get the information from you, they won’t get it anywhere else.
  • Ex: Reformation is a really good example of a company doing a great job in their industry.
    • Their responsibility and their mission is in their DNA. It’s who they are and it completely shapes them.
    • They publish sustainability reports
    • They talk about pressing issues
    • Ex: They explain that fashion is the third most polluting industry in the world and say “we’re cleaning up.”
    • They are an approachable brand, you never feel like you’re being talked down to.
    • People always have the option to engage.
  • Check yourself:
    • Credit inspiration and photograpers 
      • ex. Credit people’s content! We all have created versions of content you’ve seen on other peoples site. Credit them!
        • I loved the way X did this, and I wanted to create my own version.
    • This is true for blog sites too!
  • Know and educate your audience in the industry
    • They are different ages, make sure you’re aware of their ages.
    • They probably don’t know your backstory.
    • Most of your visitors are new on blog posts!
    • Reinforce your brand and share in each post.
    • People need to be caught up on your personal journey

Financial

Incorporate financial transparency.

  • It is important to talk about finances because Influencing is largely a business made up of women. It’s important to teach others how to make money and establish a business- help each other out!
  • You need to let audiences know that your affiliate links are not a trap!
    • Informing people makes them more openAnd of course, legally you have to disclaim when you get free stuff
  • Share with your audience and let them know that you depend on it.
    • People listen to that!
  • An extreme example is Everlane. They have a map of their factories with numbers and totally open honest numbers. They share their cost and retail prices.
  • Ask yourself: Can I do a financial report?
  • Regarding ads: tell your audience that you use them so that you can keep your content free!
    • Ex: “My sponsors keep it free for you! Thank you X SPONSOR for helping me keep my blog free!”
  • Disclaim and explain! Explain how much time you’re spending on it, why it’s paid, etc.
  • Integrate transparency. Don’t leave affiliates to the sidebar. Talk about it in the middle of your post
    • Ex: in the middle of a sponsored or non-sponsored post you can say “I spent X hours putting together this post, I really wanted to share this with y’all. So i’m putting these links so I can keep doing this in the future.”
  • Be an example! If brands are not paying you, it’s a big problem!
    • If they aren’t paying you, show them why $ is important.
  • Be an example on how to run a business with financial integrity.

Socio-Political

Take a stand.

  • Things are happening, choose where you stand. You don’t have to disclose a political side but talk about topics that are important to you!
  • You can take a difficult topic and turn it into style
  • Check yourself:
    • Aim for authenticity
  • If someone was only on your blog, another only on your IG feed, and another only on your IG stories, would they all describe the same person?
  • Only blog about things you have tried! Research before taking action and cover yourself!
  • Think like a brand… things are always going to change! We’re all growing up- so is your audience, that is fine! Tie it into your identity and what makes you special.

Personal

Talk about what matters to you.

Here’s the thing. If it matters to you, it probably matters to others.

  • Your identity is yours and yours alone! Be a good example for other people.
  • You always have your core audience (those who look, sound, and talk like you), but you should attempt to welcome all different people, with full diversity
  • Your core audience will reach a glass ceiling. You grow when you can reach a lot of different people!
  • Check yourself:
    • If you’re going to speak to something near and dear to your heart, speak about it more than once. It gives you authority. People will spend longer on pages because you’ve built credibility.
  • Listen and moderate: create that safe space.
    • Don’t let the haters have their way of course! Because if they hate, they’re hating on others who look and think like you. So moderate!

I hope this was helpful to you all! Use your influencer power well! You’ve got influencer responsibility, so follow through and do the best work you can!

Xo,

Jasmine

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2 Comments

  1. November 18, 2018 / 5:50 pm

    Great topic that I find myself thinking about more and more as my blog grows. It’s an interesting line between influencing in your topic niche and influencing in other areas, as well. I think the authenticity thing is super important, 100%. And it can certainly be difficult if it goes against the primary Internet-culture, but I think the more people that are authentic, the better off everyone will be and the better conversations we all have.

    And you will attract people who “get you” the more authentic you are, which is really awesome to see as well!

    Anywho, great post! <3

    • November 19, 2018 / 10:47 am

      Yes I completely agree!! Vulnerability seem so difficult these days, and especially on Instagram where everyone’s lives seem perfect! Thank you for your input on this Lauren!

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