Social media marketing, blogging, content maker and all the other titles applying to an online-based career are now part of a billion-dollar business. With some of the top online creators earning an estimated £15 million per year, it’s no doubt that many people today want to benefit from the success of an online career. However, the basis of content creators earnings stems from the number of their following. Indeed, a creator with more followers, views, likes and engagement receives greater sponsorship deals and therefore earns more money. The problem here is then that they are countless ways to fake the following, and, in turn, fake a career.
The process seems rather fool-proof; a person aiming to be a blogger to benefit from the free gifts, paid trips and impressive salary without putting in the work can simply purchase an Instagram account with a following of 10 thousand, and begin ‘their’ branded platform. To then prevent from tripping up on having poor engagement from their new audience, the blogger can then pay for likes and comments. It is important to remember that these likes, comments and followers aren’t just so a young person online can feel popular, it is achieving a career and making money.
Similar to any career, getting one job opportunity gives you a step to the next. Therefore, as a fake online creator is offered a sponsorship from a brand it, of course, leads to further opportunity. In a sense, it doesn’t take too long before an online CV of their branded collaborations are building for all brands to see on their blogs, Instagram feeds and Youtube channels. Indeed, it’s a shame that brands aren’t aware of creators that have earned their platform and ‘creators’ that have faked it.
To highlight the unnatural statistics from these fake careers is Social Blade, a website that shows the statistics of Youtube channels providing graphs of their engagement and following. Chloe Morello, a successful social media creator, took to this website when she realised the wrong-doings of false influencers. In her video exposé, she stresses that “people with these fake followings take opportunities away from my close friends who have a smaller but more authentic audience”. And so, another issue of fake online careers is that they take from genuine creatives that are simply overlooked for not having a following. Even in the creative field, a photographer with a following over 10k is far more likely to book a campaign shoot with a well-known brand desperate to sustain their image than a photographer with less.
Consequently, there is a prevalent need to make the ever-growing industry of fake online careers come to a rapid halt. Not only are these people kickstarting a career undeserving to them, but, they are stealing the opportunity from a genuine creative who would provide a brand with incredible artwork, regardless of a notion as superficial as a ‘following’.