I’ve been thinking about blogs and followers and such (obviously, if you read yesterday) and of course, when you begin thinking about something, the world joins in and you notice things of a similar ilk.
Yesterday I read a story (Pure Wow or Buzzfeed, I don’t remember) about an 18 year old girl who has two million social media followers. 2 million. The platform was either Instagram or youtube, and yes I should read more carefully, but the particulars don’t really matter in this case. It’s all about the big picture.
So: 18 year old woman, 2 million media followers decides she wants to start a clothing line. Clothing company said they would do a test run before they committed full on. Sounds reasonable and intelligent business practice.
2 million followers.
Could not sell 36 pieces of clothing.
So what do we learn from this?
- Followers mean nothing if you don’t have a rapport. If takes less than a second to hit the like button, but if those followers don’t care about you….
- Just because you have followers doesn’t mean you are an influencer
- Taking cute pics of yourself in clothing does not mean that people are going to buy your clothes, especially if none of your pics are of you in these clothes
- People were probably not following you because of your sense of style, especially if your sense of style is exactly like every other teen girl who shops at Forever 21
- Followers are not customers
- Have a back up plan or strategy if your business venture fails.
Now on the upside, you know I am a big believer in going for your dreams and failing. Failing at something teaches you more than any book can. As does coming up with a plan and following through. Big kudos to this young woman for trying. I give her a big thumbs up on the try.
Whether you are 18, 38 or 68, you have to take a social media profile with a grain of salt. Sure. Anyone, and I mean anyone, can have a huge social media following. There are all sorts of people who will follow you if you follow them, and then the number snowballs. A cute girl posting cute pics of herself will gain followers. I mean really…
Why do you need followers?
I know I like followers because the comments I receive make me think about things in ways I never imagined, I’m a questioner by nature, and I love when people give me different perspective about things I’ve been pondering. Blogging is an immediate responsive platform. I post, people comment. Brilliant.
But I don’t claim to be an influencer.
That’s the problem we’ve created with all this social media.
Everyone with a twitter, blog, or channel thinks they are an influencer.
Some people have profited from being social media influencers. I have been to youtube events with my daughter where she has paid money to listen to influencers talk about their lives. (OK- the swag is pretty good. She recently paid a very small amount to go to a get ready for prom event and the stuff she received in kind was way more than the cost of admission) She has bought clothing from youtubers clothing lines. I get that there can be a payoff.
Numbers wise: what’s the ratio of those who make money vs. those who do not?
Trying to be an influencer for a few years is not bad if you are the entrepreneurial type, but you still need a plan. That’s my problem. I think kids think it’s easy to make money via social media. And we all know that there is nothing easy about business. It’s the general mindset that is disturbing to me.
Nothing in life that is worthwhile is easy.
Spending more time on how the blog looks versus the content quality is going to bite you in the ass at some point. At some point, function must overtake form. Pretty opens the door, but quality seals the deal.
I applaud all those who take a leap of faith into the unknown in at attempt to start a business. But maybe read an accounting book so you understand a balance sheet, and perhaps an actual book on marketing. There are reasons why people have degrees in these subjects. You don’t have to go to college to be a success. But you do have to understand some basics.
And those numbers at the bottom of your social media. They really don’t matter. What matters is what you post above it.