For my job I work regularly with freelancers for one-off jobs like video editing, voiceovers, content writing, interviews and translation. Yesterday I had arranged an interview with a social media “influencer” who has 150k subscribers on YouTuber and 60k followers on Instagram. A minute before the interview was due to being she messaged me saying she had a dentist appointment she forgot about and that we won’t be able to talk.
No apology, no contrition, no respect of the agreed contract. My initial reaction was that it’s so inconsiderate. I put a lot of work into interview preparation, researching her history, the content on her channel and questions to ask. I also thought in all my years of working with freelancers, influencers have been the most inconsiderate, narcissistic, self-absorbed group of people I’ve ever worked with.
But then I also thought, is it them or is it the pressure and nature of the job they are in? I remember one time I hired an influencer to fill out a document of questions. It was a simple task but he couldn’t even do that. Each time I would message him asking on progress, I’d get an apologetic reply promising that he’d get on it. The document never came. Are all influencers this bad or is there pressure we’re not familiar about? I’ve seen some small time YouTube content creators with only 5k subscribers talking about needing a PA to handle all the brand requests they get; to filter out the scams from the legit. If it’s that bad for a 5k influencer, what’s it like for a 50k one?
Is there a side of influencer work we don’t see? Maybe the constant interaction with haters and trolls desensitizes them to regular human interaction. What I thought was a rude and inconsiderate message from my freelancer probably means nothing to an influencer who deals with a slew of abusive comments every day. Should we have more sympathy for the pressures of being an influencer?