In the day and age we live in, social media has become an important part of our lives. We always end up turning to social media, even subconsciously, for one reason or another.
Talking about myself, social media has been an important part in my growing up. I’m not just saying that lightly. The person that I am today, a major reason for that has been social media.
I took to social media platforms, for every little problem or insecurity that I had.
- When society standards made me feel inadequate, I turned to social media. And seeing people there who were actually breaking the glass ceiling of all conventions made me feel enough.
- The moments I felt enraged looking at the horrible things happening in the world. I always turned to social media and poured all my rage. And there were people who understood what I was experiencing.
- Even my accomplishments had to be shared on social media. So that someone who might need the push, that I needed to achieve them, could get that.
So yes, social media is a wonderful place that has the power and the potential to make people better. Therefore, when I had to choose a career for myself, I knew social media would be it for me. There wasn’t going to be anything more perfect and more exhilarating for me.
So, today I am going to share an aspect of my journey in becoming a social media influencer. This wasn’t something that I had any intentions of doing, yet now it’s the best part of my job. And it is nothing else, but digital marketing.
Social Media and Digital Marketing
As social media grew, digital marketing did as well. And social media is an important part of the concept. There are other aspects too like SEO, email marketing, pay per click. However, social media can be considered amongst the most pivotal.
Therefore, it should have been obvious to me that digital marketing was going to a part of the workplace. Any influencer on any of the social media platforms is performing marketing activities for brands. And that is the major part of their revenue streams.
However, when I thought of social media as my workplace, I thought of it a little differently. I wanted to make a change. I wanted to be like the role models I had growing up on social media. I wanted to be like people who actually did something meaningful on a platform that many consider to be frivolous.
So, during my initial journey, that was what I focused on. I started making posts and videos that promote healthy living. I talked about body positivity. I explored mental health and how it dictates everything we do in our lives. My work made me feel proud of myself. Slowly and steadily, I started building a following and I was living every bit of it.
There is a big but coming up now. Although my work was fulfilling, it wasn’t enough to pay the bills. I had to think of something that would give me an income on social media itself, so that I could continue doing what I was doing. And digital marketing was the only solution I could see.
The Brands and the Influencer
Honestly speaking, when I started doing paid promotions on my social media, I did not know what I was doing. The fact that I needed to actually believe in what I was promoting did not even cross my mind. I was just doing it to pay the bills.
I kept doing it, kept making money out of brands and products I would never be stupid enough to pay for. It was kind of sad. And thankfully I realised it.
I had about 5 lakh followers, so the brands that I was working with were the popular ones. They knew what they wanted, they told me what to say and what to avoid and I did that. I was basically a puppet and I had finally had enough of it.
I had turned to social media to do something that meant something to me and would help people in some way. How did I land from talking about body positivity to promoting detox teas for a flat tummy?
So, I stopped.
Looking for Meaning in Marketing
I knew something had to change. I also knew that I needed the income I got from social media marketing. So, how do I fix the situation?
The only thing I could think of was to promote brands and products that actually aligned with what I stood for. So, I went on brand hunting, if that is what you want to call it.
I started looking for brands and businesses that
- Were either helping people live better lives;
- Or their owners needed support in kick-starting the business.
The first business I found was a small one near my hometown. It was a nursery run by an elderly couple. They started the business almost 40 years ago. Their aim was to enrich people’s homes with the positive energy emitted by plants. I promoted their business on my channel after buying some really lovely indoor plants from them.
They actually hit a spike in business. And they graciously offered me a percentage of that. I think that was the most rewarding income I have ever received.
And that was it. I started working with small businesses around my area and even online. And I didn’t just promote them, I actually helped some of them establish their own social media channels.
What Does the Future Hold?
I feel that being a social media influencer, I have done my share of duty in digital marketing. I am not saying I won’t be promoting brands anymore, I certainly would. However, I do think I can do much more than that.
So, I have decided to partner with a digital marketing company in India and scale my work for the small business owner to the next level. Now, I would be able to do so much more than I could individually. A company would have a lot more resources in its corner. I plan on using all of those to make the difference that is needed in those small businesses.