Digital influencer marketing was seen as a fad for at least the past decade or so, as are most new channels. However, in 2022 the influencer marketing industry reached $16.4B and is projected to continue growing at an average of 30 percent for at least the next six years. Within the influencer marketing industry there are four major types of participants, but little crossover between them.
- Talent agents
- Influencer agencies
Historically the only crossover has been employees working full-time at their corporate job while they build up their influencer side-hustle. Once they gain a large enough audience from their influencer channels, they exit the corporate world.
However, we are starting to see a shift where students are becoming influencers first to qualify for a job or to get a higher-paying job in the corporate workforce. Financial security can alleviate loads of stress and increase overall productivity, so there’s no question as to why an influencer would want to start off working a normal 9-5. For example, Hayden Cohen and Isabella Muggeo work full-time in the influencer marketing space seen here and here respectively. Who better to understand the process and needs of influencers in a brand sponsorship than other influencers themselves?
Brands have already realized the value of influencers managing influencers by this example job opening. It is clear there is value in this specific perspective and skill set.
“Bachelor's Degree or at least 4 years of relevant work experience - experience with the influencer industry is a plus (if you are an influencer yourself, that is even better)
Having said that, being an influencer can have the reputation of being easy and not professional. But in most cases, it’s the opposite. Being a successful influencer showcases non-technical skills to potential employers that are hard to teach. How often have you seen the following in a job posting?
- Self-starter who can operate independently
- Endless curiosity
- Excellent time-management skills
- Commitment to and ownership of projects
- Great communicator
In addition, successful influencers can showcase technical skills that can be equally hard to come by.
- Script writing for long-form video
- Video shooting and editing knowledge
- Expert in social media platform algorithms
- Knowledge of how to research and jump into trends
Roles and Responsibilities in the Corporate Workforce
5 Roles That Influencers Could Fill
- Social Media Manager: Know how to create social content that works, so apply that to a corporate brand vs their own.
- Influencer Marketing Manager: Understand what it’s like from the influencer perspective and can create better working relationships
- Talent Manager: Know the pitfalls of partnerships from previous work and can better guide other influencers.
- Video Editor/Motion Graphics Designer: Video is the #1 outlet for influencers today, so with that comes years of video editing experience that other candidates can be lacking.
- Digital Strategist: Tuned in and have exceptional understanding of digital trends and social platforms.
The #1 answer from Gen Z on what they want to be when they grow up is, a YouTuber/vlogger. To previous generations this sounds silly and lazy. But it has already proven to be a reasonable and lucrative path. Some of the leading higher education institutions, like Rutgers University, offer courses tailor-made for influencer marketing. We have seen influencers can make a living solo or achieve a better corporate career with those skills.
Instead of discouraging students and young adults from testing this path, we highly encourage them to try out this new industry for themselves. That can include jumping in headfirst by starting to create content on a social platform, or going a little slower and taking classes at college and/or applying for a relevant internship. Either way, just start creating!