- The appeal of the business influencer
- What business influencers get right
- What business influencers miss
- What you can’t get from a business influencer
Q: What is a business influencer? Can I trust the information they provide?
A: A business influencer is simply a business owner leveraging social media prowess to create a following. While some of the information that business influencers provide is correct, they aren’t correct about everything. Instead of blindly trusting the information you’re hearing, check with secondary sources first.
As of last year, approximately 70% of Americans were on one social media platform or another. At the beginning of 2022, that number had risen to closer to 80%.
Despite different demographics spending time on different platforms, it is evident that social media use isn’t slowing down. Sure, some social media sites might wane in popularity, but as the past couple of decades have shown, these will quickly be replaced.
In this modern, digital-first era, business owners that aren’t utilizing social media are giving their companies a direct handicap. This increased amount of time spent on social media platforms has led to several different developments specific to digital marketing.
Some of these marketing initiatives are as simple as advertisements on social media websites your target audience frequents. Others are targeted content that works as informative pieces as well as advertisements. Additionally, another one of these developments is the business influencer.
Occasionally referred to as business gurus, these are individuals who use their high-follower count social media profiles, heavily-trafficked websites, or popular blogs to influence the opinions and decisions of others, typically their followers. You can find a business influencer on Tik Tok, just like you can easily find a business influencer on Instagram.
Influencers are ubiquitous. Regardless of the social media application, if there are people to be influenced, someone will be filling the role.
In this article, we will take a look at what makes business influencers so appealing, different things that business influencers get right, some things that business influencers get wrong, and finally, we’ll be examining what business influencers aren’t able to provide.
So, if you’ve ever watched a viral video in confusion, clueless as to how so many people could relate to the content – you’re in the right place. Keep reading for further information and a business influencer example!
- The appeal of the business influencer
- What business influencers get right
- What business influencers miss
- What you can’t get from a business influencer
The appeal of the business influencer
Before we dive into the appeal of the business influencer, let’s take a moment to examine what exactly an influencer is.
An influencer is an individual that can use their platform to influence the thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and buying preferences of their followers, subscribers, or viewers. Typically, influencers focus on a specific niche or topic and are very active on the platforms they release content.
As you might know, focusing on a niche interest is a great way to help your company define a clear target audience and set your business up for long-term success. The same sentiment remains true for the influencer.
Read more: Resources for Small Businesses: Top Free and Affordable Tools for Entrepreneurs to Grow a Business
Remember, there is an influencer for almost every niche, and just because a person is famous for other reasons doesn’t mean they can’t also be an influencer.
We’ve gone ahead and listed a few different influencer niches and some notable names from each category. Keep reading for more!
- Beauty and fashion
- Health and wellness
Although this list could go on forever, the point should now be clear: there is an influencer for everything. This goes to show that identifying a niche and sticking to it is a recipe for success.
Think about it: you wouldn’t go to a business influencer on government-related questions, just like you wouldn’t go to a health and wellness influencer for information about starting your own business.
According to Forbes, influencers are just a symptom of our ever-evolving market.
In the past, the content that brought attention and purchases to a specific company was almost always created by the business itself, whether through marketing departments or outsourced labor. Now, the opposite is true.
Sure, companies are still creating content and advertisements to increase brand awareness, but the vast majority of the content that resonates with consumers, helps your brand go viral, and leads to increased sales, comes from user-generated content.
With user-generated content making so much noise, it only makes sense that certain individuals can use their content to create a platform for themselves. A business influencer is no different.
This isn’t to say social media marketing can’t be effective, because it can. With the right information and team, your business can use social media to better connect with consumers or reach your niche audience without breaking the bank.
Read more: The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing Costs
Many business owners and entrepreneurs are understandably captivated by business influencers.
In a world where business is constantly and rapidly evolving, direct experience has largely replaced more traditional forms of business education. Business influencers provide a quick, easy-to-understand, and rapidly updating resource to understand current markets.
Not to mention, the average business influencer is successful – or at least positioned to look successful. This lends them credibility and makes business owners want to replicate their processes and advice.
It’s important to keep in mind that creating an online persona is simple. Faking success is simple.
People can be anyone they want online – the key is discerning useful information from harmful information and only using what can benefit your business.
What business influencers get right
Unfortunately, no business influencer magazine has all the necessary tips and tricks to help you navigate interacting with various influencers.
Thankfully, we’ve provided some key details on what business influencers get right below.
A typical business influencer message is that you have to be willing to adapt and do things differently.
For a majority of modern businesses, this is incredibly true. You don’t need to be running a social media business to see how much the market has changed in recent years.
The old forms of marketing and selling are largely gone. Consumers are far more aware of advertising, meaning you have to think outside the box to be successful in today’s market.
Read more: Creative Marketing Ideas: Surprising Benefits and Inspiration for your Remote Business
It isn’t uncommon see a business influencer outlining the importance of determining your company’s purpose – or its “why?”.
When you clearly understand what your company hopes to accomplish and make business decisions with purpose, your brand will be more resilient and flexible when faced with unforeseen challenges.
Consumers love companies that they feel aligned with. When your business has a clear and compelling reason for existing, customer loyalty and advocacy for your brand will increase.
When you see a business influencer posting motivational content, it’s hard not to appreciate it.
Anything uplifting and inspiring is a net positive, and several business influencers are great at creating motivational content.
This might come in the form of inspiring stories from their past, encouraging content that asks viewers to set goals for their businesses, or anything else designed as motivational.
As you can see, the average business influencer does get quite a few things right. The problem arises when they’re not as correct in their advice.
What business influencers miss or get wrong
The advent of social media, in conjunction with the market’s quick transition to digital-first operations, has led to a virtual landscape littered with scams, bad actors, and misinformation.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see a business influencer making the same mistakes.
Whether it’s using depression as a form of marketing, sharing cryptocurrency scams with unknowing followers, or promoting a “health tea” that’s dangerously packed with natural laxatives – examples of influencers missing the mark to the detriment of their followers are easy to find.
Here, we’ve looked at a few areas where the average business influencer tends to fall flat.
- Instant-gratification mindset
- Overestimated abilities
- Failure to disclose sponsored content
- Spammy marketing techniques
Business influencers are great at sharing motivating content, but it often comes with an implicit instant-gratification mindset.
They share endless content in a format that makes it appear like you can attain massive success in an incredibly short period.
While this is possible, it’s very rare. Typically, true success comes from prolonged, consistent effort.
When you’re watching content that makes it seem like everything should be simple, it’s easy to get demotivated or feel like you haven’t accomplished enough.
Instead, try to remember that instant gratification is the name of the game and that a business guru isn’t the only person who will make complicated things seem easy for points online.
A phony isn’t a genuine business guru.
Sometimes called “fake influencers,” these people pretend to be successful business owners, investment whizzes, or other high-profile success stories in an attempt to defraud their followers. Unfortunately, they’re usually very convincing and, therefore, difficult to identify until it’s too late.
Often, the individuals perpetrating these scams are caught and face intense public backlash – but not before being a serious financial or emotional detriment to their viewers.
Outside of the outright scammers that lie about everything, there’s another kind of business influencer that isn’t as nefarious as the fake influencer but is still actively harmful.
This is the circular success influencer.
This business influencer is the individual whose “successful business” tells other people how to make money.
When your business can only turn a profit by explaining how to make money to others, there’s a great chance you aren’t providing worthwhile advice.
Always be wary of the business influencer whose brand could only exist with regular new buyers.
Finally, many business influencers overestimate their level of expertise.
They may have mastered one particular market, but that doesn’t mean they know how to help your specific business.
For example, a business influencer who made their money selling e-books might not know how to help you grow your coffee roasting business.
Similar to how there are several different kinds of influencers, there are several different business influencer niches within the original niche!
Part of social media’s endless appeal is the constant surge of dopamine that keeps consumers coming back. When you keep this in mind, it’s easy to understand why an individual with 3 million followers is overestimating his abilities.
To effectively determine an influencer’s legitimacy, try and use context clues, other viewers’ opinions, and even the platform where they’re most popular.
For instance, a business influencer on LinkedIn who provides information about the company he owns is likely a better bet than the business influencer on Tik Tok who posts a different “5 Ways to Make Money” video every other day.
Failure to disclose sponsored content
All too often, influencers fail to disclose that they were compensated for their time.
Often, this is in the form of something like a “business strategy course” they paid $100 per session for before giving their viewers the chance to pay for the course as well.
The content posted would give viewers no indication that the business influencer was paid for it when, in reality, there’s a great chance they were paid and never used the product, either.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with posting sponsored content, as that’s how the average business influencer will make their money. The issue occurs when that compensation isn’t disclosed.
This is why you should look to see what kind of companies and products the influencers on your radar are posting.
If you’ve found a business influencer that is open about any sponsorships or compensation they receive, they’re probably not going to try and sell you products they have no experience with.
Similarly, if you’ve found a business influencer that never admits to sponsorships or compensation but is always dealing with different companies and products, that individual is likely being compensated but saying nothing.
Spammy marketing techniques
This should go for anyone you’re interacting with, regardless of whether they’re influencers.
Occasionally, you’ll come across a business influencer who’s constantly asking viewers and followers to purchase a product – often making bold or unsupported claims about how much better your life would be if you just bought the offering.
Outside of their content, these spammy influencers might use automated messaging or other, less personal advertisements to constantly berate viewers about buying the product they’re pushing.
These kinds of influencers should be avoided at all costs.
Everyone wants to make money, but when you find a business influencer that is desperate for you to purchase their product – there’s something they aren’t telling you.
Despite the business influencer pitfalls, some good information can still be gleaned from these individuals. Similarly, using a well-known business influencer for your company’s advertising efforts is a great way to connect with new consumers.
The key is ensuring that you aren’t dealing with a fraudulent business influencer. When considering hiring someone for a marketing position – don’t be afraid to ask for credentials and previous client reviews.
Read more: The Complete Guide to Influencer Marketing for Small Business
Regardless of your relationship or opinion of the average business influencer, you must approach any famous online individual with healthy skepticism.
That isn’t to say that you won’t be able to find some worthwhile information from these individuals, but it is to say that you’ll never regret being more cautious than necessary.
What you can’t get from a business influencer
Business influencers are appealing because they portray simple, sexy solutions to wealth.
While they can be useful for motivation and help you get creative, their advice should never be taken as the gospel truth.
Instead, focus on learning and staying consistent over time to grow your business.
Sure, a business influencer might tell you why flexibility is important for your modern business – but not many of them will tell you how to achieve that flexibility.
Thankfully, that’s where we come in. Alliance’s Virtual Offices are the modern business owners’ answer to flexibility, cost-efficiency, and legitimacy.
In the past, business owners were forced to enter long and expensive commercial leases with never-ending utility bills and upkeep costs. Our Virtual Offices provide a modern alternative with all of the benefits of a traditional office at a fraction of the cost.
With our Virtual Offices, you can register your business in any state and almost any city you’d like. This means you can give your business the legitimacy it deserves without breaking the bank.
Want to register your financial services business in Manhattan? Not a problem.
Want to register your tech company to an address in Silicon Valley? Again, no issue!
Our Virtual Offices are backed by physical space and use professional and well-known addresses to give your business the public face it deserves.
Because our offices are backed by physical space, you have a readily available workspace to use anytime you’d like to break the monotony of working from home. This is even more useful when your business is responsible for hosting an event.
If you’ve ever tried to use a coffee shop or a hotel conference room, you likely already understand the issue with both of those options. Instead, your Virtual Office gets you access to easily reservable meeting rooms of any size that allow you to show clients, investors, or team members how serious you are about your brand.
With a robust mail-forwarding system, incredible TrustPilot ratings, and friendly and helpful onsite staff, the benefits of using a Virtual Office are clear.
Outside of the Virtual Offices, Alliance provides several other tools that are built to help modern business owners increase profit margins, better customer relations, and expand with ease.
For a better way to communicate with consumers without being forced to spend money on a new hire, consider our Live Receptionist.
With a Live Receptionist, you can ensure that every call your company receives is screened and answered without having to spend your valuable time waiting for the phone to ring.
Don’t risk upsetting potential customers by trying to multitask through a phone call, and don’t feel obligated to bring on an additional employee just to answer the phones.
Instead, allow our friendly and personable Live Receptionists to handle your phone calls. This way, any potential customers are greeted with a warm welcome and a calming voice that they’ll attribute to your business.
Don’t let the modern business influencer fool you; the path to becoming a long-lasting and successful business is long, difficult, and trying.
That said, the feeling you’ll get from guiding your business to this kind of success blows anything that any business influencer could try to sell you out of the water.
- Resources for Small Businesses: Top Free and Affordable Tools for Entrepreneurs to Grow a Business
- Creative Marketing Ideas: Surprising Benefits and Inspiration for your Remote Business
- The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing Costs
- The Complete Guide to Influencer Marketing for Small Business
Alliance Virtual Offices provides tools for the modern entrepreneur that’s a little suspicious of the modern business influencer.
Don’t fall for the next business influencer-mania-driven scheme. Instead, buckle down, continue working, and keep your nose to the grindstone.