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The Influencer Era: What It Means for Employers

My favorite quote from the bodybuilding community is from 9x Mr. Olympia champion Ronnie Coleman who once said:

“Everybody wanna be a bodybuilder, but ain’t nobody wanna lift no heavy weights!”

Recent Studies out of the US & UK cite ‘Influencer’ as the #1 profession today’s youth (12-16) aspire to be. 

Aspirations that used to be Professional Athlete, Astronaut, and Entrepreneur, have now been replaced with YouTuber, Esports Streamer, and Social Media Influencer.

A decade ago the definitions for these words didn’t yet exist. Today, they are at the center of attention for marketers, founders, and of course, the next generation. 

But it’s no secret why influencer would be such a sought after career. After all, your job is to essentially be popular online, who wouldn’t want that?

The unfortunate reality is the % of kids that become large level influencers will be quite low. 

Yet unlike aspiring bodybuilders, those aspiring to become influencers will lift the metaphorical ‘heavyweight’. They will work to grow their personal brand. They will learn how to film, edit, and design content. They will learn how to build followings on social media. And they all will progress.

Maybe not to full-fledged influencer status, but we can expect an influence reach of 2,000-25,000 without a doubt. 

So in an era where influencers and entrepreneurs are the most sought after careers, how will employers adjust?

Compliance can GTFO

The era of corporate compliance on content & social media will die. Employees not allowed to leverage their personal brand, create content online, and be on social media will leave for companies that allow them to do so. 

Since the introduction of social media, corporate compliance has pushed back every chance to limit employees’ social media promotion. It is seen as an “extension of our brand” and thus employees can’t be themselves online.

Look, I get it. I wouldn’t want my team members promoting a message that reflects poorly on the Trndsttrs Media brand. But the alternative is not promoting a message at all. And that alternative does more harm than good. 

Corporate needs to do more to fuel and educate employees on how to create content around their job in order to promote the brand and be the best testimonial for their business! This is not making employees post through an internal dashboard with content choices which are in reality just copy/paste blogs no one will read anyhow.

Instead, this is empowering employees with creative execution, social media management, hell, even ad campaigns. 

Doing so the right way is a win win. 

Hide Potential ‘Exposures’

How many viral internet posts have you seen from employees of a company showing what really goes on behind the scenes? 

Today’s reality is everyone of your employees can expose large parts of your organization. 

The solution here is to get rid of what can be exposed. If it shouldn’t be seen on camera, get rid of it. 

The modern consumer has access to a 4k camera in their pocket (any iphone) and can reach millions of users with one tweet. 

Run an analysis of your existing operations. What would likely be bad pr for you if promoted? Now, do everything you can to get rid of it!

Ego Isn’t the Enemy

For employers, getting rid of employees’ egos is traditionally, necessary in order to create a collaborative environment. With the next generation, this will be nearly impossible.

So rather than trying to break egos, employers will need to play into. 

Employers should use their employees’ ego as a means of fueling greater efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, output. 

Creating major incentives, public praise, social acceptance, and more… will be leveraged as a strategy for fueling ego into execution. 

So remember, ego isn’t the enemy for employers, leverage it!

To conclude, the era of “everyone wanna be an influencer” is approaching fast. It’s vital that employers adjust their organizations accordingly in order to avoid problems with acquiring and retaining the next generation of employees.

For every potential negative, there is also a positive. Great organizations will see this trend and leverage it to become a talent attraction machine. 

Everybody wanna be an influencer, how will you adjust?

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