Mind your own business Influencers!

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Robert Curley investigates influencer marketing.

Influencing, a relatively new phenomenon in the business world, has developed into a marketing force to be reckoned with in the last decade. Content creators on major social media platforms earn significant income from businesses eager to capture the attention of their large audiences. We’ve certainly witnessed the extreme lengths some businesses go to promote their products through well-known social media stars. For one, Kim Kardashian who has over 334 million followers on Instagram charges a staggering $1.69 million per post. However, we remind our readers that she is at the pinnacle of the influencing game. Nano-influencers, creators with a following of between 100 and 10,000 followers, can expect to receive around $10 per post. For Mega Influencers the sky's the limit in terms of how much a company or brand is willing to pay for their services. 

These influencers have transcended mere content creation, evolving into multi-million-dollar marketing engines capable of delivering substantial short-term gains for their sponsors. However, they also pose risks, as evidenced by Kylie Jenner's insulting tweet of Snapchat in 2018, which precipitated a staggering decline of $1.3 Billion in the app’s market value. Recognizing the significance of this trend, academic institutions like Southeast Technical University in Carlow now offer specialised programs such as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Media and Influencing. This degree program reflects the growing importance of influencer marketing in contemporary business strategies and will be commencing September 2024.

What does the future hold for influencing? Current trends suggest a steady increase in investment from big business and subsequent revenue for influencers. Nonetheless, the market is already saturated, and current data indicates that this situation will only exacerbate, potentially leading to an expansion in the follower range for a creator to be classified as a nano-influencer.

You might be wondering, do these social media gurus pay taxes? Simply put, yes. They are essentially regarded as self-employed by the Irish government and are taxed accordingly. This underscores one of the primary advantages for influencers - they have the autonomy to be their own bosses. In today's fiercely competitive influencer landscape, standing out and establishing oneself can be challenging. Yet, success in this field offers numerous enticing benefits. Will this be a new widely sought upon career? Only time will tell.