Maybe it had to happen sooner or later.
I’ve started getting approaches from marketing agencies asking me to become – I retch at even saying this word – an influencer.
Translation: a sell-out.
Further translation: taking money or free product in return for doing advertising disguised as personal reviews, recommendations, playlists or whatever.
As I am not exactly young and beautiful (oh okay, you can call me striking), nor have an Instagram account, perhaps our influencer marketing overlords have reached Peak Influencer with their preferred demographic and now need to look further afield and, you know, “reach out.”
Actually, I’d like to think I’ve been influencing – or trying to – since the 90’s. And my aim when I launched Ambient Music Guide in 2001 was to turn people onto good music.
If that’s not influencing, what is?
But my opinions are my own. And I’ve been doing this long enough to know that some people value that.
When you’re an InfluencerTM your opinions are paid for and sold down the river, using a faked version of your true self on blogs and social media. That is, until the brands and agencies drop you. Then you have nothing, because faux credibility created by money is about as real as unicorns and as enduring as a fart in the wind.
Curiously, “selling out” is a notion which I’ve noticed some Millennials and Gen Z’s genuinely have no conception of, let alone have an opinion about, for or against. Really, they don’t. That’s baffling to me. Among them are some cousins, friends and colleagues.
Me, I’m happier being a Gen X nobody, thanks.
Now, bring me my pipe and slippers.