I hate, hate, hate the influencer “thing.”
They are, in essence, selling themselves. Or some carefully crafted, concentrated, bullshit version thereof. An individual sold to the masses as a breathing manifestation of fraudulent aspirational marketing. But for the customer, there’s no pot of self-assurance-gold at the end of that purchasing rainbow. You’re more likely to transmogrify into Christ himself by purchasing the entire Twelve Days of Christmas.
I think it’s arrogant, short sighted, and frankly, poisonous. It’s slash and burn advertising, with the torching of trust fueling the fire. Influencers are professional puppets. A bunch of narcissists begging to exist forever on a stage, acting out someone else’s script, dying to live Pinnochio’s life in reverse. “Oh PLEASE big corporate Geppetto! Hook me up to your strings and make my nose grow!”
For what? Free clothes? Teeth whitening strips? A loaner car on a scripted “vacation” that’s been setup by some 3rd rate marketing firm? “Trust me! I’m professionally untrustworthy!” THESE are the people whose judgement we’re supposed to emulate?
Approximate ego size of “influencers” who sell their lifestyle to others.
It’s painfully, obviously, backwards. It’s not about their followers, their readers, their customers. Nope. It’s all about them. Or, what’s left of them, after they’ve gladly sold off multiple pieces of their authenticity like cuts of meat from a carcass. “ME ME ME. Hey you! You want to be ME? BUY THIS! I’VE BEEN PAID TO SAY THIS MAKES ME ‘ME’ AND IT COULD HELP MAKE YOU ‘ME’ TOO! SUNSET HEART HANDS!“
“Let them eat cake!“ Not even. Influencers make bread eating free cake while telling us to spend our dough on their crumbs.
Influencers sell you their “lifestyle™“. Here on this site, I hope, we try to get you dressed for your life. Cheesy? Self righteous? Maybe. But I think it effectively illustrates how this website (hi!) is perhaps a little different. I’m not going to sell you my (the Joe guy’s) life. Why? Most of you wouldn’t like it. Many of you would straight up mock it. And that’s okay! Because what works for me might not nor should it work for you.
You get the idea.
Hello? Influencers? Is that youuuuu?
And that’s good. Because what plays in NYC won’t always play in Peoria. What’s hip on the Sunset Strip could look ridiculous in Indianapolis. Chicago style is not always Denver style. Or Phoenix style. Or Ocala or Corpus Christi or Fargo or Temecula style. Yet I believe that there is still some common, useful, practical ground to be had.
Influencers run to money like rats run to dumpsters. One of the guiding principals of Dappered is: Content first. Don’t chase the money. Money should follow if we write interesting, compelling, useful stuff. Yes, we use affiliate programs. We get a small commission if you happen to buy something (most stuff, not all). It’s a necessity in the age of AdBlock (we’d love it if you would consider white-listing us). But affiliates also act as a check on ourselves. If we blow smoke just to make a quick buck and you buy something and you hate it? Poof. There goes the business. We have to be honest, good or bad, affiliate or not. Trust is paramount. If you don’t trust us, you shouldn’t read us. Period.
We don’t take money to publish a review, or write up a sale, or post a steal alert to social media. We never keep photo/review samples, and often pay out of pocket to ship the stuff back. If a brand sends us something without asking? They’re dead to us. We don’t require you to jump through stupid social media hoops to enter a giveaway.
Influencers are making a TON of money, as well as hoarding a bunch of stuff, doing all those things.
Maybe that means here at Dappered we’re doing it wrong.
But if that’s the case, then I don’t want to be right.