The Understated Power of the Micro-Influencer
When I tell people that I am a blogger (a word which to this day still makes me cringe), the first thing they will usually ask is: "How many followers do you have?" Then, when I tell them, a couple of thousand here, a thousand there, a few email subscribers, a loyal RSS following... the feeling of crippling self-doubt hits me like an 18 wheeler. But after months of anxiety about my credentials, I am reclaiming my power- yep, it is real power- as a micro-influencer. And here's why.
My newfound confidence about being a proud part of the #discoverunder5k cohort has somewhat come as a backlash to the overwhelming 'numbers' game that the blogging world has become more and more obsessed with lately. We all receive a hit of endorphins when we see a new like, comment, share or follower pop up on our screens, but the industry as a whole has become so reliant on this that true skill; in writing, in photography, in storytelling and communication, no longer seems to matter in comparison to 10k+ followers and subscribers. But it doesn't need to be this way.
For me, the main reason that micro-influencers have such an underestimated power is authenticity .
Not only are we authentic in our 'popularity' online- you won't see us buying bots to boost our following and engagement to enormous heights- but also in our content; we are not being paid for our opinions so you know that what we're saying is reflective of our true opinions and feelings, rarely influenced by brands, unless we believe our audience will love the brand too.
It's also about quality over quantity. An influencer with 200,000 followers on Instagram cannot truly gage who their following is, and they are speaking to a vast demographic who they will never all be able to connect on a personal level to. Whereas, someone with 2,000 followers on Instagram can analyse and engage with that audience closely, build a community feeling and become an opinion leader in a much more niche setting.
From a blogger's perspective, I attend many of the same events and work with many of the same brands as people with 10-20x my following. I don't believe I am at a huge disadvantage at all, unless I truly wanted to make this a full-time career, which I don't. Opportunities don't come to those who wait, or even to those with thousands of followers, they come to those who work hard and stay true to their own style and voice.
From a brand's perspective, when organising events etc, I will always do my research and try to research not the bloggers with the most followers, but those with the most interesting and engaging content, those that fit with the brand's values and personality. Besides, mega-influencers rarely even reply to opportunities from smaller brands who of course don't have th luxury of mega-budgets. Working with a micro-influencer who has a strong established presence both on and offline can be a much more immersive, valuable and mutually beneficial experience for both parties.
I hope you've enjoyed reading my brief introduction to why I believe that micro-influencers are the future, and if you're a fellow 'small time' blogger like me, I hope you can find the same confidence I have, to be proud of your little space on the internet, no matter how many digits sit on your Instagram follower count.
Here are my outfit details from this post:
These photos were taken by the glorious Ellie Morag - you can find this Edinburgh fashion and lifestyle photographer at www.elliemorag.com