The Influencer

So I’ve been spending some of my free time looking into ways to make money without working very hard.  The internet seems to have tons of ways to do this.  The current rage seems to be a “Social Media Influencer” on Instagram or Facebook or YouTube.  Apparently you can get free stuff, free travel, fame, fortune, and do not have to work much to get all this wonderful stuff.

Cool, where do I sign up?

I did a quick google search (since google knows all) and found 71 million web pages that tell you how to be an “Influencer” and get free travel to exotic locations.  The Maldives, Fiji, and the Philippines seem to be hot locations – that the Philippines was on the list surprised me, but it’s cheap and has good surfing.  Now I’ll admit I only read one or two of these pages, but the process seems to be to email a hotel where you want to stay and promise to do an Instagram post featuring the hotel to your followers.

Yup, just send an email promising to take pictures of yourself wearing a bikini, a towel, or hotel robe on the beach, in the room, getting out of the shower…  Then promise to post these pictures to your account(s) and magically thousands of people will want to stay at the hotel. That would be worth a free room, drinks, meals, diving lessons, a massage …


Honestly, I don’t think that’s going to work for me.  It might, but I can’t think of many people who want a picture of me in a bikini.  But there are tens of thousands of people who think that hotels and restaurants are just dying to have the privilege of having a “Social Influencer” wandering around the place, taking pictures, and drinking the good liquor for free.

Of course, it’s all a fantasy.  The number of people who can actually pull this off is very small and as hotels and brands get hit with more and more people asking for free stuff, these business are starting to question the value.  A hotel room may be free to the influencer, but the business still has to pay for the staff, electricity, beverages, and toilet paper.  The question being asked by hotels is, “How many people are going to see your post and then actually pay for a stay at the hotel if we give you a free room?”

The answer is: Somewhere between none and not many.  A net loss to the hotel.

Recently there was a New York Times article about a beach club in the Philippines that is being flooded with emails from influencers requesting free accommodations. The owners of the club are being flooded with requests from “wannabe influencers” who have no clue about the value proposition.  A single Instagram post to your 3,000 followers does not earn you a $270 a night hotel room with  free meals.

Darn, I was so hoping.

I did a little more digging and found that there are many, many businesses who are starting to officially hang out the, “Influencers Not Welcome” sign.  It seems that many influencers who go down this path have no clue how business works and real businesses are stuck explaining it to them.

Sadly, I do have something of a clue how business works so I won’t be sending your hotel an email offering to post bikini pictures of me in exchange for a free room.

You can thank me now.

So, I guess that means it’s back to the old fashioned way of making money – working.



About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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34 Responses to The Influencer

  1. George says:

    It all sounds good in theory..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a brilliant post! I’m from Canada, but I was born and raised in the Philippines. I’m going to spend my vacation in my homeland next month. If I come across establishments hanging an “Influencers Not Welcome” sign, I’ll send you a picture. Of course, I’ll be expecting your bikini photo in return.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Debra says:

    I know that publishing doesn’t bring in money, or that’s what my author friends tell me! But I love your book of poetry, Andrew. It’s really very special. I’d say keep writing. You may not become a ‘social influencer,” but there are other kinds of influence. And you’re doing that well. I’d also suggest planting one of those money trees in the backyard. If you can get the money to grow on trees, you’ll be set!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading my book, I’m glad you liked it. Writers rarely make money these days. A money tree is a good idea though. I’ll plant two this weekend.


  4. CJ Hartwell says:

    I read about those influencers too. For the few who actually make it work, it sounds rather exhausting and not very fulfilling. But maybe that’s just me.
    Also, I understand your hesitancy regarding a bikini. Have you considered a Speedo? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been reading the same posts. As authors, we’re constantly being told that we should become ‘social media’ influencers’ because then we’d be able to sell bazillions of books. It’s a no-lose marketing strategy! All you have to do is post fresh exciting content a bazillion times a day to a bazillion dedicated followers!

    Hey, I wasn’t doing anything with my ten minutes of spare time per week. I’m gonna get right on that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve got it, just write awesome content three times a day and bang – you’re rich. Don’t forget the SEO and responding to all comments. Ten minutes should be more than enough time to do this.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your post actually made me laugh — a lot! And it reminded me how much I laughed one night when my daughter convinced me to watch an episode of The Bachelor with her on TV. One of the contestants vying for the male wannabe groom actually listed her occupation as “Social Media Influencer.” And guess what? I laughed — A LOT – at her “job.” Oh, and by the way, I think if all of us of…ahem…a certain age emailed photos of ourselves in bikinis to those resorts, they would pay us to stay AWAY. So maybe, that can be our new way to earn money!! Whadda ya think????

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess listing her occupation that way is slightly better than listing it as, “unemployed.” I’m going to send a few emails, “Here’s a picture of my, for $100, I won’t visit your hotel.” Wealth is just a paypal account away. I like it.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. OMG…what a great post!! You had me laughing out loud! I’m so sheltered – I’d never heard of social media “influencers”. I think the Mueller Report calls them Russian Trolls, (but I wouldn’t know for sure since the report hasn’t left the greasy hands of Troll AG Barr since it was delivered.). But I echo the others re the bikini photo!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m an Amazon Vine Voice and have a fairly popular edtech blog (Ask a Tech Teacher) so get a lot of offers of free products if I’ll write a review and post it. Where it used to be cool, now it’s just annoying. It clutters up my desktops and makes me feel guilty if I throw them away (a gooseneck webcam is staring at me right now). I pass them out at my writer’s group meeting sometimes but usually, they aren’t suited for that. I did get Samsonite luggage I will use, towels, dog food (which my dog loves), some books…

    Sigh. In the end, it does little for my bottom line.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That does sound annoying. I rarely get those kind of offers, given my low subscriber count, but the three or four I have didn’t seem like a good deal for either me or the person offering the product. I did a tool review once and ended up with a tool I rarely use and no increase in views to my blog. If I count my time in doing the review and pictures, I ended up losing money – would have been cheaper to just have bought the thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. ant11sam says:

    I would pay for a bikini photo of you…😂😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. jfwknifton says:

    Please send me that photograph of yourself in a bikini as that is my first step in the journey to wealth and fame.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pied Type says:

    Just become a popular YouTuber with, say, 20 million subscribers, and you can make a nice living without ever leaving your desk.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve read that for the very few “influencers” (and sorry but I cannot drop the quote marks, they just stick) who make big money it’s a full time job posing and posting, with staff. Now that sounds like hard work to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is such an amusing post, Andrew. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. If you believe those ads for free stuff, may I offer you some shares in the Brooklyn Bridge?(that may be a reference that only east coasters find amusing…)

    Liked by 1 person

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