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Influencer to Celebrity: What’s The Turning Point?

Being an influencer must be one of the most sought after jobs in 2018. Forget Hollywood and realty TV singing competitions, so many people think this is the new way to rise to fame. The thought of getting paid to post on your Instagram account? Count me in.

But being an influencer is so much more than a free ride to fame. For tips on becoming an influencer and the reality of the job, check out our blog here.

The web definition of an influencer is ‘a person or thing that influences’ – pretty self-explanatory, right?

The web definition of a celebrity is ‘a famous person; the state of being well known’, but my definition is someone that the paparazzi love to take pictures of (even when they’re wearing track pants) and the media love to scrutinise over every little thing they wear, say or do – like they aren’t normal people anymore who are allowed to have bad days.

So at what point does an influencer become a celebrity?

Going by the above definitions, it should be when they receive notable fame and attention – ‘to be known by many’. But that seems a bit vague to me. Known by how many? Well-known or semi-known?

In the Instagram realm I suppose you are perceived closer to celebrity status if you have a certified blue tick – however these aren’t just handed out once you receive a certain number of followers, so influencers will often find this hard to attain. A big criteria to receiving a certified blue tick is being famous enough that people want to impersonate you – think Kylie Jenner status, not Bachelorette contestant.

Followers is another element to consider – having millions of followers is great, but it they aren’t engaging in your content and commenting, are you really connecting with them and can you really be influencing them?

“Being famous on Instagram is like being rich in Monopoly”

Some celebrities don’t even like that title…they’re famous for doing their job? What a novel concept. But real influencers, they’re more than celebrities. They are our friends. Our sisters. Our mothers. We connect with them on a daily basis. They reply to our comments. They listen to our feedback. They’re posting for us – not for their own egocentric reasons.

This begs the question – can you not be an influencer AND a celebrity?

I think once you lose the intimate connection with your followers because there are too many of them to keep up – that’s when you become a celebrity.

People begin to care less about your opinion, stop reading your well thought out captions, and mindlessly scroll past your content – giving you an empty like for an over-analysed selfie.

In the meantime – if celebrity status is the goal – don’t compromise on creating quality content that your followers enjoy for bikini pics to increase your following. Don’t take on brand partnerships that don’t align with your values – because as we know the media love to find the skeletons in any celebrity’s closet.

In the words of the great Celeste Barber, “if you have to tell someone you are famous, then you are not, in fact, famous.”

By Rachel Demarco, PR/ Marketing Manager, InsideOut PR and #AsSeenOn.