Mum, Dad… I’m an Influencer! How To Explain Your Social Media Job To Parents

The parent trap

Let’s face it, being a social media influencer is a pretty brilliant way to make a living.

Ok, being an influencer is a busy, fast-paced and creatively demanding job (and, despite what your friends think, your biggest professional challenge isn’t finding space for all the free stuff you’ve been sent). But, on the whole, the influencer life is a good one.

In fact, the only real downside that we can see is having to explain what you do to your parents. Or worse, their parents.

After all lots of us have family who, for all the love and support they’ve showered upon us, know more about the tumble drier than they do about Tumblr.

And if you’ve ever tried to explain Snapchat filters to your grandad you’ll know that you’d have been more successful explaining photosynthesis to a muffin.

But naturally you want your family to understand and appreciate what it is you do. And, just as naturally, they want to be able to explain to their friends what your job is without having to mumble something vague about ‘Instachat’. So, here’s our guide to taking on this (rather daunting) task.

A social media tour

The best place to start is with the basics. To an older generation, ways to keep in touch involve such wildly old-fashioned apparatus as letters, phone calls and actual conversations with another human.

So maybe a quick tour through the social media you use – and how it gives you an amazing view of the world – will help them understand why you experience mini-panic attacks when your phone is ever more than a few feet away.

In our experience, mums, dads and grandparents – no matter how much they insist otherwise –  actually love to play around on their children’s Instagram or Facebook. Just keep a very close eye on what they’re accidentally (or very deliberately!) liking.

Show them the money

The next step is to prove to your family that being a social media influencer is a viable, and actually rather lucrative, way to make a living. Or, in other words, show them that you’re not glued to your smart phone just to stare at other people’s breakfast or trainers – you’re on there because there are big rewards to be earned.

And perhaps understandably, your mum and dad may wonder why any business will pay you to share a picture in, say, their new hat.

But what if you’re followed by a few thousand people who love the way you dress and desperately want to be a tiny bit more like you? In other words, people who are very likely indeed to dash out and buy that hat?

And this new marketing model for brands is precisely why social media influencers are being included at the heart of most huge commercial events, from new product launches to international Fashion Weeks.

Probably the most compelling way to convince your family is to demonstrate that the key word is ‘influencer’. Which means that brands are inviting you to events, sending you freebies and even paying you to be a part of their campaigns because you have a uniquely valuable influence over how other people shop (some studies even say that influencer recommendations are trusted only very slightly less than those from our friends).

Then if after all that explaining your mum, dad and even your gran have a much clearer idea of what you do (and how good you are at it) then perhaps they’re ready for an even more advanced guide to the world of social media influencing.

In fact, maybe you should try that lesson on Snapchat filters after all. Good luck with that.