There is a misperception all over the world that influencers have easy, glamorous lives filled with parties, gifts, and fans. Kids in the US aspire to be YouTubers when they grow up and college-educated Generation Z Chinese want to leave low-paying, entry-level jobs to become live-streamers. Would they feel the same if they knew how much effort goes into becoming a KOL and then running a mini influencer marketing agency?
And many brands want to work with influencers, but complain about high prices for nothing more than sharing posts. They fail to recognize all the work that has gone into getting them that ROI.
It’s true, being an influencer is an amazing career. No one can deny that.
But it’s also a tough, lonely one. To become a full-time, top-tier influencer requires dedication and persistence, creativity and business savvy, and a core desire to bring value to your audience, even if it means turning down lucrative brand deals.
We only see the highlight reel of an influencer’s life, but that’s not their day-to-day reality. We interviewed six Chinese influencers in various stages of their career about their daily lives, and here’s what we learned.