So You Want to Be an Influencer…


Joie Evar, Guest Writer

We all have our favorite people we see while scrolling down our For You Page or our favorite Instagram story vlogs that we watch on repeat. Every day, we look forward to seeing what content these creators have made. But have you ever wondered what it’s like to be the person behind the screen?

According to CyberClick, TikTok is the most downloaded app in 2021 and according to Influencer Marketing Club, it has the highest social media engagement rate per post, allowing many to grow a platform in the social media universe. These individuals who have grown followings are known as influencers or content creators. Influencers make authentic and creative content combined with personal posts on generic topics, through which these creators can grow a fanbase. With these fanbases, influencers can impact large groups of people online. For many, cracking the code to become an influencer can be a little tricky, but it is safe to say that it is an opportunity available to everyone.

“Everyone has creativity. You just need to find your spark and most importantly, be yourself,” Peter Dokas, a local influencer based in Cresskill, said. Dokas has a following of 53.7K on TikTok and gained his platform during the pandemic by spreading positivity to young teens. Despite all the negativity on social media, Dokas advocates for his account to be a safe space for all who watch his videos.

To many, being an influencer is a full-time job. There is a lot of work that goes into creating content and keeping users interested in order to gain more followers. According to SEO Design, influencers with over a million followers can make up to $1,000-$5,000 per post and users with even larger fanbases can make up to $1 million per post. To gain more followers, TikTok and Instagram users follow certain algorithms, which can be used in many different ways. They put certain hashtags, post at specific times, and write intriguing captions so that their content can reach as many people as possible. For example, if you were a fitness and health influencer, you would may want to put the hashtag “#weightloss” or “#gym” so that all users who search for health-related videos can find your content easily. It can also be useful to turn your account into a business account; that way you can see the insights of how your followers interact with your posts and understand what content grows your account.

Anyone can be an influencer. You just need to bring creativity and positive energy to your content

— Peter Dokas

Putting oneself out there in the social media world also comes with many dangers. Not only is it crucial to be self-aware and cautious of personal information that is posted, but it’s also important to be aware of your audience and the people watching you. With many views, videos also come with many comments, many of them being hateful. It is the poster’s responsibility to handle this negativity with a positive approach and to avoid letting haters hiding behind a screen affect the way they present themselves online. It is also important for content creators to be respectful of their audience in order to avoid being “canceled.” According to Urban Dictionary, canceling “is caused by a critical mass of people who are quick to judge and slow to question.” With that being said, before speaking out about any topic, one must educate oneself and be aware of the consequences of impulsive actions. An example of this took place in early 2021 when former supermodel Chrissy Teigen had hateful tweets resurface from 2012. Before cancel culture struck her, Chrissy had millions of followers and endorsements with several companies. But when tweets of her bullying Courtney Stodden reemerged, her job as an influencer was completely decimated.

“Anyone can be an influencer. You just need to bring creativity and positive energy to your content,” Dokas said. Becoming an influencer is a process that you must be committed to, but it comes with a tremendous upside. The opportunity is available to everyone and it can be as authentic as one chooses to make it. It is a career dominating the industry and its one requirement: be yourself.