My husband gave his definition of an “influencer” yesterday. Here’s my attempt to paraphrase him, and he’s brilliant (verifiably): An “influencer” is someone who makes money from influencing people online, but specifically on Instagram. Pretty clear.
And you know…I never really did that.
I had two free bottles of gorgeous perfume given to me to review, but I never sold them? I never will. Does that count as “making money”?
And…actually…I gave away a lot of decent samples of rare perfume or perfume many people would consider “nice” (ie Chanel LE). Some people were lovely about it (I found some true beauties through samples I received in return)…and others were not as well-intentioned in their responses. Once someone gave me a few very rare and very generous samples and that was truly extraordinary. But, I think it was more an act of personal kindness on that person’s part than anything to do with my “influencer” status.
Once I sold a sample after I felt taken advantage of by someone else for giving one away (not the person who requested the sample). And the person who bought it was nice about it and I tried to give them a very fair price… They bought one or two other bottles from my online store not directly connected to my Instagram. Although, I did advertise it once in my gallery.
I think they liked the bottles. But…they were good bottles of at least semi-rare perfume I already had a duplicate of (or didn’t want) that I found while looking for antiques. That’s not influencer territory.
As I defend Calloway over and over again I wonder. Am I making a mistake? Can you trust someone to be genuine online almost at all who makes a living by being an “influencer” (even if they’re an artist)? I don’t know. I did have a persona but I wasn’t truly dishonest other than for the occasional safety reason. But…as much as I was a very active public account (as opposed to a private account) in the perfume community and some people might have eventually thought I was even somewhat of an expert as I literally heard that several times, (not sure I’d quite agree, as kind as they were, since I have high standards for that term and I’m an honest critic of myself)…I wasn’t an “influencer”. I never made any money other than the one person who heard about me through Instagram who I sold vintage perfume to and a sample of a recent Liu. One.
It’s just…the person Calloway at least pretends to be is someone who I feel an incredible amount of sympathy and empathy for. And given my vantage point it looks like she was punished much too harshly for a few blunders. But…I’m sincere, so I tend to believe people. It’s possible…I don’t know enough. *grimmace*
You know, I don’t think my overall arguments and observations about her would necessarily be entirely inappropriate though even if she was secretly not…nice almost at all. Her persona still counts at least a little too much to invalidate most of what I’ve written. *sigh* But…I hope she truly is that creative and complex person I had originally seen. And if not, whoever she really is, it’s still ugly to be overly-publicly shamed for somewhat innocuous bad decisions in the grand scheme of things theses days…and I still have a lot of empathy for that.
But that’s the last I’ll talk about her for now.