The importance of social influencers is rapidly increasing. Steadily they grow into much more than just Instagram stars. Some of the top influencers no longer use their fan base only to promote the products of others; they launch their own brands, from fashion labels to beauty product lines. This way the influencer transforms into an entrepreneur. How an influencer can develop into a brand.
Influencers got something that brands are incredibly jealous of: a large and loyal group of followers. Traditionally, influencers are used as an advertising instrument by brands to promote their products. But what if influencers start developing their own products? After all, they have proven to reach the right audience and usually possess knowledge in a specific field, whether it’s tech, clothing or food. Therefore, the step to entrepreneurship is quite an obvious one.
Successful from influencer to entrepreneur
A good example of a successful influencer using her status to become an entrepreneur is the Dutch beauty blogger Vera Camilla. In 2009 she started her blog and within two years her website became one of the most popular beauty blogs in the Netherlands. Her YouTube channel has more than 280,000 subscribers and on Instagram she rounded up more than 235,000 followers.
In addition to her online activities, last year she developed her own line of make-up brushes, transforming from someone who gives beauty tips into a beauty brand. She promotes her own brushes through her social media accounts, although not too heavy, and made some tutorial videos to show her followers how to use these brushes.
It is an example of a successful transition to entrepreneurship. A key factor to the succes is that she stayed very close to her expertise. For years she has used beauty brushes for her blogs and videos. Therefore her followers trust that she has the knowledge to develop the perfect make-up brush. Another important factor is that she has chosen not to sell the products all by herself. Instead, she developed a partnership with Boozyshop, a platform already specialized in selling beauty products.
The risks for influencer-entrepreneurs
The road from influencer to entrepreneur is not always that smooth. There are a number of reasons why it’s not that easy to become an entrepreneur as a successful influencer. One of the most important ones is that developing a line of products or starting a brand requires a completely different skillset than maintaining successful social media accounts.
Influencers have their followers because people trust them. As soon as an influener is no longer an influencer but an entrepreneur, there is a risk that followers will become skeptical. If the products are just not good enough, there is a great chance that not only the brand will fail but that the influencer will lose his authority and a large share of his or her followers.
Nevertheless it is obvious that the step from influencer to entrepreneur is an attractive one. After all, why should an influencer not take full advantage of his or her popularity?