Baha Hamadi,is a board member of the Public Relations & Communications Association
You may have noticed a new breed of entrepreneurs on the rise—the influencer entrepreneur, or influpreneur. While traditional entrepreneurs start businesses based on a product or service they offer, influpreneurs create businesses based primarily on their own online status and influence. In other words, they are using their social media following, blog readership, or podcast listenership to create a business. And it is working.
Traditionally, it was celebrities who used their star-status and wide reach to launch their own product ranges, including clothing lines, perfumes and makeup, but nowadays, social media stars who have amassed a loyal following are either partnering with big brands to attach their names to a product range, or starting their own businesses rooted in their social media brand.
Influence can be a crucial aspect of entrepreneurship, the more people who are influenced by our product or service, the bigger the potential market.
Success in any field requires a certain amount of networking and relationships. Influpreneurs have a built-in audience from the start. Their fans are passionate about their work and any opportunity to connect with them on a personal or business level is one they will jump at. We see this at meet and greets where thousands of young fans will pay to see their social media star in person, to take a picture, or a video or increasingly, queue up to buy the latest product the star has launched. Take for example the case of Huda Kattan, who launched her beauty blog in 2010 featuring makeup tutorials. Kattan used her audience and reach to market and launch her own makeup line, which has come to be one of the world’s most successful independent beauty companies. The beauty mogul was forced to cancel an appearance at the Dubai Mall a few years ago for a product launch amid security concerns after thousands of fans showed up to get their hands on her new makeup and to catch a glimpse of the beauty blogger turned entrepreneur. Today, Kattan has grown her makeup business to include skincare and perfumes and has also launched her own venture capital arm and builder to invest in startups complementary to her own sector.
Influpreneurs can make money through multiple revenue streams. They can create businesses to handle influencer sponsorships with brands, sell products through affiliate links, and manage influencers’ work with businesses to promote their services. There are endless opportunities for talented and creative influencers to become influpreneurs and make a great income.
Influpreneurs can use their clout to get access to otherwise unattainable resources. They can leverage their influence to secure speaking opportunities and access to exclusive events. If you have social capital, you can easily deploy it to get what you need in order to succeed in your business.
An influpreneur can also build a personal brand that will serve as valuable career capital down the line. A strong personal brand can help you stand out in the job market and make it easier to find opportunities.
Influpreneurs can have a greater impact because they can reach more people with their message. Their followers trust their recommendations, so their products or services are more likely to get noticed. Ultimately, this can lead to increased sales and brand awareness.
Influpreneurs can create content that entertains and informs while promoting their business. With their vast social media followings and through tools such as blog posts, YouTube videos, podcast episodes, influencers have the unique ability to captivate audiences and promote products or services in a way that traditional advertising methods simply cannot match. When done right, this type of content can be hugely successful in driving sales and engagement.
It is easier for influpreneurs to build relationships with other influencers in their space to further grow their reach and impact. By developing a supportive network of peers, influpreneurs can amplify their reach and impact in business.
They also enjoy increased name recognition and media attention. This can result in greater opportunities for these individuals to expand their brand, build their following, and participate in more promotional activities.
Influencers are important players in the entrepreneurship space. They can further expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem by setting an example for others. Influpreneurs can help inspire and mentor aspiring entrepreneurs by providing access to resources, networks and knowledge. By providing insight into the real-world challenges associated with launching a business, influencers can play an invaluable role in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship.