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IFH: Influencing From Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic

We’re all used to our favourite influencers posting outfit pictures on street corners of London, New York and Milan. We enjoy their content showing us the coolest bars and restaurants. We’ve become accustomed to watching them live their best lives on press trips to the Maldives, Hollywood and Ibiza.

Given the worldwide pandemic now happening, influencers are now having to influence from their living rooms. There is no more going out to bars and restaurants, no more unessential travelling, no more press events and party nights and no more photo shoots on Chelsea doorsteps.

So how can they adjust? What are they going to influence? What about the full-time influencers, are they going to survive financially during the pandemic? What about the travel influencers that can no longer travel?

Adjusting to the living room

For the vast majority of us that are now working from home, I would assume that many, like me, don’t get too dressed up to go and work from the kitchen table.

I give my hair a brush, wash my face, put on some slacks and make my way to the living room for my first cup of coffee. So when I see some influencers doing their hair and make-up every day and even wearing jeans to sit in their living room, I just can’t relate.

Once in a while, sure, I’ll put some fake tan on, straighten my hair, maybe fill in my eyebrows and spray some perfume to make myself feel better, but not every morning.

The move to Tik Tok

A lot of people seem to be passing the isolation time by getting involved with Tik Tok. If you haven’t already joined (why not??) then you won’t know that the platform is full of funny videos, dance crazes and different challenges.

Personally, I am yet to make a video myself, but I’m thoroughly enjoying the celebrity videos that are on there, especially from JLO, Jessica Alba and Kevin Hart.

It seems like a lot of influencers are making the move to Tik Tok to create some light-hearted content during these crazy times as the platform really suits quick make-up tutorials, clothing hauls and styling advice. Those influencers in the beauty and fashion world, could really take advantage of this new platform to post more content and keep their audience engaged while potentially attract a new audience via a new platform.

Influencers are real people too

As much as a lot of us are feeling worried, isolated, down and negative, so too are influencers. We look to influencers to help us stay upbeat and positive, but these influencers are people like you and me, who also feel the same and are facing the same, if not more difficulty with the current economic and health climate.

It might be difficult for them to keep producing content. They may not be able to have their usual photographers, instead asking flatmates or partners to take their photos instead and having to deal with lesser-quality images.

They may be feeling drained, having to deal with loss of income while still going ahead and producing useful content to their followers, acting like everything is ok. For an influencer, that must be quite hard.

Things are going to change

If anything, it could be a welcome change for influencers. This will force influencers to change their content, change what they post and what they promote. Perhaps it was becoming boring seeing the same kind of thing on Instagram and YouTube for the past while but we had become so accustomed that we didn’t notice.

I’ve already noticed a lot of fashion influencers now promoting more casual clothes and pyjama sets rather than clothes to go out in, since we can’t actually go anywhere.

This is also a great opportunity for fitness influencers as the desire to exercise from home has greatly taken off since we can no longer go to gyms, and aren’t being as mobile as we used to be. A lot of fitness influencers are going ‘live’ on Instagram around lunch time and in the evenings, providing free workouts for their followers.

Take Joe Wicks for example, who leveraged the nation’s schoolkids being at home with their parents and has started providing daily PE classes on YouTube. His first ‘class’ saw 800,000 people tuning in live.

The others

As well as having the influencers doing good in such a bad situation as this, we also have the influencers at the other end of the spectrum, doing not so good a job.

The Logan brothers love a controversy. So much so, they usually behave in such immoral ways, just to get the attention they so crave. Logan Paul, the brother that filmed himself in a Japanese suicide forest, posted a picture of himself on a private jet surrounded by models wearing face masks with the caption, ‘F**k Coronavirus’. How cute.

Another Influencer, posted a photo of himself and his girlfriend ‘kissing’ through masks on a beach in Thailand, stating they were ‘not afraid of the virus,’ and would continue to enjoy their holiday. How naive.

Those are the influencers making light of a very serious situation. Then you have influencers that are misleading their followers by giving out false information. I spoke about this in my daily email this morning, which you can sign up to here if you like.

An influencer that I follow had returned to Ireland from Thailand and was quarantining with another influencer who had just returned to Ireland from Bali – how cliché, I know. But, it was just day 2 into their quarantine and she said, “We don’t have any symptoms, so we know we don’t have it [Coronavirus].”

No, no, no, no, no. Just because you don’t have any symptoms yet, doesn’t mean you won’t start showing symptoms in the next 12 days, or you can still be a carrier of the virus and not show any symptoms.

This was quite worrying to me, as this person has a lot of clout with over 100,000 followers and a very impressionable audience. Know the facts, people!

I feel a lot for the micro-influencers and those that get by month to month on their partnerships and brand deals. The Logan Pauls of the world, I don’t really have much sympathy for. It’s a worrying time right now for freelancers and the self-employed. All we can do is support them by engaging with any advertising content that they post in the coming few weeks and contributing to them as best as we can.

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