Home » What Does an Influencer Do? The Day-to-Day + Insights

What Does an Influencer Do? The Day-to-Day + Insights

The life of an influencer gets a bad rap. From their online profile, it seems like they take a lot of pictures and videos, get free stuff, and that’s that. But this largely because we’re often asking ourselves, “What does an influencer do then?”

People who aren’t influencers think it’s an easy gig. And sure, there are benefits and a lot of freedom, but there’s a lot more that goes into crafting a social platform that influences people enough to support their lifestyle.

While some influencers may promote products that aren’t great (and harmful), it’s important to acknowledge the people who only share products they use that add to their lifestyles. Those are the people we’ll be showcasing in this article as we learn what an influencer does.

Here’s what you’ll learn about an influencer’s job:

  1. What is an influencer?
  2. Types
  3. Why people follow
  4. Day to day
  5. Content planning
  6. Content creation
  7. Brand collabs
  8. Engagement
  9. Curation of lifestyle
  10. Admin

What is an influencer?

An influencer is someone who has the ability to influence the opinions, behaviors, and purchasing decisions of others, typically from an online space. They usually have a large following on social media—primarily Instagram or TikTok—or within a specific niche, and they use their platform to share content, promote products or services, and engage with their audience.

Influencers can be found across various industries and categories, including fashion, beauty, fitness, travel, food, and more. They are often seen as trusted sources of information and recommendations by their followers, who look to them for advice, inspiration, and entertainment.

While influencers have been around for a long time, it’s even easier to become an influencer on Instagram than it was in years past.

Types of Influencers

Believe it or not, everyone can be considered an influencer. Getting personal messages from friends on your social platform asking about something they saw in your story, and then they get that thing, counts as influencing.

Which means there are a few different types of influencers.

  1. Mega-Influencers: These influencers have a massive following, often in the millions, and their audience is typically broad. They are often celebrities or public figures. But their audience is comprised of people who usually like a similar thing about them.
  2. Macro-Influencers: These influencers have a large following, usually in the hundreds of thousands, and they often focus on specific niches such as fashion, beauty, or fitness. These can be ordinary, everyday people who simply posted frequently online and made content a certain audience liked. Many of these influencers go on to create their own brands or businesses to continue growing their net worth.
  3. Micro-Influencers: Micro-influencers have a smaller but highly engaged following, typically ranging from 1,000 to 100,000 followers. They are often experts in their niche and have a more personal connection with their audience. These influencers make most of their money from brand partnerships and affiliate deals.
  4. Nano-Influencers: Nano-influencers have a very small following, often less than 1,000 followers, but their audience is highly engaged and trust their recommendations. They can snag some brand deals, and have some affiliate codes, but often have a separate form of income through a day job (one that might play into their niche actually).

It’s more appropriate to label these types of influencers as tiers, because you start at Nano and work your way up. While some stay in the macro-influencer category, others can grow themselves to the mega status.

image with 4 tiers of influencers: nano, micro, macro, mega

Understanding Why People Follow “Influencers”

An influencer can’t obtain the title without a following, because they can’t influence anyone otherwise.

There are a lot of reasons we choose to follow someone online, and allow ourselves to be influenced by them. Because let’s be honest: there are times you’ve purchased something because a person you follow talked about the product.

Here’s why many people follow online:

  1. Aspiration: People are often drawn to influencers who embody a lifestyle or image that they aspire to. They may follow fashion influencers for style inspiration or travel influencers for wanderlust. They have something we want. Therefore, we follow them to live vicariously through them.
  2. Trust: Followers trust influencers to provide honest and authentic recommendations. Influencers who maintain transparency and authenticity tend to have a more loyal following.
  3. Entertainment: Many people follow influencers simply for entertainment. They enjoy following their day-to-day life, adventures, and experiences.
  4. Expertise: In niche markets, influencers are valued for their expertise and knowledge. Many have a coaching business where you pay more for personalized guidance. Whether following from afar or paying for coaching, their followers trust their recommendations and advice in specific areas such as beauty, fitness, or finance.

The term “influencer” inherently implies the ability to influence others. Without a following, an individual cannot effectively influence others’ opinions or decisions. Building a following is a crucial step for an influencer, as it allows them to reach a larger audience and amplify their message. However, it’s important to note that the size of the following is not the only measure of influence. Engagement, authenticity, and relevance to the audience are also key factors in being a successful influencer.

What Does an Influencer Do On a Day-to-Day Basis?

There’s a lot of people who think influencers don’t do much. When positioned with the question of what does an influencer do, they usually talk about how they take pictures and post them online.

But that’s a gross underrepresentation of all that goes into influencing. And as much as accounts like InfluencersInTheWild poke fun at certain types of influencers, it’s a legitimate job that often pays well if you know how to monetize it effectively.

1. Content planning

Most influencers don’t just randomly shoot whatever pops into their minds that day. They certainly can, and that’s often what makes up their story content (on Instagram specifically). But most of them have a content planning process.

Because if they’re relying on content to earn an income—whether through affiliate links or brand deals—they have to plan, prep, and create it.

The planning process can take a good amount of time. They’re often have a place where they brainstorm ideas, determine what the caption would be, and even have a routine of which products to include where. Plus, some brand partnerships require a certain number of posts per month promoting their products, along with certain posts that align with company product releases or special sales.

Typically, an influencer would plan content for the next month so they always have a stream of ideas going.

Of course, they can also make up content on the fly, and often do that too.

2. Content creation

After the planning is done, they have to create the content. Depending on the niche, this can be a lot of work. Fitness influencers like Morgan Rose Moroney, for example, put together workouts and film them, which requires time, exercise, as well as the right location and equipment setup.

Other influencers in the various industries may have photos to take, products to try, and videos to film.

If a video requires a script, that could require several takes of filming, then editing, coming up with a caption, and scheduling the content to publish at varying intervals.

While some influencers batch create their content and film all of it in a few days, others prefer to create their content here and there, and even do so on a weekly basis for all the content they planned to schedule that week. It really depends on which process works for their personal life.

3. Brand collaborations

Part of the influencer process involves working with brands. Sometimes this includes meeting with people from the company, discussing fees, going over content types and desired captions, and all of the good stuff. Sometimes this is quick, other times it can be lengthy depending on the brand.

And if an influencer is large enough, this might include creating a product with the company, like how Whitney Simmons has partnered with Gymshark and AlaniNu multiple times in the past. Obviously, this includes more time, product development, as well as product testing.

Other times, this process can be a few emails, which is more like admin work (we’ll cover below).

4. Engagement

Part of social media metrics—what allows an account to grow—have to do with engagement. Interaction is a better word for it. Much of an influencer’s time is spent replying to comments, liking comments, replying to direct messages, and even creating stories with polls and other interactive elements.

Since these metrics help accounts grow significantly, and aid in a post’s ability to be seen, this accounts for a lot of their time. Why? Because many brand partnerships will pay based on likes and yes, comments. The more comments a post gets in a certain timeframe, the more the influencer gets paid for that advertisement or mention of a product in the post.

And this continues to grow their accounts, too. So naturally, the higher follower count, the higher engagement metrics, the more an influencer can charge a brand for a deal.

5. Curation of lifestyle

What an influencer chooses to share about their life is curated. It’s not everything. Most larger accounts have a certain theme to what they share, whether it’s fashion, beauty, fitness, or another niche. Part of their job is to determine what to share of themselves, but also what to share from others on the app.

Collaboration with other influencers helps both, but influencers don’t just want to start sharing accounts or posts at random.

This is where you may see other posts on an influencer’s Instagram story. They’re curating an experience for you that’s more than just their own life. But they also spend time deciding which products to show you, which means they can sometimes purchase and try many different things on their own before getting an affiliate link for it.

6. Admin

Answering emails, finding affiliate links, and organizing their social accounts are a huge task that often goes unnoticed. It’s the admin portion of the job and is a lot of what an influencer does. Creating highlights from their stories and making sure to put certain stories in those spots contribute to long-term income for them.

And that’s not to mention the many direct messages and emails influencer get from bogus companies. They have to filter through that, identify legitimate companies, and reply to the ones they might want to work with.

Needless to say, influencers do a lot. It seems simple when you’re on the other end of the screen, but that’s their job. This day to day work is essential if they want to keep their influencer role and continue to grow their platform.

Want to grow your impact and influence? One of the best ways to do that is to land a TEDx talk.

Gain Influence Over a Larger Audience, hosted by TEDx Speaker, Taylor Conroy - click to access free training


Bella Rose Pope
I'm a multi-creative in pursuit of doing exactly whatever I want in life. Former speaker of book things, fiction author in progress, life figure-outer in progress, societal rule breaker extraordinaire. Smells like: homemade bread, book paper, potted plants, & potential.

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