Doctor. Engineer. Pilot. Lawyer. These are but some of the answers you get when kids go into the “When I grow up” monologue.

These days, the list has gotten even more diverse. “What do you want to be” now elicits even more varied responses ranging from rapper, rockstar and events manager to influencer.

Wait! What? Influencer?

Now that’s something you don’t normally hear, do you? But influencers have made their mark in today’s social media-driven world — as anyone savvy about influencer marketing understands.

But if you're not familiar with the role of influencers or why your marketing team may want to engage them, let's take a deeper look.

The Mind (The Sphere of Influence)

If you think that you can get to the bottom of what an influencer exactly is by taking the root word, you wouldn’t be far off. So let’s start there.

An influencer influences and, thus, has a following. Think cult figure. They have a captivated audience that wants to hear and read what he says — and is therefore influenced.

Without an audience, the influencer is just a clanging gong. No matter how many videos or blogs are, without an audience, there really isn’t anyone to influence now, is there?

Influencers, however, have a channel by which their message comes across to living and breathing people. Their messages reach far and wide and, thus, are bound to have an audience.

How big of an audience, of course, depends on the sphere of influence a would-be influencer has — or will have. You can’t expect your first few vlogs to get you a million views, but with a steady stream of top notch (and relevant) material, you can bank on an eventual following.

The Body (The Definition of an Influencer)

Now that we’ve tackled the influencer’s audience, let’s dissect the influencer himself.

An influencer has authority. He is both a mover and a shaker. He knows exactly what he’s talking about and he knows what it is you need to know. Have you ever browsed through YouTube and come across make up tutorials, guitar lessons, video game reviews, and the like?

You've stumbled into the web of influencers.

They have their own following, whom they satisfy with a steady diet of posts. Their words ring with value — influencing their audience to either follow or diss certain brands.

The Heart & Soul (The Core of an Influencer)

At the heart of every effective influencer is passion for what he tackles.

The influencer has his own niche of which he is passionate about. If you’re not passionate about what you do, then you might as well take a different path. Audiences are not numb and are very much more sensitive than you’d think. If you don’t believe in what you’re saying on your blog, then how can you expect others to buy in to your ideas?

So that makes celebrities instant influencers, right? They are, after all, the people we see everyday on TV — that must mean something, right?

Wrong!

It really depends on the sphere. A Hollywood A-lister accustomed to the glitz and glamour of the red carpet would hardly have any influence as a geeky game blogger, but will perhaps be better off as an online fashion guru.

Influencers are everywhere. You may not even recognize them as such, but chances are you have come in contact with them and have already been influenced by them. While some may consider being an influencer a fake job, we surely would beg to differ.

Sure, there isn’t as much monetary gain at the start, but the mere fact that influencers have the power to shape people’s perceptions and lives makes it a worthy endeavor in our book. And as you develop and spread your influence, the sponsors and the money will roll right in.

Title image by Shawn McKay