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If you’re in the media, start-up or advertising world – you’ve by now heard the term influencer.  Brands are launching marketing campaigns with influencers, YouTube vloggers are building personal brands off their influence, and start-ups are launching companies with co-founder influencers.  What’s fascinating, is that we’re all influencers of some sort.

Influencer Economy

In the modern Internet, each of us has a good or service that we are exchanging with people via social media.  People can build-up followings with these services via YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. – and monetize this following. Traditional brands have lost their edge, and new influencers are supplying the consumers’ demand for fresh viewpoints.

Influencers have become more like trusted friends, whose authenticity we value. Most of these leaders have become brands, but on a personal level.  They are leveraging their credibility into jobs, speaking engagements, and work where they are expertise valued.  We’re reverting back to a trade/craft economy, where your content has become the currency.

Where does influence come from?

In the digital age, we are all content-makers.  Everyone on the Internet is a content producer.  As the social web grows, we are now sharing content with people on a global scale.

Cultural influencers used to come from big cities, where the trends mostly began.  Before social networking, you discovered trends from magazines, celebrities, and TV.  Now this economy has been completely been flipped around. Reality TV and social media helped lower the bar for people to gain influence, and thus the influencer economy was born.

What’s great about influencers are that many are not recognizable walking down the street.  You can have a dinner party with top influencers and not recognize a single one.  They are often cult and guerilla.  They produce YouTube videos, Tumblr posts, Twitter updates, Instagram photos, which is how the build their identities.

The influencer economy is all about creating quality content.

I created this blog after discussing this theory with friends, family and co-workers. Most everyone I spoke to said I was onto something.  On this blog, I’ll be documenting anything and everything about the influencer economy.  People, start-ups, brands – this marketplace place is exploding.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has a story to share and a contribution.  What do you think about the influencer economy?  Do you have any ideas for what it means and where it’s going?