Inspiration Kerry McCoy Opinion

What Does it Mean to be an Influencer?

influencer /in·flu·enc·er/ noun

-A person or thing that influences another.
“he was a champion of the arts and a huge influencer of taste”
-In MARKETING: a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.
“influencers can add serious credibility to your brand”

I don’t consider myself an influencer, though I blog every week, have a podcast and YouTube channel, and my marketing team puts my face on everything. Instead, I prefer to think of myself as an encourager.

Merry-Go-Round Thoughts

Not to knock anyone’s way of making a living (I know being an influencer is a lot of hard work), but for some reason the term “influencer” has a narcissistic, somewhat false-narrative feel, to me. I worry single-minded seekers of happiness might look at an influencer and think, “They have it all. Life must be easier for them. By buying the product they are pushing, I can attain and simulate their charmed life.” And because I am a ridiculous over thinker, I take it to the next level and worry about the consumer’s monthly budget. And then, I take it even further by circling back around to my favorite subject, ME, and how misleading someone would mess up my karma.

The Television Influence

With the invention of the television, consumerism took off on a trajectory of epic proportions. It was the heyday of advertising for the big giants like Campbell Soup, Johnson and Johnson, and Maytag. I remember my mother saying she bought into the idea that a dishwasher, clothes dryer, and vacuum cleaner would simplify her life, thus allowing her extra time to laze about. But in reality, she found all it did was increase the number of chores she had to accomplish in a day.

The 2020 Reset

2020 has been hard in many ways for many people. But in some ways, it has slowed and simplified life in a good way. Things that once seemed important don’t anymore. Yes, I still get my hair and nails done, but my expensive clothing habit has waned because there is nowhere to go. I now have time to rummage through my closet (or should I say spare room) of clothes and resurrect some old favorites. In addition, I go to the grocery store and cook almost every day. I had forgotten how much I like it.

My ‘Influence’ is to DREAM

Rather than sell someone else’s products, I sell my own: flags … and the notion of the American Dream. If a skinny, dyslexic kid with a high school diploma from North Little Rock, Arkansas can attain the American Dream, so can anyone else. I hope through my story someone can see that life is a series of ups and downs; that worrying is like a rocking chair, “you can go back and forth but it won’t get your anywhere.”

As a weekly reminder, I open every Up In Your Business radio show with this reminder to my listeners: “The common traits found in most all my successful guests are; they believe in a higher power, have the heart of a teacher, and… they all work hard.” 

And I end the show with this encouragement:  “We hope YOU have heard or learned something that’s been inspiring or enlightening…. and that IT— whatever “IT” was— will help YOU to Up YOUR Business, YOUR Independence or YOUR Life. Be BRAVE and keep it up.”