In Spain alone, there are more than 134,000 non-professional content creators and almost 10,000 influencers with a follower base of more than 100,000, according to an analysis by the digital agency 2btube. Media figures such as Ibai Llanos, Dulceida or TheGrefg, whose communities number in the millions, are just the tip of an iceberg that includes all kinds of interests and themes, and which materializes on platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, TikTok or Snapchat . A popularity that also permeates among the youngest: children spend an average of four hours a day in front of screens, of which 80 minutes are on social networks, according to a Qustodio study, and one in three minors would like to be an influencer. A profession -because it is, strange as it may seem- for which, however, “there is no training that guarantees success, since it is the audience who decides whether or not to follow a person, and that is uncontrollable” , says Fabienne Fourquet, CEO of 2btube.
Is it, then, impossible to study to be an influencer? Not at all, but it is important to adjust expectations very well: in the same way that few become professional soccer players, today it is equally difficult to become an influencer and be able to live from it, since many receive products in kind, but not financial remuneration. “Becoming an influencer should never be an end but a consequence. Many of those who live from it today never thought of becoming influencers, but dedicated themselves to creating content of what they liked and knew, which led them to become experts and be able to reach many people”, says Juan Merodio, founder of the TEKDI Digital Marketing Institute. Thus, patience, passion for what you do (after all, it will take up a large part of your time) and a good dose of work are essential, since it is very normal to take several years to have a big enough fan community.
“If a young person wants to become an influencer, they must be trained in digital marketing in its broadest spectrum: learn to create your own personal brand, create and manage a website, generate content for different channels, understand metrics and how they influence growth and have knowledge of digital business to be able to transform all that influence into money”, explains Merodio. In addition, the leading role that video has taken on all digital platforms makes it increasingly necessary “to have audiovisual knowledge of video recording and editing, post-production and graphic design, to be comfortable in front of the camera and have communication skills”, adds Fourquet. In many cases, this is training that can be acquired through online courses.
It is worth remembering that, before seeking monetization, you have to grow the community of followers and the connection you have with them, because it is useless to have excellent content if the audience does not like it or does not find it: “One One of the biggest mistakes made is wanting to monetize a digital channel too quickly. What must be done first is learning to enjoy the process of creating content, getting to know your audience and seeing what content works best in order to promote it”, insists Merodio. There will be time later to see, in each case, which options are more viable to generate income: monetization depends on the views of each video and whether advertisers want to advertise on them, as well as the quality of the content, so that brands want to associate with them.
Fashion, entertainment, gamers, travel, food, fitness, celebrities… The themes of the channels with the most followers are really varied, and you can even find training initiatives with a focus that goes beyond general interests: Female Voices , for example, is an international initiative of 2btube “to support women on YouTube, in which we have selected 15 creators whom we are accompanying in this process of having a channel with classes, motivational talks, analysis and personalized advice”, Fourquet tells. “On the other hand, we have launched DigitalizArte together with YouTube, Google Arts & Culture and Fundación Alternativas, to teach people and organizations in the artistic, cultural and scientific fields to create and optimize their channels on the video platform”.
Another aspect that should not be ignored is the convenience of having the support of professional experts; people who know the world of content creation and who can help them get into it more quickly, but also “to be suitably advised on legal and financial issues, as well as digital business, in order to get the most out of it,” he advises. Merodium. Enlisting the help of an agency can contribute to the growth of the audience and income, obtaining opportunities and advertising campaigns, protecting copyright and positioning the content so that it is easily found.
If Ibai has 11.3 million followers on Twitch and 9.3 on YouTube, Las Ratitas are two sisters from Barcelona whose games and challenges are regularly followed by an audience of more than 24 million: no one better than them to illustrate to what extent minors spend more and more time on social networks and video platforms. As such, there is no minimum age to become an influencer, although, in general, those under 14 years of age cannot register their own profiles on social networks (Facebook and Instagram allow it with 13), which must be managed by their parents or legal guardians.
“Parents should not only supervise what their children do, but we recommend that they be part of the process of creating content and managing social networks; make it a shared activity with your children”, suggests Fourquet. A supervision that has multiple justifications, both economic (to manage the money that is coming in), and privacy (since children are often not aware that there are things that, for their own safety, they should not say on the internet , such as where they live or study) or mental health: “Minors are still forging their identity and many times they are not prepared to face the negative opinions they may receive, or, at the other extreme, that those with thousands of fans they see themselves recognized on the street and ask for photos”, warns the CEO of 2btube.
In any case, good advice for parents of boys or girls who express their desire to become influencers is to always show support and interest, in the same way they would if they were told they wanted to be footballers. “Even if you consider it an impossible dream and don’t take it seriously, the normal thing is that you sign up for a soccer school and go see him play, or learn more about that sport to accompany him,” says Fourquet. Accompanying them in this hobby is also a good way to turn it into a family activity and to always be aware of the content that the little ones publish. “Sometimes it will be a passing hobby, but if they see that your child has talent and a real interest in the future, they can help them with courses or training related to the audiovisual sector.”
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