So how do you succeed at writing while using no influencer marketing – what are the perks of being a nonfluencer? I ask because all my ‘how do I sell my books when I finish them’ research seems to lead straight back to ‘influencer marketing’ in some way and that’s something I’m absolutely committed to avoiding.
Wait, what? Why would you not want to market yourself?? Yeah, there’s the rub – marketing my work without marketing myself – a person with my personal circumstances (disorders) is ill-suited for a world where people go to any length for attention. As this video illustrates, the fake reality of being an influencer means being prepared to play the game if you plan to survive.
Historically, influencer marketing stems back to the Roman empire, where gladiators – fighting for their lives in an arena – could rise to celebrity status. No surprise there that people saw the opportunity for social mobility and fiscal security and were willing to risk everything for it. We’re seeing that happen today in real-time: influencers shooting steroids, stupidly unsafe stunts, and dumb Devious Licks.
If you’ve got two brain cells to rub together and you’re being honest with yourself, you know the truth. It’s desperately dystopian to watch people risk their social capital, their health, and even their lives for attention they can translate into money. The real Hunger Games are ‘play the game, or go hungry.’ That’s not what I want for myself, and I can’t imagine that you do, either.
All of this is why I’m committed to being a ‘nonfluencer.’ I want you to enjoy my work, I don’t want to influence your life. No clothing lines, no tequila brands – just me, telling stories that you enjoy reading, hearing, or watching. The perks of being a Nonfluencer is that I still get to be myself. My communication to the world should be ‘life is worth living, the world is worth experiencing, and you are worth knowing.’ There’s a quiet power and joy that comes from promoting kindness and well-being, from turning limitations into something positive, and working to understand the struggle of others.
The good news is, it seems to be working. I’m getting a small but loyal following of people who appreciate who I am, what I’m doing, and what I’m saying. Like small seeds planted in rocky soil, it takes time for the blooms to appear. But they are appearing – people are responding to the books and Reddit posts and Mastodon toots with good intentions – it’s not taking large chunks of my emotional time or energy like influencer marketing would.
And I still get to be myself. That’s important to me. Living simply, so that others may simply live, practicing the tenets of human decency and being the change I wish to see in the world. Sooner or later, people are going to get tired of being screamed at, and all those influencers will need to find another way to connect with others. When that happens, I hope I can invite them to sit in the quiet, safe place we’re creating for ourselves here.