The challenge for influencers today is that the platforms where they produce valuable, free content that attracts users and boosts the platform's valuation without giving anything back are the ones making the real money.
Influencers are the ones who generate massive value on these platforms, but they do not generally see any of it. It goes to company shareholders or is used to attract even more users, creating more possibilities for ads and monetization.
The constantly changing algorithms that govern how content gets sorted mean that influencers continually have to adapt their content, perfecting it to make sure it shows up where users are likely to engage with it. Influencers are not receiving any compensation for the value they are providing but instead are beholden to increasingly demanding expectations from the platforms they use.
Big social media companies and influencers need to come to terms with reality: you can't survive on selfies alone.
If they're not building a repeatable business model, they have to expand into something more tangible or die by their nature.
The issue is that people may not be willing to pay nearly as much for Instagram popularity as Influencers believe. In reality, when compared to the time and effort required to set up a site and how easily everything could go away, Instagram followers can be a hazardous investment.
What influencers are really creating is a network, not a business. And it's not the same thing at all.
Networks are social, and their value is only the sum of their parts. They can fracture and fall apart, and they may become entirely worthless.
The Metaverse is the alternative for influencers and businesses.
The only way to turn your network into a customer base and transform your business model into something repeatable and long-term is to use tokenization and NFTs, embracing the Metaverse paradigm and developing a long-term, creator-owned route with true financial sovereignty.
NFTs will evolve a real creator economy, and they'll do it without the need for platforms because the foundations of monetization will be at the core of what NFTs represent.
If you can tokenize your network and if you're prepared to eliminate a platform or two to do so, you have a real opportunity to create a business.
Finding the right format and context for your NFT will be one of the hardest challenges you face, but it's also a wonderful opportunity to find out if your network is truly valuable or not. It can't be like social media; you need to give people something that they're actually willing to pay for.
You have no need to fear using platforms since you have complete control over your content and can try anything. Influencers are not in this position today because they presently have little power or financial independence.
eCommerce through Web3 is a good option for influencer businesses. You've got engaged buyers, and you're telling them to go buy someone else's fucking product? Trust me, the makers of that tea are making a lot more than you. Take that back from them.
Building a channel that isn't dependent on you as a person is a great option too. You as an individual can't grow, change, evolve or experiment, but a content channel can. And if you can paywall it through tokens - or through your own coin - that's a huge asset.
Sponsorship is great, but if your sponsorship is just being paid to act like you love something, you're not building trust from your audience, and you're selling yourself wholesale to some pretty shitty businesses. It's also misleading if you don't make it very clear that you've received compensation. In some places, it's even illegal. Sponsorship through the purchase of NFTs is something entirely different. It's not selling out because you still have control over the content your audience sees. You can make money for your time and effort, but you retain autonomy.
What's really important is that you should always be creating something. Always think about what you can do to provide value for people and whether or not it requires a token. Tokens are an asset class; they're not the only way to monetize through crypto. And the Metaverse isn't a realm reserved for the tech-edge literate; it's a realm that can be conquered by influencers, and that conquest will rewrite their businesses.