Not All Influencers Are Created Equal: Celebrity vs. Influencer Part 1

This post was written a few months back while visiting Los Angeles (I got out for good this time because I served two full sentences there and have not looked back since) and I have been so busy that I did not get around to sharing then but am making time right now! This is an important post and describes the difference between a celebrity and influencer in snarky terms, of course.

 Not All Influencers Are Created Equal: Celebrity vs. Influencer Part 1


Ahh Hollywood. You never cease to provide me with ample amounts of snarky material to address on this here blog. I love you for that (and just that). I have decided that living in Arizona has resulted (somewhat) in a lack of creativity on my part because there are not as many nut jobs in Phoenix as there are in Hollywood. FACT. You know the type? Like the lady who yelled at me while I was talking quietly on my phone, through slurred vernacular “You need to turn that shit down” and only after asking her 3 times to repeat that phrase did I understand the best thing to do is to walk away slowly before I caught stupid, drunk, or something that couldn’t be treated in a local ER. Or the people who take pictures of stars while laying down on on the Walk of Fame even though someone recently used that said star in lieu of the port-o-potty down the street. GROSS! And the always fantastic Charlie Chaplin’s, Marilyn Monroe’s and Elvis’s taking a cigarette break from entertaining and annoying the tourists and locals walking down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams (which they clearly know a lot about).

And after talking to some people while at an “industry” party in Los Angeles my creative and snarky juices are cup of runneth –overflowing-eth and I need to share-eth now. There is a difference between celebrity endorsement and social media influencer work. Ready? Take notes.

(And yes, some of this is a generalization but I must try and point out the difference one way or another so chill out.)

When people ask me what I do I tell them that I am a snarky, lifestyle blogger and a social media influencer. My profession fascinates some because it is new, different and they (finally) recognize the impact social media has on all aspects of our lives and business. No matter what you do, your life is in some way effected by social media (I mean, even the Alaskan Bush people have a Twitter and Facebook account and they live in the bush away from main stream media. They don’t even have a real shower with running water or a mirror to check their crazy, overgrown beards for crying out loud, but have accounts on social media.) So, yes it affects all of us. Even the Charlie Chaplin’s, Marilyn Monroe’s and Elvis’s of Hollywood Boulevard. They do private parties too. How do I know this? They have Facebook! It is on their cards.

Let me interrupt myself here because I am passionate about this topic and ADD plus OCD. When people ask what I do and I answer that I work with brands is about the same time where they ask WHAT brands do you work with? Then I list a few off my media kit like the NFL, AMEX, Elizabeth Arden, Marie Claire, etc…..the list goes on but read my media kit if you need more proof. Only after that do their ears perk up. (No, I can’t get you free stuff). Having worked in the music business I learned a lot about celebrity endorsements. Van Halen, Eagles, Velvet Revolver taught me a few things. I learned a lot from marketing real Rockstars and market myself like one but at the end of the day I am not a celebrity Rockstar (my mom thinks I am). I am a social media influencer that interacts with people because I love it and they trust me.

I am trustworthy and I don’t just promote a product for money.

I interact with my followers ALL the time. It is always me responding, liking, favoriting and commenting and NEVER someone acting as me. I do what I do because I know what good shit is and I enjoy sharing it. I am a professional shopper and always have been. I can find something to buy anywhere so much so that I can have a shopping spree in a hardware store. Don’t believe me. Dare me!

Now, the next question people ask is how I got started writing a blog and how did I become a social media influencer?

People want to know what a “social media influencer” means and I explain that I started my blog as a cathartic outlet. It became my passion and then I discovered that my snarky tone resonated with people. This caught the attention of followers and brands. After the followers, then the brands hired me to write (in my own tone) about their products. I started receiving pitches from a variety of brands but knew that I could only talk honestly about those I really loved and actually used myself. There are a ton that contact me that are just not a fit. i.e., I don’t work with feminine products, diet supplements or crappy clothing that look like my grandmother’s couch. I have a very strong tone (some might say opinionated view on life and this carries over to my writing). I have passion and am never at a loss for words when I love a certain brand. I am telling the truth and you can read and feel that through my passionate and snarky writing style. For example, one of my favorite posts last year was sponsored by the NFL and it couldn’t be a better fit for me since I would post about fashion and football regardless if I was being paid or not! Fashion, sports, rock ‘n roll, beauty products, gadgets and more rock ‘n roll!

Not All Influencers Are Created Equal: Celebrity vs. Influencer Part 1

I wear all of these clothes all the time when it isn’t 115 in Arizona!

A social media influencer is a person like you and me who people trust

They do not start as a celebrity (though the industry is taking social media influencers and making them celebs through recognition). They are hired by brands that they typically love or use themselves to promote them on their social channels. They are less expensive to hire and people trust that the product or idea that they are promoting is something they really love. They are real people. Some of the time, social media influencers have a passion for products and posts about said product without compensation. I do this all the time! Can we say the MSQRD app post this year? This may then lead to a sponsored deal. This didn’t happen for me with MSQRD – I guess they were too busy being acquired by Facebook at the same time my post was being shared on the interwebs. But, if they wanted to hire me, my bank account would say “Thank you” so very much!

A celebrity endorsement is done by a celebrity with name recognition and are typically more expensive to hire and will endorse pretty much anything for the right price. Money talks. I know this is a broad generalization. I mean how many different diet supplements, water, makeup, etc. do you see Kim K promoting? She can’t use all of those damn products herself? Come on! Her ass isn’t even big enough to house all of the lotions and creams she endorses. Point made? I think so. It is not always about the money but about the product. You think Jennifer Aniston only drinks one kind of water? Please. But, for the right price she can take a picture and tell you that.

Do I really need to point out the fact that most celebs don’t interact on their own social media channels and they have a “team” doing it for them? You know that. How can you build a relationship with a celeb on social media without them actually interacting with their followers? You can’t. That is why you might be followed by a celeb but do you think they are actually going to respond to your Faceboook comment or even read them? Sorry to break it to you. Probably not.

The next interesting issue…..TBC.


**Stay snarky my friends!**

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20 Responses to Not All Influencers Are Created Equal: Celebrity vs. Influencer Part 1

  1. Anne Shaw July 22, 2016 at 8:27 am #

    Awesome as always Melany!!! I love that you’re not one of those faceless, generic social media presences, you interact with your followers and I know there are a few that consider you a friend. The best part of reading your blog is the fact that you’re not afraid to share your life, whether it’s embarrassing to you or not. We’ve learned to trust you, even if you are a Cardinals fan….keep the snark coming, I can’t wait to read part deux!

    • Melany July 22, 2016 at 8:37 am #

      You are fantastic! Thank you so much for the kind words and all of the support always. Of course, I will share if it is embarrassing or not. That is the best part! SNARK ON! GO CARDINALS.

  2. Ann July 22, 2016 at 10:26 am #

    Love this! I love how you put yourself out there in everything you write e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g! I would say when I grow up I wanna be like you, but that ship has sailed for me and you are a true original!

    • Melany July 23, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

      AWWW you are too kind! Love what you do too!! Hope to see you very soon. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Brian almassy July 23, 2016 at 12:02 am #

    Your NFL shop promotion was great!

    • Melany July 23, 2016 at 12:47 pm #

      THANK YOU!

  4. SHERRY GRAY July 23, 2016 at 8:45 am #

    Spot on! A report I read recently said that real-people influencers who build an audience through sincere interaction are far more trusted than celebrity endorsements. For me, snark wins over sales pitch every time.

    • Melany July 23, 2016 at 12:47 pm #

      YES THEY ARE!!! Thank you for reading and the comment. Stay tuned for PART II

  5. Trudy Valencia July 23, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    Such a great piece. Very interesting point of view and only you could put your own spin on it. The most important part of this is that you are true to yourself and to your followers and that is why we love you.

    • Melany July 23, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

      Exactly! Thank you and I love you all too!!

  6. Ann July 23, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

    Love the insight. There is a large degree of authenticity in the influencer world. It must remain genuine and personal, which I am sure is difficult to manage as you have more and more followers. You nail it, my friend. Stay snarky!

    • Melany July 28, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

      Thanks for the comment! Always snarky and always honest is how I live my life and this blog! SNARK ON!

  7. Melanie Shebel July 26, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

    I love this! I totally love that you pointed out about not promoting products just for money. You have to believe in your product too! So much truth in this post… you may have just become my latest blog crush. (Of course, that might be a mix of the awesomeness of this post and the fact that Melanie/Melany are rockin’ names.)

    • Melany July 28, 2016 at 1:25 pm #

      Correct. Rock on! Thanks for the comment. More snark on the way in part 2! Mel’s rock with a “y” and an “ie” for sure!!

  8. Jessica Phister July 27, 2016 at 7:01 am #

    This is awesome!! Such a relevant topic and you hit the nail on the head!

    • Melany July 28, 2016 at 1:23 pm #

      Thanks so much! Stay tuned for part 2.

  9. ellen July 31, 2016 at 12:42 am #

    I found this interesting as I have always known it is you when you respond. You also pay attention to the folks who do interact with you.
    Blogging is a funny business… it is kind of symbiotic for most, as you need readers to boost your numbers so you can show them to potential brands, You had somewhat of a head start in that you were in the entertainment industry,
    You dont sell out either, which is nice to see.
    You have a huge following, yet you make time, heck your tweets arent even ‘scheduled’ it is you behind the wheel steering the way.
    Youre fun, youre interesting and you have Teddy. Snarky> maybe, but you are one of the sweeter snarky folks I have met online.
    Keep doing what youre doing, it fits you well and I hope you stay doing it for a long time.

    • Melany August 2, 2016 at 11:46 am #

      This is my favorite comment ever!!! THANK YOU! You rock and this means the world to me!!

  10. Shon Hyneman August 4, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

    I love this blog post! I can say that Melany is the real deal and will respond to you. The fact that she has major social media influence and a down to earth person, makes her more valuable in my book. Yes, she is a social media rock star. I was honored that she took the time to be a guest on my Podcast. We recorded twice on the same night (the first time we had technical difficulties). When she said “Not all influencers are not created equal” I was like ooooh! I LOVE that quote.

    Continue to rock on Melany. I am learning so much from you

    • Melany August 9, 2016 at 10:52 am #

      Thank you so much for the kind words! Was an honor to be on your podcast! And….it was so much fun! Thank you for all of the support.

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