Most often, the gig economy is seen through the lens of Uber and its drivers. If one delves into the recent reports by media, the news reflects on how these jobs are squeezing gig workers who are struggling to get a fair wage for their work. In fact, a report by MBO partners which studies freelance economy found that many gig economy workers are part-timers doing freelance work on the side to supplement paychecks from full-time jobs. The same report stated,15.8 Mn independent workers are full-timers, alone in the US.
From all the corners of the world, there is a rising concern over the loss of "good jobs" and "steady income."
Gig workers are often portrayed as overworked, under-compensated. However, there is a whole new breed of workers who are revolutionizing the gig economy. Meet content creators and social influencers who are transforming the world of marketing and advertisement. Within influencer marketing, a brand pays a person with a large following or expertise in one area to talk up the virtues of their brand. Harnessing and cultivating creative talents of people with significant followings on social media (which is normally over 50K) is an idea that makes intuitive sense for the brands as they're not looking at people with millions of followers, so there's a broader range of diversity within the pool.
Take this example of Polaroid, which is an American company that is a brand licensor and marketer of its portfolio of consumer electronics to companies that distribute consumer electronics and eyewear. The company recorded a 180 percent jump in sales with the help of independent content creators. Such creators provide photos for Polaroid's Instagram feed at as low as 13 cents per interaction. Polaroid says the results are better than that of its former agency of record.
According to research, as for getting top-tier influencers to promote a product to their legion of followers, it can work, but it doesn't come cheap. A single sponsored Instagram post comes with a USD 1,000 price tag for every 100,000 followers the influencer has. On YouTube, it's USD 2,000 per 100,000 followers. This is a new breed of 'rich' gig economy and earning millions with a supreme fan following.
Usually, the pay depends on the influencer and their follower numbers. A micro-influencer, which is someone that has 10,000 to 50,000 followers, is pretty valuable. They used only to pick up a couple of hundred bucks, but today, they get a minimum of a few thousand dollars a post.
Influencers with up to 1 million followers can get USD10,000 [per post], depending on the platform, and 1 million followers and up, you're getting into territory where they can charge USD100,000. Some can even get USD 250,000 for a post! Especially if the content is on Youtube and the influencer is in the gaming industry.
Besides earning Moolah, these content creators and social influencers are making their way into celebrity status. Tik-Tok, Instagram, Youtube has become the new fame machine. Take this example of Loren Gray, 17- years old social influencer is the most followed person on TikTok. At one point, she hosted her own Snapchat show called "Glow Up" and has generated nominations for her social media presence at the Teen Choice Awards and People's Choice Awards.
One lesson that we can take away from this emerging solopreneurs is building a culture of "employee-influencers."
While not all employees are suited to be active on behalf of your brand online, many are. Here are a few tips for identifying and activating those employees as influencers and brand ambassadors:
- Inquire and determine which employees have hobbies with corresponding websites and business profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Be sure to add some incentive for blending these two worlds, to encourage participation. You may see more employees lining up to join as your effort gains momentum.
- Know which employees are active with public accounts on Twitter, Tumblr, and Reddit and open up participation to those folks as well. Twitter and Tumblr can be added to your channel capture dashboard, and snagging a Reddit influencer is a win for any brand.
- Avoid crafting specific messaging for employee influencers to use, though. Nothing looks less authentic than a team of people tweeting out the same brand message. Instead, have a shared messaging area where you post blogs, events, and product features you'd like each to share about your brand. And offer general talking points that require rewording. Also set criteria for post frequency.