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5 Steps To Thrive In The Influencer Era

Written by: Megan McCann and Jennifer Ludington, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Have you too noticed an alarming theme in recent years with business mentors and coaches that seem to be leaning into the influencer craze? It appears that with the rise of social media over the last decade we have entered what we call the “influencer era,” putting more emphasis on fame and fortune instead of offering potential clients and customers true value. The plethora of social media posts boasting about their earnings, follows, and “likes” has left us wondering where have all the genuine, value-centered entrepreneurs gone? Do they still exist in this “survival-of-the-influencer” world we are living in?

Everything from photo shoots in private jets, lavish vacations on a secluded island, and posing in front of Bentley’s has left most online entrepreneurs striving for material objects to showcase their success. They hustle on social media to earn an Instagram-worthy vacation only to be spending the majority of the time creating reels versus actually enjoying the vacation. It becomes a vicious cycle where their success becomes dependent on whether or not it will photograph well or impress their audience.

Our business mentors and thought leaders have been replaced by what seems to be another episode of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”. Instead of thinking about how much value, education and support they can give, their visibility becomes performative. We are all about abundance and currency in all forms. However, we see a problem with this trend – many of these social media stars are not 100% transparent about exactly how they are making their millions. Their claims of self-made fortune leave one following these “Insta-stars” coveting a lifestyle that might not be as legitimate and sustainable as it is portrayed.

In a new world where misinformation is the norm and influencer fame that boasts earnings can be seen in every scroll, we fear that without the data to support such claims, this leads to a breakdown in what it actually takes to create a sustainable business. “Get rich quick” promises, false claims, and offering services that can “guarantee” overnight success are surefire ways to create disappointed customers. Perpetuating these types of marketing scams is one of the ways legitimate business coaches and mentors may be undervalued or not be taken seriously.

We have noticed that this trend can also create a sense of inadequacy for the entrepreneurs who diligently create and innovate their products and services to be sure they are in integrity within their business. We look at our audience as heartbeats, not just numbers and we always strive to ensure that we deliver valuable ways to connect and serve our audience. There is a stark contrast between a social media stream containing endless images of entrepreneurs selling their millionaire lifestyle versus the reality of entrepreneurship. The reality of daily struggles, unforeseen investments, and growth lessons can feel more than discouraging when the illusion of a fancy business is perfectly curated all over social media. This creates a cycle of what we call “comparisonitis.” We feel that transparency is key in all areas of life, especially public life. Transparency creates trust, and in our new “influencer era” business world, the trustworthy will survive but only if consumers pay close attention.

We have a few tips to help you comb through the legitimacy, knowledge, and methods your potential mentors and coaches are using to ensure you are getting exactly what you sign up for.

1. Check their references

If you want to know exactly what to expect, request that they connect you with past clients, allow you to visit their community, ask for a trial of the course, or even ask for video testimonials from their customers and clients. Online review sites are great, however, they can be compromised. Get it from the horse's mouth.

2. Take a closer look at their followers

Do they seem to be real people with real profiles that would align with following this potential mentor or coach? Followers can be questionable and this isn't always the best way to establish legitimacy. What do the comments on their posts say about them?

3. Do they have established communication outlets?

Such as a podcast, a best-selling book, or other media content outside of social media that you can get insight into their expertise, knowledge, and learn more about how they have created the service or product they are offering.

4. Do more research

Have they claimed they have created investment companies, sold businesses, or created patented products? If so, are there public records of patents, LLC’s, etc. Diving deep into their claims will help you get a better sense of the level of honesty and help you decide if their character is trustworthy.

5. Do they actually provide the level of support you desire?

Often, mentors claim that they will coach you but what they are actually doing is putting you into a one-size-fits-all program where you have little to no access to them. When influencers who have millions of followers give you an offer that seems “too good to be true” it likely is. Question if they would have the capacity to support you where you are at based on their audience size. If what you desire is hands-on mentorship, check the contract and legitimacy to see if that is actually what you are receiving.

It's important to note that not all influencers and entrepreneurs who share their “millionaire lifestyle” are actually making millions in their business. Either they are faking it or they could be living their lifestyle off of other means. Pay transparency is crucial for our industry, and, therefore we find influencers and content creators like Nicole Wade refreshing. She recently released her 2022 earnings of $40K on her social media platforms stating, "Pay transparency is so important, especially in social media where creators are still accepting gifts as payment," There are many who are honest about their methods of pay transparency on social media outlets, however, it's crucial that consumers question, do their own research, and understand the nature of their potential mentors and methods used to acquire the level of success they claim.

As educated consumers, it's important that we ensure the value, reputation, and legitimacy of our business and leadership mentors. Demand transparency from those who are claiming they are making money. Unfortunately, we cannot always trust the integrity of those who put fame and fortune over value, connection, and service. Do your homework and trust your gut.

If you would like to learn how we can support you in full transparency with your business leadership, business strategy, and creating a profitable and sustainable business model visit us here to connect and apply to hop on a call with us or our clients.

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Megan McCann and Jennifer Ludington, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Megan McCann and Jennifer Ludington are experts in strategic leadership and business systems. As 1 amazon best-selling authors, in-demand speakers, and media personalities, they are on a mission to help over 1 million women scale their businesses. With a combined 30 years of experience bootstrapping multiple six and seven-figure businesses, they want to show others how to do it too.



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