Is there life after influencing? Here's what creators think

talent could be propelled to stardom. Social media has the ability to make anyone into a star with enough luck and posting.

Is there life after influencing? Here's what creators think

In her first job as a full-time employee since she left influencing, Lee Tilghman shocked a new colleague with her enthusiasm for a 9-to-5 schedule. She once had everything he desired: flexible hours and no boss. Her audience was so loyal to her that she could charge up to $20,000 for an Instagram post promoting alternative nut flours, or frozen sweet potatoes fries, on her 400,000 followers account. She was pulled aside by a co-worker on the first day to make her aware of the importance of her decision. He told her, "This is awful." "Like I'm sitting at a desk." Tilghman recalled saying, "You don't understand it." You think you are a slave but you are not. She added that he had his backwards. "When you are an influencer then you wear chains."

Tilghman, a Tilghman, was able to identify a subgroup of women in the late 2010s.

You can find out more about it here.

A warm-blooded moodboard of Outdoor Voices exercise sets, coconut oils and headstands. She earned more than $300,000 per year, but then she gave up her entire management staff, 150,000 followers and the majority of her savings in order to be an IRL person.

Corporate gigs are a great way to get a job.

Social media

It was a real revelation to be the director of a tech platform. Tilghman said, "I could simply show up at work and get to work." She could leave after she had finished. She did not have to be a "brand". A job in an office doesn't have a comments section.

Tilghman (33), recalled her encounter with the woman late last month, during a Zoom workshop that she conducted for other creators to help them understand the importance of letting go. She had advertised the event via Instagram. The workshop is a counterweight to all the boot camps, classes and seminars that promise to teach civilians to become


Even the most prominent content producers are now disillusioned. Since more than a century, social media promises that a user without connections, experience, or discernible skills can become famous and rich with a combination of chance and constant posting. Morning Consult found in 2019 that 54% Generation Z and millennial Americans are interested in becoming influencers. Eighty-six per cent said they were willing to post sponsored material for money. The dream is not free. As report after report, and tearful video after video have shown. Social media may have made audiences nervous, but it is driving creators into the abyss. Charli D’Amelio, a TikTok star who rose to prominence in 2021 said that she "lost passion" for uploading videos. Erin Kern, who has 600,000 Instagram fans, announced a few months later that she was deactivating her account. She had been losing hair and her doctors blamed it on work-induced stress. Kara Smith, a Afro-Indigenous TikTok influencer, who claimed to make $10,000 to $12,000 per month, took a job in 2022. She wanted to become less reliant on brand deals to earn money.

Theirs was the type of ambivalence which made headlines. Some influencers disappeared without a fuss - teenagers whose mental health was affected too much and amateur influencers that stopped posting after a certain period.

The following algorithm is a good way to start.

Their metrics tanked after a tweak. Some were doing this since they were 12 or 14, or even 19.

Reduce Your Influence

Tilghman, at the height of her social-media success in 2018, was forced to cancel a number of events she had announced across the country. Tickets were priced at $500 or more in some places; the events were called "Matcha Mornings." Some of her followers reacted with anger, accusing her that she was squeezing out her fans. Some dismissed the workshops, calling them out-of-touch and even inappropriate. She was paranoid, and feared leaving her apartment. She said, "That was when I started to think, 'I cannot do this'." I'll do something else. "I'll work at a restaurant." Her post count did not decrease. It was a surprise to both her fans and haters when she suddenly disappeared in 2019 after a puffing of ashwagandha.

Tilghman was away from Instagram for 5 months, which is the equivalent to eons according to the social media stopwatch. When Tilghman returned to Instagram that summer, the brightly lit food photos and adaptogenic coffees were gone. She revealed that she spent part of the hiatus in therapy for an eating problem. Her hair was cut in a bowl. She told The Cut that she had given Jim Carrey, the hairdresser in "Dumb and Dumber", her haircut.


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Nothing of it lasted. "You can change your niche, but still you will be performing for content," explained she over lunch. She moved to New York from Los Angeles in December 2020 where her apartment broker, who had seen the change in Tilghman’s fortunes first-hand on rental applications, told her that she was crazy for giving up influencing. The broker admitted to her bias, "I want be an influencer!" Tilghman reduced the number of sponsored posts. She earned less than a third of her previous income. She resisted posting through the site when she lost her tech job in October of 2021. She told the participants that the workshop would not be about "deinfluencing," a new buzzword for influencers that tell their followers that their money is not worth it. It was not about mental health or anti-wellness influence. The workshop was designed to be practical, with sections on how best to frame influencer experience in a resume, and how to effectively network. She said, "I don't know any tips for people who want to become an influencer but do it with balance." "For me, it was impossible." She has renounced merchandise. She has sworn off merch. Tilghman has a problem, as demonstrated by the interest shown in her workshop. She decided to limit the number of participants at 15. She started a Substack in 2022 to keep writing and to use as a "calling card" while she was applying for editorial jobs. It soon grew to 20,000 subscribers. The app used to be called something else, but it is now "Offline Time." The $5 monthly fee is for the paid version. Tilghman insists that the newsletter is more like unoptimized blogs of an older internet age than engagement-driven, social media. She wants to reset her relationship with internet. She's not after monkish abstinence, but rather simple coexistence. She wants to be able to use social networks like any other person. The social media has other ideas. Tilghman was forced to remove the Substack application from her phone in the days leading up to the workshop. She said, "I thought, 'Oh my God, this app is going to be a social networking app.'" Anna Russett was a participant at the workshop and marveled how similar Tilghman’s experience to hers had been. Russett (31), a social media manager for a large advertising agency in Chicago, amassed tens and thousands of Instagram followers while working at the firm. Russett was curious and decided to try influencing people just "to feel what it would be like". It was quite profitable. She said, "It's like, I can cover my rent for the entire month if I just do this post." It was exciting but unstable. She was never able to relax and felt even worse when she didn't appreciate what others thought to be uncomplicated luck. Russett stated, "It left me feeling a little lost." She found a new job at YouTube in 2020. She gets paid time off and health insurance through her job. She's not worried about how she will keep her numbers high while on vacation. Russett still uses Instagram as does Tilghman but Russett’s last sponsored post dates back to 2021. Tilghman has a post from 2022. She did, however, accept a couch for direct-to consumer in exchange of a tag. Russett, thinking of the power of influence, said: "I still fantasize about not having a manager." "But I realize it's unrealistic; it wasn't like that, and it wouldn't be like that." Andrea Russett has over 1.5 million TikTok followers and almost 3 million subscribers on YouTube. She never attended college and dropped out of high-school. She's still following the same path she chose in middle school. It's a moment when you're like, "Well, what do I do next and can I continue doing this forever?" Russett spoke of her sister Russett's decision-making. "I see it and I'm like, Oh, thank god I didn't take that route."

These skills do transfer

Casey Lewis, the editor of After School, a newsletter that covers Gen Z trends in consumer behavior, predicts a lot more pivots and exits. She said TikTok had elevated creators quicker than other platforms, and also burned them out faster. Lewis predicts that former influencers will take jobs at PR firms, marketing companies and product development conglomerates. She noted that the creators had experience in not only video and photo editing but also in crisis communication, rapid response, and image management. She said, "These skills transfer." Even the most dedicated influencers are thinking about how to maximize the benefits and minimize the costs of social media. Jade Sherman, the head of A3 Artists Agency's digital media division, believes that answering these questions is an important part of her role. She has worked with many creators since they were teenagers; adult concerns are very different. Some will soon want time off for their children. Tilghman was one of those who resigned for personal reasons. Her all-stars also look to her as a source of reassurance. She cannot predict the impact of an extended break on clients' revenue or follower count, but can help ease them back into it. She said, "We'll create collabs." "We'll do whatever we can to help." Tilghman's workshop was announced and the negative comments flooded in. She saw a Tweet that summarized the negative sentiment. The tweet read: "Influencers offer workshop to teach people to stop being influential while being an Influencer for not influencing." She said, "I thought, This person doesn't understand it." She was offended by the notion that the workshop would be a money grab. She wasn't going get rich from a few hundred dollars in ticket sales. She raised her critique on Zoom before the audience, using a motto from social media: "The girls who get it get it and the girls who don't don't." She was more reflective over lunch. She said, "I miss it sometimes." She briefly returned to UCLA in 2019 after her first break and took an internship at an interior design company, earning $18 per hour. This was the first moment she asked herself if she could afford to leave. Commenters on Instagram snarked at her when she returned to Instagram. They said that her parents had paid for her rent. She said it was not true. She had spent all her savings on treatment. She said, "I'm happier today." "I am in the world. I have more friends. I have more friends. "I get to do what I want to." Tilghman is not ruling out future events such as the workshop. She has also helped other influencers chart their own escape routes for an additional fee. She wants to work again, but she doesn't want a boring one. Tilghman snorted, "Put it in the article." She is a good judge of what makes for good publicity.