The next Charli D’Amelio could be you

What is an influencer and how can average teens become one?


Megan Kelly

Influencers in this generation like Mafer Anez (left) and Courtney Beck (right) put in a lot of work to make their platforms beneficial to viewers.

In this day and age, influencers are everywhere. The power they have over people’s decisions regarding purchasing certain products or brands is astronomical. But what does it take to become one?

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just posting pictures of cool places with your friends. The Oxford dictionary defines an influencer as “a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.” Influencers have to use certain strategies while trying to create the best marketing plan for the product in question. In order to really sell a product, influencers must find ways to pull people in.

Senior Courtney Beck, an up-and-coming influencer on Instagram, explained how she incorporates brand content on her social media.

Courtney Beck’s Instagram page includes partnerships with brands, colorful pictures, labeled highlights, and a descriptive bio explaining what her page is about. (Emmaly Simmons)

I do Instagram posts, reels, and stories and come to an agreement with companies on pay and what content should look like on my page,” Beck explained. “I’m [essentially] marketing and making advertising for companies through my own self-credibility from my followers.”

Instagram is one of the largest social platforms used today; however, it is also one of the hardest platforms to gain a following. Most influencers utilize multiple platforms in order to increase their follower count and secure brand deals. Beck so far has been successful with her Instagram page and gains more followers every day.

While an influencer’s job may seem like a dream come true, there can be a negative side to social media. Many influencers receive hateful comments online, which is an unfortunate side effect of any account online. When asked about this topic, Beck had a very positive attitude.

Yes, I can get some hateful comments and messages from people,” Beck said. “I deal with the hate by knowing who I am and staying confident with myself. I also realize that other people and strangers on the internet should never define how I feel about myself.”

Another big platform in today’s society is TikTok. The app is a platform on which people post small videos of dancing, life hacks, music, cooking, books, and several other topics. For senior Mafer Anez, a TikTok influencer in the making, the transition from 20 to 3,000 followers was unexpectedly fast.

Mafer Anez’s TikTok page includes videos of herself singing, her boyfriend, and her friends. (Emmaly Simmons)

I never thought about being an influencer,” Anez said. ” I just posted a video with my friends just playing around and it got 35.6k views and 10.2k likes, and then I gained 3k followers from it.”

Anez has been using TikTok for a long time now, but only just discovered what being an influencer is really about. Now that she has a following, she has to work to keep her account thriving and stay up-to-date with the latest TikTok trends. 

Beck and Anez have had very different experiences with becoming influencers. While Beck planned out becoming an influencer as a career, Anez accidentally “blew up” with one video.

Finding the right kind of video, knowing what people want to watch, how often one should be posting, and making a post worth liking and sharing all come with the influencer territory. Being an influencer is not only an important job but a lifestyle. Without them, several industries would not have the marketing strategies they have today.